Esso Hockey since 1936Legends Of Hockey
Esso Hockey since 1936
Gilmour, Doug

Gilmour, Doug

Douglas Robert Gilmour was born June 25, 1963 in Kingston, Ontario, and through a heralded career of twenty NHL seasons, proved to be a determined and productive forward worthy of induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

When Doug joined the Cornwall Royals of the Ontario Hockey League, he was a solid defensive forward who could also score, although his size was considered a major stumbling block in the eyes of most NHL scouts. In 1980-81, his first year with the Royals, Gilmour was 5'9" and 150 pounds. Although he would gain a couple of inches in his three years in Cornwall, he didn't add many extra pounds. What did add up in the OHL were his offensive numbers. After an early injury curtailed his effectiveness in Cornwall's 1981 Memorial Cup championship, he returned to score 46 goals and 119 points in 1981-82.

Cornwall repeated as Memorial Cup champions and Gilmour, who had been passed over in his first year of draft eligibility, was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the seventh round, 134th overall. He was returned to junior hockey by the Blues for the 1982-83 season and set the OHL on fire with 70 goals and 177 points, capturing the Eddie Powers Trophy as the OHL's leading scorer. He set a record with a 55 consecutive games scoring streak and was named the league's most valuable player.

Still, Gilmour's size worried management in St. Louis and he almost began his professional career in Germany when he couldn't reach a deal with the Blues. St. Louis finally signed him and he joined the team two weeks before the 1983-84 season. Gilmour found himself near the bottom of the team's depth chart at centre, but a depleted roster allowed him to play on the fourth line as a defensive specialist and he returned to his checking ways. The Blues' captain at the time, Brian Sutter, nicknamed Gilmour 'Killer' for his intensity.

After three full seasons hovering around 50 points, Gilmour began to play a more open game and during the 1986 playoffs, he had 21 points in 19 games when the Blues came within a game of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final. The next season, 1986-87, he finished the regular schedule with a career-high 42 goals and 105 points and was selected to represent Team Canada at the 1987 Canada Cup. He scored two important goals in the series against the Soviet Union and was instrumental in Canada's victory at the tournament.

After another solid season in St. Louis, Gilmour was traded to the Calgary Flames at the beginning of the 1988-89 campaign. In Calgary, Gilmour continued his strong play in the playoffs, adding 22 points in 22 games as the Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989. Gilmour scored the series-winning goal in Game Six of the Final against Montreal. Halfway through the 1991-92 season, Gilmour became increasingly disenchanted with his salary with the Flames and an arbitrator's decision that saw his salary increase less than he expected. He decided to leave the team, but only a few hours later he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a blockbuster deal involving 10 players; the largest trade in league history.

Gilmour played his best hockey with the Leafs. He was a pesky defensive forward who seemed fearless in his checking. Offensively, he was the focal point of an improving team, setting a franchise record with 127 points in his first full season with Toronto in 1992-93. He became only the second Leaf after Darryl Sittler to register over a hundred points in a season and also led the team to within a game of the Stanley Cup Final, placing second in playoff scoring and leading the league with 25 assists. Gilmour placed second to Mario Lemieux in the race for the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player but won the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward, a remarkable achievement for a player with such offensive numbers.

Gilmour had 111 points the next season, earning his second consecutive spot in the All-Star Game. He once again led the Leafs to the semi-finals in the playoffs. Gilmour was named the team captain in 1994-95 before the lockout-shortened season and remained a popular player in Toronto even as the team began to struggle. When the Leafs went into rebuilding mode midway through the 1996-97 season, Gilmour was sent to the New Jersey Devils. He spent one full season with the defence-oriented Devils and was signed as a free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 1998. In the spring of 2000, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres, where his productivity began to wane and he contemplated retirement. Gilmour then signed on as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens in October 2001 and went on to play parts of two seasons with the Habs before he was dealt back to Toronto at the trading deadline in 2003.

In his first game back with the Leafs, Gilmour injured his knee in an innocent collision which ended his season. He officially announced his retirement on September 8, 2003 after Toronto Maple Leaf General Manager John Ferguson Jr. declined to re-sign him. Over the course of his distinguished playing career, Gilmour registered 1414 points on the strength of 450 goals and 964 assists in 1,474 regular season games. He added 188 points (60 goals and 128 assists) in 182 playoff games.

On January 31, 2009, Gilmour became the seventeenth player to be honoured by the Toronto Maple Leafs when his
number 93 was raised to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre. In 2011, Doug Gilmour was selected for Induction to the
Hockey Hall of Fame.

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