Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Rich Pilon
Throughout his career in hockey, there has never been anything flashy about Rich Pilon. He's like a blue-collar rearguard who punches in for work, fights his battles, rubs opponents the wrong way and then heads home for the night.

As a junior with the Prince Albert Raiders, he first established his gritty style of no-nonsense crease-clearing intimidation. But his defensive exploits could do little to raise his position for the NHL Draft since he'd already been selected 143rd overall by the New York Islanders in 1986 while fresh out of midget hockey.

Pilon went straight to work for the Isles upon completion of his junior career in 1988-89. He put in a complete season of stay-at-home defense accentuated by plenty of robust action of a pugilistic nature. In his second campaign, however, he ran up against his toughest foe, the injury bug. Over the eleven years that followed, Pilon battled injuries to his groin, eye, shoulder, wrist, and knee. As such, it was difficult for him to play consistently enough to become the vital defender he might have otherwise been.

But despite his physical problems, he sustained his lengthy career in the NHL for good reasons. Wherever he has played, mostly with the Islanders, he always provided a stabilizing influence on his defensive corps. He also consistently attended to the defensive duties of his own zone and, as a rule, rarely backed down from a challenge.

Pilon was into his 12th campaign as an Islander when the New York Rangers claimed him on waivers in late 1999. He put in one year on Broadway and then signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues for the 2001-02 season. Pilon will no doubt be defensive insurance for a club already rich with big, thoroughbred defenders.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1984-85 Prince Albert Midget Raiders SMHL 26 3 11 14 41
1985-86 Prince Albert Midget Raiders SMHL 35 3 28 31 142
1985-86 Prince Albert Raiders WHL 6 0 0 0 0
1986-87 Prince Albert Raiders WHL 68 4 21 25 192 7 1 6 7 17
1987-88 Prince Albert Raiders WHL 65 13 34 47 177 9 0 6 6 38
1988-89 New York Islanders NHL 62 0 14 14 242 -9
1989-90 New York Islanders NHL 14 0 2 2 31 +2
1990-91 New York Islanders NHL 60 1 4 5 126 -12
1991-92 New York Islanders NHL 65 1 6 7 183 -1
1992-93 New York Islanders NHL 44 1 3 4 164 -4 15 0 0 0 50
1992-93 Capital District Islanders AHL 6 0 1 1 8
1993-94 New York Islanders NHL 28 1 4 5 75 -4
1993-94 Salt Lake Golden Eagles IHL 2 0 0 0 8
1994-95 New York Islanders NHL 20 1 1 2 40 -3
1995-96 New York Islanders NHL 27 0 3 3 72 -9
1996-97 New York Islanders NHL 52 1 4 5 179 +4
1997-98 New York Islanders NHL 76 0 7 7 291 +1
1998-99 New York Islanders NHL 52 0 4 4 88 -8
1999-00 New York Islanders NHL 9 0 2 2 34 -2
1999-00 New York Rangers NHL 45 0 4 4 36 0
2000-01 New York Rangers NHL 69 2 9 11 175 -2
2001-02 St. Louis Blues NHL 8 0 2 2 9 -1
NHL Totals 631 8 69 77 1745 15 0 0 0 50


WHL East Second All-Star Team (1988) Missed majority of 1989-90 due to eye injury vs. Detroit, November 4, 1989.
Missed majority of 1993-94 due to shoulder injury vs. Boston, November 13, 1993.
Missed majority of 1994-95 and 1995-96 due to wrist injury vs. Quebec, April 18, 1995. Claimed on waivers by NY Rangers from NY Islanders, December 1, 1999. Traded to San Jose by NY Rangers for San Jose's 7th round pick (Joseph Crabb) in 2002 NHL Draft, June 29, 2001. Signed as a free agent by St. Louis, July 10, 2001.
Missed majority of 2001-02 due to wrist injury vs. NY Rangers, October 25, 2001.
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