Three-time Calder Cup winner played two seasons with Amerks over illustrious 20-year playing career
(Rochester, NY) – The Rochester Americans join the American Hockey League and the rest of the hockey community in mourning the loss of AHL Hall of Famer Willie Marshall. He was 91.
“The Rochester Americans are deeply saddened by Willie’s passing,” said Amerks Hall of Famer Jody Gage, who alongside Marshall was a charter member of the AHL Hall of Fame Class of 2006. “Willie is and remains one of the most iconic figures in our league, and in the game of hockey, and he will be missed greatly. The entire Amerks organization extends its condolences to his friends and family during this difficult time.”
A three-time Calder Cup winner, Marshall played parts of two seasons with the Amerks during an illustrious 20-year playing career that saw him become the most prolific scorer in American Hockey League history.
After breaking into the league with the Pittsburgh Hornets as a rookie in 1952, it wasn’t until midway through the 1958-59 campaign that Marshall would join the Amerks after playing half the season with the Hershey Bears. The year prior, Marshall won the scoring title after a career-best 104-point season and leading the Bears to the Calder Cup in 1958.
He would finish the 1958-59 season with 23 points (7+16) in 19 games before returning to the Bears for four more seasons, where he would again lead Hershey to the Calder Cup in 1959, his third in five years.
A 20-goal scorer in each of his first 12 AHL seasons, Marshall returned to Rochester for the 1971-72 season, his record-tying 20th in the AHL, and retired as the league’s all-time leader in gamed played (1,205), goals (523), assists 852) and points (1,375) as well as hat trick (25).
Additionally, the five-time AHL All-Star ranks second in league history with 119 career playoff points over 112 postseason games.
In 2004, the American Hockey League honored its career scoring leader with the creation of the Willie Marshall Award, which is now presented annually to the AHL player who scores the most goals each season. And in 2006, Marshall was one of seven members of the inaugural class of inductees into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame.
“At a time when there were only six teams in the National Hockey League, Willie Marshall was one of the greatest players not just in the AHL but in the entire sport of hockey,” said AHL President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Howson. “His contributions helped shape the AHL’s tradition of excellence that continues to this day. But more importantly, Willie was a devoted family man of character and faith; our deepest condolences go out to his son Will; his daughters Ann, Jane and Joanne; and his entire family.”
Marshall will be remembered with a moment of silence tonight before Hershey and Rochester, two of his former teams, meet in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Rochester, N.Y.