|Date of Birth||June 25, 1963|
|Birthplace||Kingston, ON, Canada|
|Drafted||Selected 134th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft|
Douglas Robert Gilmour is a former professional hockey player who played twenty professional seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blawkhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens. Gilmour is a one-time Stanley Cup champion, winning the championship with the Flames in 1989.
Gilmour started began his hockey career playing junior hockey for the Cornwall Royals of the Ontario Hockey League in the 1980-81 hockey season. He spent three seasons with the team, helping the team to consecutive Memorial Cup championships. He was injured during the 1981 championship run, but in the 1981-82 season, he returned to score 46 goals and 119 points. Gilmour was not drafted in his first year of NHL eligibility. However, in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, the St. Louis Blues drafted him in the 7th round, 134th overall. He did not make the Blues for the 1982-83 hockey season, and was returned to Cornwall. He won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as the leading scorer in the OHL with 70 goals and 177 points. He was also named OHL most valuable player. During the season he set a league record with a 55-game scoring streak.
Gilmour had difficulty reaching a contract with the Blues, who were still concerned that he was undersized for the NHL game. He almost resorted to playing professional hockey in Germany. Two weeks before the 1983-84 NHL season started, Gilmour and the Blues agreed on a contract and he joined the team. Injuries allowed him to play in the fourth line center slot, to which he used to become a defensive specialist. Teammate Brian Sutter nicknamed him "Killer" because of his intensity on the ice, as well as Gilmour's name's similarity to convicted killer Gary Gilmore. The nickname is also reported to stem from his resemblance to Charles Manson.
During his first three seasons with the Blues, Gilmour was a consistent defensive presence who averaged 50 points. In the 1986 playoffs, he broke out and scored 21 points in 19 games, as the Blues lost in the Conference finals. This made Gilmour one of the only players in history to lead in postseason scoring without making it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Peter Forsberg would also achieve that feat in 1999 with the Colorado Avalanche.
Just prior to the 1988-89 season, Gilmour was traded to the Calgary Flames along with Mark Hunter, Steve Bozek, and Michael Dark for Mike Bullard, Craig Coxe and Tim Cokery. The Blues traded Gilmour after he was named in a civil suit alleging sexual improprieties with a teenaged babysitter. Gilmour denied that the incident occurred, and a grand jury did not find enough evidence to indict him. The Blues didn't admit publicly that the pending lawsuit against Gilmour was a reason for the trade, but Gilmour was convinced it was the reason. With Calgary, Gilmour went on to win a Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989. Before the decisive game six of the series, he kissed and shook hands with Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry for good luck. Cherry, who also hails from Kingston, affectionately called his favourite player "Dougie". Gilmour netted the championship-winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens.
Trade to the Maple LeafsEdit
Several months after the Toronto Maple Leafs hired Cliff Fletcher to be their new general manager, he made a blockbuster trade with Calgary in February 1992. Fletcher had previously served as Calgary's general manager before coming to Toronto, and he was responsible for putting together their 1989 championship team. The Leafs acquired Gilmour along with Jamie Macoun, Ric Nattress, Kent Manderville, and Rick Wamsley in exchange for Gary Leeman, Alexander Godynyuk, Jeff Reese, Michel Petit and Craig Berube. The 10 player deal was the largest in NHL history, and statistically speaking, one of the most lopsided.
Toronto fans did not need to wait long for the Gilmour acquisition to pay off, as the forward produced well for the remainder of the 1991-92 season. He then went on to have a breakout year, scoring a franchise-record 127 points during the 1992-1993 regular season. In the playoffs, he played a key role as the Leafs took out the powerhouse Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues, both in seven games. Gilmour finished the postseason with 35 points, behind only Wayne Gretzky. Gilmour was the runner-up for the Hart Trophy as regular-season MVP and won the Selke Trophy as best defensive forward, the first major NHL award that a Leaf player had won since 1967.
One of Gilmour's most memorable goals was scored during the 1993 second round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues, in the second sudden death overtime period. Many fans remember him skating back and forth behind the St. Louis net multiple times before finally sliding the puck behind a sprawling Curtis Joseph, the latter who would also become famous with the Leafs years later. The Maple Leafs would go on to win the series, but would eventually be eliminated in the next round by Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. Toronto was leading the Conference series against Los Angeles 3-2 and many fans, including CBC's Don Cherry, were hoping for an all-Canadian final as the Montreal Canadiens already advanced. However, during overtime of game six, Gretzky high-sticked Gilmour, drawing blood, without being assessed a penalty by the referee Kerry Fraser, and then scored the winning goal moments later to stave off elimination. During game seven back at Maple Leaf Gardens, the Leafs were trailing 5-3 after Gretzky completed his hat-trick. Gilmour's team would score one goal but couldn't find the equalizer, which sent the Kings to the finals.
Gilmour finished the 1993-1994 season fourth overall in regular season scoring with 111 points, just one behind third place finisher Adam Oates. Gilmour made his second consecutive trip to the NHL All-Star game and finished as runner-up for the Selke Trophy. In the playoffs, he led his Leafs to the Western Conference Finals (formerly Clarence Campbell conference), although they fell to the Vancouver Canucks in five games. The Leafs were the only team in the NHL to reach back-to-back conference finals over the 1992-1993 and 1993-1994 seasons. Over the course of the 1992-1993 season and the 1993-1994 season, only Oates scored more points than Gilmour.
When the Leafs traded captain and fan favourite Wendel Clark to the Quebec Nordiques in 1994-1995, Gilmour was named team captain. Throughout his six years as a Leaf, he was one of the most popular players on the team and in the league. He was a fan and media favourite, as the spokesman for the NHLPA in community and charity events, and he also appeared in a series of memorable "Got Milk?" TV commercials, one which also featured his wife. However when Clark returned in a subsequent trade, Gilmour refused to return the coveted captain's "C", which hurt his popularity somewhat.
Traded from the Maple LeafsEdit
Fletcher traded Gilmour to the New Jersey Devils in 1997 for Steve Sullivan, Alyn McCauley and Jason Smith. Gilmour was their best postseason performer, but the Devils suffered early exits in the playoffs.
In the summer of 1998 Gilmour signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago was Toronto's opposition on the night of the last game in historic Maple Leaf Gardens. Gilmour ended up scoring in that game, and in the closing ceremonies he was given a standing ovation by the Toronto fans.
In spring of 2000, Gilmour was traded to the Buffalo Sabres. He made an immediate impact with the struggling team, which had been Stanley Cup finalists the past season, helping them to make the playoffs. However, he was felled by stomach flu and only played in five playoff games. In 2000-2001, injuries limited Gilmour's regular season stats but he had a strong playoff performance as the rejuvenated Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, although they were upset by the Pittsburgh Penguins in a tough second-round series.
Gilmour, a well-traveled player by this time, then signed as a free agent in 2001 with the Montreal Canadiens, where he would fill a much needed role as a veteran leader. Gilmour had a good playoff run with the Canadiens but it was cut short by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Rumours floated around the hockey world that Gilmour was considering retirement. To the delight of Maple Leaf fans, the NHL trade deadline of 2003 brought good news: the Canadiens traded Gilmour to the Maple Leafs (for a sixth round selection) so that he could finish his career in Toronto. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury in the second period of his first game back on March 13 against the Calgary Flames, and never played again. He officially announced his retirement on September 8, 2003 after John Ferguson Jr. declined to re-sign him.
Gilmour had 450 goals and 964 assists in 1474 games in his NHL career. He remains eligible for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
On September 15, 2006, the Maple leafs announced that Doug Gilmour would become their player development advisor. On August 7, 2008 the Maple Leafs announced that Gilmour would become an assistant coach for the Leafs American Hockey League farm team, the Toronto Marlies.
On November 17, 2008, Gilmour left the Marlies to take over the head coaching position with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.
Maple Leafs LegacyEdit
Gilmour ended his career in fitting fashion with the Maple Leafs, as it was with this team, above all others, that his legacy was born. Gilmour set a Maple Leafs franchise record in points in a single season with 127, as well as assists in a single season with 95. Both records were set in the 1992-93 season. Gilmour also won the Frank J. Selke award for best defensive forward in 1993, and was also nominated for the Hart Memorial Trophy for NHL most valuable player in the same year. Gilmour played in two All-Star Games while on the Maple Leafs, appearing in the 1993 and 1994 games.