Esso Hockey since 1936
Legends Of Hockey
Esso Hockey since 1936
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Biography

Gord Drillon had a short but spectacular career in the National Hockey League playing mainly with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was a first team all-star in 1938 and 1939, a second team all-star in 1942, and NHL scoring leader and Lady Byng Trophy winner in 1938. He played in the 1939 Babe Siebert Memorial Game and won a Stanley Cup with Toronto in 1941-42 when the Leafs made their legendary comeback against Detroit.

Toronto was down three games to none in that best-of-seven final and Drillon was benched after the third game. The Leafs went on to win four games in a row to capture the Stanley Cup, the first and only time a team has rallied from 3-0 down to win the Cup. Although newspapermen and reporters wrote that he was bitter about being benched, Drillon told a different story. "I don't mind talking about it," he said. "Hap Day just told me that my style of hockey was not the same as the rest of the team, and we needed this to beat Detroit. And he was right. I was going bad at the time, no doubt about it."

Drillon's style of hockey was to park himself in front of the net and tip shots and swat at rebounds, and not worry about back-checking. "I spent ten years playing in the slot before anyone invented a name for it," he said later.

Hall of Fame goaltender and teammate Turk Broda knew of Drillon's goal-scoring abilities firsthand during Leaf practices. "I don't think there's a player in hockey who can shoot the puck more accurately," Broda once said. "Even if you leave him an opening the size of the puck, he'll hit it every time."

Accurate or not, the Leafs had had enough of Drillon's one-way style and sold him to Montreal prior to the 1942-43 season for $30,000. After one season with Montreal in which he scored at a point-per-game pace Drillon, at age 29, joined the war effort. He had played his last game in the NHL.

He played some hockey while in the service and returned to eastern Canada after the war to play senior hockey. His playing days gave way to coaching and, in turn, to scouting. He was welcomed back into the Maple Leaf family as their Maritime scout in the late 1960's, and recommended Errol Thompson to the Leafs brass.

Gord Drillon was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.

Career Statistics
REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1926-27 Edith Cavell School MSBL 5 4 0 4
1927-28 Victoria Street School MSBL 5 1 1 2
1928-29 Moncton Aberdeens High-NB 2 0 0 0 0
1929-30 Moncton Chalmers Club SNBJL 6 8 4 12 2
1930-31 Moncton Athletics MJHL 6 15 4 19
1930-31 Moncton Aberdeens High-NB 3 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
1930-31 Moncton Athletics M-Cup 2 3 2 5 0
1931-32 Moncton Wheelers MJHL 6 6 4 10 3 5 1 6 5
1932-33 Moncton Hawks MJHL 4 13 3 16 0 2 2 1 3 4
1932-33 Moncton Swift's MCIHL 7 11 3 14 6 13 4 17
1933-34 Toronto Young Rangers OHA-Jr. 11 20 13 33 4 2 5 3 8 4
1933-34 Toronto CCM TMHL 2 0 1 1 0
1933-34 Toronto Young Rangers M-Cup 2 0 0 0 16
1934-35 Toronto Lions OHA-Jr. 11 17 9 26 2 5 2 1 3 6
1934-35 Toronto Dominions OHA-Sr. 11 12 6 18 2 3 2 1 3 4
1935-36 Pittsburgh Yellowjackets EAHL 40 22 12 34 4 8 3 2 5 0
1936-37 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 41 16 17 33 2 2 0 0 0 0
1936-37 Syracuse Stars IAHL 7 2 3 5 2
1937-38 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 48 26 26 52 4 7 7 1 8 2
1938-39 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 40 18 16 34 15 10 7 6 13 4
1939-40 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 43 21 19 40 13 10 3 1 4 0
1940-41 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 42 23 21 44 2 7 3 2 5 2
1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 48 23 18 41 6 9 2 3 5 2
1942-43 Montreal Canadiens NHL 49 28 22 50 14 5 4 2 6 0
1943-44 Toronto Army Daggers OHA-Sr. 1 1 1 2 0
1944-45 Dartmouth RCAF NSDHL 1 0 1 1 0
1944-45 Valleyfield Braves QPHL 8 11 4 15 0 11 8 6 14 2
1944-45 Valleyfield Braves Al-Cup 3 0 0 0 0
1945-46 Halifax RCAF NSDHL 3 7 8 15 4
1946-47 Charlottetown Legion NSSHL 4 10 8 18 16 11 41 12 53 4
1947-48 North Sydney Victorias NSSHL 2 0 1 1 0
1948-49 Grand Falls All-Stars Nfld-Sr.
1948-49 Maritime All-Stars Exhib. 2 11 7 18 2
1949-50 Saint John Beavers NBSHL 49 48 24 72 40 11 1 4 5 12
1950-51 Moncton Hawks MMHL
NHL Totals 311 155 139 294 56 50 26 15 41 10
Esso hockey medals of achievement