August 27, 2015

Pete Palangio

Pete Palangio was but a depth player on the 1938 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Black Hawks team. He played just 19 regular season games and appeared in 3 more in the playoffs.

For his efforts Palangio's name was inscribed on the Stanley Cup not once, but twice. Mind you the second time they spelled his name wrong.

In an oversight somehow both "Pete Palangio" and "Pete Palagio" were honoured. This didn't actually happen until 1957 when the Stanley Cup was redesigned and re-engraved.

Pete Palangio, North Bay, Ontario's favorite son, was a long time minor league star, notably in St. Louis and Tulsa. He got tastes of NHL action early in his career with Montreal and Detroit., after being noticed by referee Mike Rodden. He tipped off the Montreal Canadiens who signed the speedster, but he never caught on.

Palangio then waited 8 years before returning with Chicago, though he was able to lead the St. Louis Flyers to a AHA championship while playing with brother Tom. Carl, another of the Palangio's 11 children, also played pro hockey in the minor leagues.

North Bay was home for Palangio, and once his lengthy pro career was over he returned to star in the Ontario senior league circuits. He later owned and sponsored several North Bay amateur teams. His devotion of hockey saw the city renamed their arena after him in 1991. They also honour their local sportsperson of the year award in his name.

Palangio returned to North Bay in the offseasons and for a while he worked as a chocolate dipper! He later worked for the local Chrysler dealership before establishing his own vending machine business.

Palangio's last exposure to NHL audiences was in 1996 when he was invited by the Montreal Canadiens to the ceremonies to close down the Montreal Forum. He was the oldest living former Montreal player at the time.

On Christmas eve, 2004, Pete Palangio passed away at the age of 96. He was the last surviving member of the Chicago Black Hawks 1938 Stanley Cup championship team.

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