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Wilbert 'Dutch' Hiller dies at 90

November 16, 2005|By By Charles Rich

MONTROSE -- Wilbert "Dutch" Hiller, who won two Stanley Cups during a nine-year career in the National Hockey League, died of congestive heart failure Saturday at Verdugo Hills Hospital. Hiller, 90, lived in Montrose for about the last eight years, his youngest daughter, Rosemarie Anderson-Hiller, said.

Hiller, who played professional hockey from 1937 to 1946, led the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup championship in 1940 and then helped the Montreal Canadiens win the trophy in 1946.

The Kitchener, Ontario, native registered 91 goals and 113 assists for 204 career points while playing for the Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and Canadiens.

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He played alongside legendary athletes like Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Toe Blake, Elmer Lach, Emile Bouchard, Bryan Hextall and Lynn Patrick.

Hiller was best known for assisting on the Cup-winning goal nearly two minutes into the first overtime session for the Rangers against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens on April 13, 1940.

"I went into the corner to dig out the puck and I passed it to Hextall, and he scored to give us the Cup. Greatest moment of my career," Hiller told the Glendale News-Press on Sept. 9, when the Stanley Cup was brought to La Crescenta for the first time for Hiller to savor as part of a documentary titled "Saving Stanley" on the 36-pound trophy.

A left wing, Hiller played on a line with Alf Pike and Clint Smith on the 1940 squad. Pike and Smith are the only surviving members of the Rangers' 1940 team.

Hiller scored a career-high 20 goals for Montreal during the 1944-45 season, and scored 10-or-more goals in a season four times.

After retiring from hockey, Hiller worked as a manager for Rockway Golf Club in Kitchener and then worked as a salesman for pharmaceutical company L.A. Drug.

He is survived by two daughters, Rosemarie Anderson-Hiller of St. George, Utah; and Patricia Ornelas-Hiller of Montrose; five grandchildren; and nine great grandchildren.

A public memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at La Crescenta Baptist Church, 4441 La Crescenta Ave., La Crescenta.

* CHARLES RICH covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3228 or by e-mail at charles.rich@

latimes.com.

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