Kitchener-Waterloo

Former NHL player Dean Prentice dies at age 87

Family, friends and the hockey community are remembering Dean Prentice, who died last Saturday in Cambridge at the age of 87.

After 22 years in the NHL, Prentice became the recreation director for the township of North Dumfries

Dean Prentice (right) is pictured during an NHL all-star game on Jan. 21, 1970 in St. Louis. The former NHL player died last Saturday in Cambridge at the age of 87. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP (The Associated Press)

Family, friends and the hockey community are remembering Dean Prentice.

The former NHL player died last Saturday in Cambridge at the age of 87.

Prentice got his start in the Ontario Hockey Association, playing four seasons with the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters.

In 1952, he made the leap to the National Hockey League. His career spanned 22 years. Prentice first played for the New York Rangers, then later joined the ranks of the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota North Stars.

In total, he played 1,378 games and scored 391 goals and 469 assists.

'Humble, down to earth guy'

After a career in the NHL, Prentice turned his attention to his community.

When he returned to Ontario in 1977, he became the recreation director for Ayr, which is in the township of North Dumfries. 

Sue Foxton, the mayor of North Dumfries, remembers Prentice as man with a "heart of gold."

"I know he was an NHL star and everything else, but you would never know it to meet him," said Foxton.

"He was just a humble, down to earth guy. And if something needed to be done, he goes "I'll do that." ... He worked his heart out."

Prentice leaves behind June, his wife of 65 years and two daughters, seven grandchildren and three grandchildren. 

The visitation and funeral will be held later this month.

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