Published on July 10, 2012 by Casey
Richard Brian Pilon (born April 30, 1968 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) is a retired NHL ice hockey player. A stay-at-home defenceman, Pilon played for three teams throughout his 15-year NHL career, the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues, but is primarily recognized for his time with the Islanders
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The New York Islanders drafted him in the 7th round, 143rd overall in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft.
Pilon made his debut in the 1988–89 NHL season, playing 62 games, recording 14 assists and 242 penalty minutes for the New York Islanders. He would play 10 season there before being claimed on waivers December 1, 1999 by the New York Rangers. He played parts of two seasons as a Ranger. Was traded to the San Jose Sharks for a 7th round draft pick, days before he became an unrestricted free agent in 2001. He was then signed by the St. Louis Blues on July 10, 2001. He played 8 games for the Blues until he suffered a broken left wrist in a game against the Rangers that subsequently ended his NHL career.
May 14, 1993; Game 7 of the Patrick Division Finals between the underdog New York Islanders and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins not only saw one of the greatest upsets in NHL playoff history (with the Islanders’ David Volek eventual overtime goal) but one of the worst freak accidents ever sustained on the ice.
Early in the first period of Game 7 of the Pens-Islanders 2nd round series, the puck went into the Islanders corner. Penguins’ star forward Kevin Stevens skated in hard and attempted to hit Pilon but instead was met by Pilon’s visor which knocked Stevens unconscious in mid-air. The unprotected fall left Stevens to smash his face on the ice upon impact. Stevens laid motionless on the ice for several seconds with the referee and Penguin teammates concerned, a pool of blood forming around Stevens’ head, before the team trainer attended to his side. Stevens would be carted off the ice in a stretcher with a neck brace around his head. He required immediate surgery on his crushed face, injuries that ended up being a broken sinus bone and nose, as well as many facial lacerations and bruises. Stevens’ face would require over a hundred stitches that left him unrecognizable, even toward his own family, for the next few weeks until the swelling went down.