Canadian hockey player John ‘Pie’ McKenzie passed away Friday in his Massachusetts home. He was 80.
McKenzie is widely recognized for his role as the right winger for The Boston Bruins in the late 1960’s and 70’s, when he helped lead the team to victory, taking the Stanley Cup twice.
The Boston Bruins shared the news Sunday afternoon on the team’s official Twitter account.
The team shared a tweet along with a throwback photo of McKenzie, who earned the nickname ‘Pie Face’ by his fellow teammates who compared his appearance to that of the Canadian candy bar cartoon.
The Boston Bruins shared news Sunday afternoon announcing the passing of former right wing John ‘Pie’ McKenzie
(L-R) Former Boston Bruins players Don Marcotte, John McKenzie and Doug Mohns acknowledge the crowd during the ceremony honoring John Bucyk for his 50 years with the Bruins organization before the game against the Edmonton Oilers on February 13, 2007
While the official cause of death has not yet been released, The Boston Globe reports McKenzie suffered from an unsaid illness for a number of years.
McKenzie is seen with stitches from a goalie’s stick in Boston, April 7, 1971
Prior to his time playing for the Bruins, McKenzie played for the New York Rangers, the Buffalo Bisons, the Hershey Bears and the Detroit Red Wings.
McKenzie kicked off his hockey career in 1958 while playing for the Chicago Black Hawks.
The Globe reports McKenzie had five consecutive seasons of ’20 or more goals.’
This included ‘a career-high 31 in 1970-71 when the Bruins were stunned by Ken Dryden and the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs.’
While playing for the Bruins McKenzie ‘totaled 169 goals, 227 assists, and 710 penalty minutes in 454 games.’
The Alberta-born athlete is survived by his longtime partner Beth Romanelli, five daughters from two former marriages as well as several grandchildren.
Boston Bruins player McKenzie, left, holds up three pucks after scoring three goals in a game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Boston Garden on Feb. 4, 1968
Bruins’ Bobby Orr, McKenzie and John Bucyk are pictured in this undated photo before starting workout for NHL All-Star game
McKenzie holds his daughter’s hand, Lori, on the ice during the Boston Garden Christmas party, Dec. 22, 1969
Twitter users took to social media over the weekend to express their sorrow over McKenzie’s passing.
One wrote: ‘Condolences to the family of #JohnMcKenzie, alias “Pie.” He was a less-heralded member of the @BigBadBruins but key to their success. Loved watching his hustle.’
Another said: ‘RIP Pie…fond childhood memories.
‘John McKenzie was a huge fan favorite as a member of one of the @NHL most notorius squads… #BobbyOrrAndTheBigBadBruins’
And one more added: ‘Word is one of the big, bad Bruins from the 1970s, John McKenzie, has passed. Great character player who had a touch around the net, too.’
Hich angle view of Canadian ice hockey player Ed Giacomin (left), goalkeeper for the New York Rangers, as he and teammate Harry Howell (right) try to fend off an attack from Johnny Bucyk (bottom) and McKenzie of the Boston Bruins during a game, late 1960s or early 1970s