Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Fido Purpur
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.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1931-32 Grand Forks Falcons High-ND
1932-33 Minneapolis Millers CHL 37 13 3 16 13 7 1 1 2 6
1933-34 Minneapolis Millers CHL 44 15 10 25 79 3 2 1 3 2
1934-35 Minneapolis Millers CHL 14 4 2 6 29
1934-35 St. Louis Eagles NHL 25 1 2 3 8
1935-36 St. Louis Flyers AHA 47 13 5 18 34 7 1 3 4 2
1936-37 St. Louis Flyers AHA 32 7 15 22 29 6 2 3 5 2
1937-38 St. Louis Flyers AHA 48 23 15 38 15 7 0 3 3 4
1938-39 St. Louis Flyers AHA 48 35 43 78 34 7 3 3 6 4
1939-40 St. Louis Flyers AHA 46 32 38 70 44 5 1 3 4 4
1940-41 St. Louis Flyers AHA 46 25 16 41 32 9 5 0 5 4
1941-42 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 8 0 0 0 0
1941-42 Kansas City Americans AHA 39 18 30 48 19 6 10 5 15 10
1942-43 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 50 13 16 29 14
1943-44 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 40 9 10 19 13 9 1 1 2 0
1944-45 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 21 2 7 9 11
1944-45 Indianapolis Capitols AHL 26 8 14 22 10 5 1 2 3 2
1944-45 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7 0 1 1 4
1945-46 St. Louis Flyers AHL 56 18 15 33 21
1946-47 St. Paul Saints USHL 56 15 23 38 16
NHL Totals 144 25 35 60 46 16 1 2 3 4


AHA First All-Star Team (1939, 1940) Traded to St. Louis by Minneapolis (CHL) for Nick Wasnie and $1,600, December 28, 1934. Claimed by Toronto from St. Louis in Dispersal Draft, October 15, 1935. Traded to St. Louis (AHA) by Toronto for cash, November 6, 1935. Traded to Chicago by St. Louis (AHA) for Sammy McManus and cash, May 3, 1941. Traded to Detroit by Chicago to complete transaction that sent Earl Seibert to Detroit (January 2, 1945), January 4, 1945. Traded to St. Louis (AHL) by Detroit for cash, August 24, 1945.
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