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Former Red Wings Forward Poile Part of Famous Hockey Family

Half of Brother Act That Played for Detroit



Don Poile, Red Wings

Don Poile’s time in the NHL might not have held the same staying power as other members of his famous hockey family, but that didn’t prevent the former Detroit Red Wings forward from formulating a plethora of stories about his time in the show.

The brother of Norman (Bud) Poile and uncle of David Poile, who died on the weekend at the age of 91, Don Poile spent just 66 games in the NHL, all with the Red Wings.

He’d appear in four games during the 1954-55 season, then make it back for a 62-game stint in 1957-58. That season, center Poile would account for seven goals and nine assists. Naturally, it was the tale of his first that he loved telling. However, not for the reasons you might expect.

Poile Scores Spectacular Goal

It was a spectacular goal, after all. Gordie Howe hit Poile with a breakaway pass. In the clear, he put a feint on New York Rangers goalie Gump Worsley, sending the Gumper the wrong way. Pulling the puck back, Poile would then slam a shot into the net from five feet out.

Marcel Pronovost drew the other assist on the goal. As Poile was known to point out, everyone involved in the play expect the protagonist would go on to earn enshrinement in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

As for his story of the goal, Poile was only on the ice because he’d been serving a bench minor. From his perch behind the Detroit bench, Red Wings GM Jack Adams was screaming at Poile to get off the ice. He chose not to listen. Poile’s goal would prove to be the game winner in Detroit’s 4-0 verdict at Madison Square Garden.

Followed Brother To Red Wings

Don Poile hailed from Fort William, Ontario, which would prove to be a rich feeding ground for future Red Wings. Along with his brother Bud, defenseman Ben Woit and Hall of Fame center Alex Delvecchio also were born in Fort William.

Bud Poile, who died in 2005, would play seven NHL seasons, including the 1948-49 campaign with the Red Wings. He was a two-time 20-goal scorer. He would later serve as inaugural GM of both the Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks. As well, Bud Poile was president of the Central League and commissioner of the IHL.

Don Poile was also the uncle of longtime NHL GM David Poile. David Poile would serve as GM of the Washington Capitals and up until his retirement last year, as the first and only GM of the Nashville Predators.