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AHL mourns loss of Sam Pollock

The American Hockey League joins the hockey community in mourning the loss of Hockey Hall of Famer Sam Pollock, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 81.

As the general manager and architect of the Montreal Canadiens’ dynasties of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Pollock won nine Stanley Cup championships, but he also carved a legacy in the AHL when the Canadiens became the first NHL team to purchase an AHL franchise.

The Montreal Voyageurs served as the Canadiens’ top development affiliate from 1969-71 and then moved to Halifax, where the Nova Scotia Voyageurs captured three Calder Cup championships, including two (1976, 1977) in years when the Canadiens also won the Stanley Cup.

In 1995-96, the AHL created the Sam Pollock Trophy for the regular-season winner of the Atlantic Division. Since 2003-04, the trophy has been awarded to the North Division champion.

Pollock joined the Canadiens organization in 1945-46, and served in a number of capacities before taking over as general manager in 1964. In 1958-59, Pollock spent 20 games as head coach of the AHL’s Rochester Americans, then a Canadiens affiliate.

Pollock, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978 as a builder, received the Order of Canada in 1985 and the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Quebec in 2002.