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May 25, 2015

Mark Dufour

Marc Dufour was a top scorer in thirteen minor league seasons, but could only parlay that into fourteen games over three seasons in the National Hockey League.

Dufour was a 6-foot, 175-pound right winger with a rare junior background. He played junior hockey in Quebec, Ontario and the west. In the early 1960s he played for the Guelph Biltmores, Trois-Rivieres Reds and, perhaps most notably, with the Brandon Wheat Kings. He and future NHLer Dennis Hextall helped the Wheaties challenge for the 1962 Memorial Cup. Dufour scored 37 goals in just 33 games, as his season was shortened by a broken cheekbone. He then led the team in scoring in the playoffs with 16 points, including 10 goals,  in just 11 games.

Dufour, a New York Rangers prospect, turned pro with the Sudbury Wolves in 1962-63. The rookie scored 50 goals and 99 assists that season, teaming well with center and future NHLer Gord Labossiere.

The Rangers advanced Dufour to stiffer competition in the American Hockey League and the old professional Western Hockey League the next season. They also called him up for ten games with the Rangers. His first game was against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 27, 1963, just five days after U.S. president John F. Kennedy had been assassinated and two days following his burial and national day of mourning.

In his third game, Dufour scored what proved to be his only National Hockey League goal. It came against goaltender Denis DeJordy in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Black Hawks. The goal was assisted by none other than Camille Henry and Don McKenney.

Dufour was the Central Hockey League’s leading scorer late in the 1964-65 season when the Rangers called him up for two games to replace Phil Goyette, who was ill with a virus. Tulsa's Tom McCarthy was able to pull ahead of Dufour in the CPHL scoring race.

The expansion Los Angeles Kings selected Dufour from the Rangers in the 1967 expansion draft. By no accident the Kings also drafted Gord Labossiere, trying to reunite the dynamic duo. Labossiere stuck with the Kings for almost two seasons. Dufour, meanwhile, had an uneventful two-game stint with the Kings in December, 1968.

Dufour would be a top point producer with the AHL Springfield Kings before returning to the AHL Baltimore Clippers for five seasons, retiring in 1975.

Marc Dufour passed away in January of 2015. The 73 year old was living in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.

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