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Fido Purpur
Fido Purpur
Right Wing
Number: 8
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 155
Shoots: Right
Born: Sep 26, 1914
Birthplace: Grand Forks, ND, United States
Acquired: Traded to Detroit by Chicago to complete transaction that sent Earl Seibert to Detroit (January 2, 1945) on January 4, 1945.
Fido Purpur has the distinction of being North Dakota's first native son to play in the NHL. He was small in stature, but he played a big, gutsy game accentuated by great speed and persistence.

Purpur first hit the ice, in a state that had little tradition for hockey, on a pair of five-cent shoe skates his brother had purchased. He plodded his way through his youth until one day he saw a team photo of the Chicago Blackhawks. He was immediately struck by the notion that someday he was going to play for that team.

Purpur turned pro in 1932 with the Minneapolis Miners of the CHL. Two years later, he crossed that historical gulf into the NHL with the St. Louis Eagles where he played 25 games before rejoining the Miners in 1935. From there he entered the American Hockey Association with the St. Louis Flyers where he put in six offensively productive and colourful seasons. His team won the Harry F. Sinclair Trophy as league champs in 1939.

In 1941, Purpur finally realized his vision by joining the Chicago Blackhawks for eight games. But about that same time, he contracted an unidentified illness that consistently elevated his body temperature. He never fully recovered, but struggled nonetheless to stay at the NHL level.

During the two campaigns that followed, Purpur skated with the Bentley brothers and served as Rocket Richard's shadow. But Purpur's mystery illness had sapped some of the speed from his legs. Midway through the 1944-45 campaign, he was sent to the minors before resurfacing for the playoffs with the Detroit Red Wings. He played in seven games and had an assist?his last NHL action.

Over the next two seasons, he skated in the minors with the St. Louis Flyers and the St. Paul Saints where he retired in 1947.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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