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Alf Pike

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Alf Pike (AP Photo)
NEW YORK (AP) — Alf Pike, a member of the New York Rangers' 1940 Stanley Cup championship team who later coached the club, has died. He was 91.

Pike, who spent six seasons as a Rangers player and two as coach, died March 1 in Calgary, Alberta, according to an obituary the team posted on its Web site.

Pike was one of two surviving members of the 1939-40 team, the last Rangers club to capture the Cup before the 1994 squad won it, according to the team's Web site.

Pike's death leaves 95-year-old Clint Smith as the only living member of the 1940 team who spent the entire season with the club.

Pike joined the Rangers organization as a 19-year-old junior player in 1937 and made his NHL debut two years later in Detroit against the Red Wings. As a rookie on the championship team, Pike had eight goals and nine assists in the regular season and three goals and one assist in 12 playoff games.

He played 234 NHL games, all with New York, before he returned home to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to pursue a coaching career.

The forward, nicknamed "The Embalmer" because he had worked at a funeral home during the offseason, scored 42 career regular-season goals and added 77 assists. He had four goals and two assists in 21 playoff games.

He rejoined the organization as coach of the Guelph junior team in the early 1950s, and put together the Memorial Cup-winning team that included forward Andy Bathgate and defenseman Harry Howell.

Pike was promoted to Rangers coach during the 1959-60 season, replacing former teammate Phil Watson, and stayed through the 1960-61 season.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press
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