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Born in Fort William in 1924, Bud went on to star with the Fort William Hurricane-Rangers. When that junior team’s quest for the Memorial Cup wound up in 1942, he was picked up by the Port Arthur Senior Bearcats for the Allan Cup finals against the Ottawa Flyers in Montreal. It was during that series that his talents caught the eye of Conn Smythe who added the 18 year old to the Toronto Maple Leaf’s roster for the 1942-43 season.

Joining the Canadian Armed Forces in 1943 he returned to the ice in 1946 and helped the Leafs claim the Stanley Cup in the spring of 1947. The following season he was involved in one of the biggest trades in NHL history which saw him and four other Leafs, including fellow ‘Flying Forts’ Gus Bodnar and Gaye Stewart, sent to Chicago for Max Bentley and rookie Cy Thomas.

After time with Detroit, New York and Boston, he ended up his NHL playing career at the conclusion of the 1949-50 season with a record of 107 goals and 122 assists in 311 games.

Following his playing days he moved onto a building career that included time as a coach in the USHL and the Western Hockey League. When the NHL expanded in 1967 his talents were tapped as the first GM of the Philadelphia Flyers, a role he also took on for the Vancouver Canucks in their first NHL season in 1970.

From there he went on to oversee an entire hockey league, serving as Commissioner of both the Central Hockey League and the International Hockey League, retiring from the ‘I’ in 1989. His contributions to the game earned him entry into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990 in the Builder category.

This outstanding hockey player and builder of the game, passed away on January 4th 2005. In fitting style, his son David became a successful NHL hockey administrator, carrying on the tradition of excellence established by his father throughout his half century of involvement in the game.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, October 1, 1983

Norman "Bud" Poile

Fort William
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