Doug Gilmour - Honored

The Toronto Maple Leafs paid tribute to one of the most beloved players in franchise history Saturday night, raising former captain Doug Gilmour's No. 93 jersey to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre.

Doug Gilmour HonoredFormer Toronto Maple Leaf captain Doug Gilmour salutes the crowd at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)
The ceremony took place prior to the Leafs' home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After watching his banner raised, Gilmour dropped the puck in a ceremonial faceoff between Toronto forward Nik Antropv and Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby.

In a short but emotional speech, Gilmour, flanked by his family and parents, thanked several people, including former Toronto coach Pat Burns and former Leafs general manager (and current team executive) Cliff Fletcher, the man who brought Gilmour to Toronto in a 10-player trade with the Calgary Flames in 1992.

"I want to say thank you to the fans. You guys cheered us each and every night. You inspired our hockey club to make us that much better. … I love you, God bless you all, thank you," Gilmour told the crowd.

During a stoppage in play late in the second period, a special video montage honouring Gilmour played on the scoreboard before the former Leafs captain and Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry were introduced to the crowd.

Gilmour, 45, is the 17th player to have his jersey raised to the rafters by the Maple Leafs. Other notable players who have been honoured include Johnny Bower (1), Red Kelly (4), King Clancy (7), Tim Horton (7), George Armstrong (10), Wendel Clark (17), Borje Salming (21), and Darryl Sittler (27).

Only two numbers, Bill Barilko's No. 5 and Ace Bailey's No. 6, are officially retired and out of circulation.

A seventh-round pick (134th overall) of the St. Louis Blues in the 1982 NHL draft, Gilmour is perhaps best known for his time with the Leafs from 1991-97 when he twice helped the club reach the conference finals (1993 and 1994) of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Gilmour, who earned the nickname "Killer" for his relentlessness and intensity on the ice, compiled 452 points in 392 games with the Maple Leafs.

He established Maple Leafs records for career playoff points (77) and assists (60) in just 52 games, set the team's single season records for points (127) and assists (95) in 1992-93, and collected a club-record six assists in one regular-season game.

Gilmour, from Kingston, Ont., retired with 450 goals and 1,414 points with 1,299 penalty minutes in 1,474 games over 23 NHL seasons with St. Louis, Calgary Flames, Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens.

He won a Stanley Cup with the Flames (in 1989), and the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward while with the Maple Leafs (in 1993).

Gilmour retired in September 2003 after his second tenure in Toronto was cut short by injury.

He currently serves as the coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs.

Playing career:

Junior hockey

Gilmour started playing junior hockey for the Cornwall Royals of the OHL in the 1980–81 season. He spent three seasons with the team, helping the team two 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, but 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 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 MVP. During the season he set a league record with a 55 game scoring streak.

Professional career

St. Louis

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, and he became a defensive specialist. Teammate Brian Sutter nicknamed him "Killer" because of his intensity on the ice, and name 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: "I didn't want to leave St. Louis but from what has happened the past week, on our part and on the St. Louis Blues' part, it was our best solution."


Gilmour was hastily traded to the Calgary Flames from St. Louis after the 1987–88 season. 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.


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 feisty 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 1992–93 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 playoffs 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.

In the Conference Finals, Gilmour's team met Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. During Game One, Gilmour was levelled by a hard hit from the Kings' Marty McSorley, and Leafs captain Wendel Clark pummeled McSorley with several blows. 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 which ignited the '100th Stanley Cup Controversy'. 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 1993–94 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 1992–93 and 1993–94 seasons. Over the course of the 1992–93 and 1993–94 seasons, only Oates scored more points than Gilmour.

When the Leafs traded captain and fan favourite Wendel Clark to the Quebec Nordiques in the off-season of 1994, 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 darling, 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.

Later career

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 2000–01, 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. Notably before a playoff game, Gilmour also taped a message to Habs fans not to boo the US national anthem.

Rumours floated around the hockey world that Gilmour was considering retirement. To the delight of Maple Leaf fans, the 2003 NHL trade deadline brought good news: the Canadiens traded Gilmour to the Maple Leafs for a sixth round draft pick so that he could finish his career in Toronto. However, in his first game back with the Leafs, Gilmour and Flame Dave Lowry accidentally collided on Gilmour's second shift, resulting in Gilmour breaking his leg. He missed the remainder of the season and 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 in 2009.

On September 15, 2006 the Maple leafs announced that 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 OHL.

On January 31, 2009 Gilmour's number 93 was honored by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Gilmour became the seventeenth player to be honored by the Maple Leafs.

Awards and achievements

* 1982–83: OHL - Red Tilson Trophy (Most Outstanding Player)
* 1982–83: OHL - Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Leading Scorer)
* 1982–83: OHL - First All-Star Team
* 1988–89: NHL - Won Stanley Cup championship with the Calgary Flames
* 1992–93: NHL - Nominated for Hart Trophy (League MVP)
* 1992–93: NHL - Frank J. Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward)
* 1992–93: NHL - Played in All-Star Game
* 1993–94: NHL - Played in All-Star Game
* 2006–07: FCHL - Had division named in his honour


* 1992–93: NHL - Most points in one season (127), Toronto club record
* 1992–93: NHL - Most assists in one season (95), Toronto club record
* 1992–93: NHL - Most assists in one game (6), Toronto club record
* 1988–89: NHL - Two fastest shorthanded goals (scored 4 seconds apart) NHL record
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