Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Gilles Villemure
In the late 1950s, young Gilles Villemure was wrapping up his junior days with the Guelph Biltmores with the anticipation of turning pro. The problem was that the hopeful netminder was coming of age in an era when the six NHL clubs that comprised the league carried only one goaltender. Patience had to be the key to his career as he launched himself into a lengthy stay in the minors.

Over the decade that followed, he put in three brief appearances with the New York Rangers -- only as a fill-in when the club's starting netminder was injured. Otherwise, he spent his time backstopping his way across the continent with stops in Charlottetown, New York, Vancouver, Baltimore, and Buffalo.

It wasn't until 1970-71 that the New York Rangers decided to adopt a two-goalie system to take some pressure off of their starter, Eddie Giacomin. As such, Villemure and Giacomin rotated their way through the season with some outstanding play. Villemure was especially effective as the duo won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top netminders.

During his time as a Ranger, he established a cool, standup style and ability to play the angles with confidence. In all, he played five solid seasons with the Blueshirts before injuries began to take their toll on his performance.

In 1975, he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks who were already very well armed with Tony Esposito. As a result, Villemure was cast as a distant backup who saw little action. By 1976, he decided that it was time to hang up his pads.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP W L T SO Avg GP W L T SO Avg
1958-59 Trois-Rivieres Reds QJHL
1958-59 Troy Bruins IHL 3 1 2 0 0 6.00
1959-60 Guelph Biltmores OHA-Jr. 35 1 3.66 5 1 3.80
1960-61 New York Rovers EHL 51 16 34 1 1 4.37
1961-62 Long Island Ducks EHL 65 25 39 1 3 3.72
1961-62 Charlotte Checkers EHL 1 0 1 0 0 7.00
1961-62 Johnstown Jets EHL 1 1 0 0 0 2.00
1962-63 Vancouver Canucks WHL 70 35 31 4 5 3.26 7 3 4 0 1 3.78
1963-64 Baltimore Clippers AHL 66 31 33 2 3 2.91
1963-64 New York Rangers NHL 5 0 2 3 0 3.60
1964-65 Vancouver Canucks WHL 60 27 26 6 2 3.46 5 1 4 0 0 3.30
1965-66 Vancouver Canucks WHL 69 32 34 3 5 3.20 7 3 4 0 0 3.86
1966-67 Baltimore Clippers AHL 70 34 27 9 4 3.42 9 4 5 0 0 4.11
1967-68 New York Rangers NHL 4 1 2 0 1 2.40
1967-68 Buffalo Bisons AHL 37 18 13 6 3 2.47 5 1 3 0 0 3.64
1968-69 New York Rangers NHL 4 2 1 1 0 2.25 1 0 1 0 4.00
1968-69 Buffalo Bisons AHL 62 36 12 14 6 2.42 6 2 4 0 1 3.17
1969-70 Buffalo Bisons AHL 65 8 2.52 14 11 3 0 1 2.13
1970-71 New York Rangers NHL 34 22 8 4 4 2.30 2 0 1 0 4.50
1971-72 New York Rangers NHL 37 24 7 4 3 2.09 6 4 2 0 2.33
1972-73 New York Rangers NHL 34 20 12 2 3 2.29 2 0 1 0 1.97
1973-74 New York Rangers NHL 21 7 7 3 0 3.53 1 0 0 0 0.00
1974-75 New York Rangers NHL 45 22 14 6 2 3.16 2 1 0 0 3.83
1975-76 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 15 2 7 5 0 4.29
1976-77 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 6 0 4 1 0 5.38
NHL Totals 205 100 64 29 13 2.80 14 5 5 0 2.92


WHL Second All-Star Team (1963)
Rookie of the Year Award - WHL (1963)
WHL First All-Star Team (1966)
AHL Second All-Star Team (1967)
AHL First All-Star Team (1969, 1970)
Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award (fewest goals against - AHL) (1969, 1970)
Les Cunningham Award (MVP - AHL) (1969, 1970)
Vezina Trophy (1971) (shared with Ed Giacomin) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1971, 1972, 1973)
Loaned to Charlotte (EHL) by Long Island (EHL) as emergency injury replacement, Januray 30, 1962. Loaned to Johnstown (EHL) by Long Island (EHL) as emergency injury replacement, Januray 31, 1962. Promoted to NY Rangers from Baltimore (AHL) to replace injured Jacques Plante, November 20, 1963. (Boston 1, NY Rangers 1).
Played 22 seconds in playoff game vs. Philadelphia, April 23, 1974. Traded to Chicago by NY Rangers for Doug Jarrett, October 28, 1975.
Surname(s) beginning with