My post this week was originally supposed to be about the NHL Draft until Tuesday when I learned that JESUS LORD DOUG GILMOUR IS GOING TO THE HOCKEY HALL OF FAME!!!
You’re damn right that deserves to be written in all caps. Doug Gilmour is one of the biggest reasons I became a Leafs fan, although I admit that even when I was still hanging on to my childhood affection for the Canadiens, I already had a crush on Killer. What sane girl didn’t? And for that matter, what sane guy? Because there is no platonic man love like the love of a Leafs fan for Dougie Gilmour. Just ask Don Cherry once you get past the jump.
The Kingston, ON native was drafted 134th overall in the 1982 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues. But it was in Calgary that Gilmour made his mark, scoring a couple of timely Game 6 goals to help the Flames win the Stanley Cup in 1989 against the Montreal Canadiens (ingrained in my brain forever: the image of the legendary Lanny McDonald shaving his playoff beard).
Then it was off to Toronto in the notorious 10-player deal/hosing of Doug Risebrough by Cliff Fletcher in 1992. These were glorious years for Leafs Nation, when the team was a force to be reckoned with in the postseason. Of course, you will recall that they came thisclose to reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 1993 and might have made it had it not been for this infamous non-call by Kerry Fraser:
To this day, raise Gretzky’s name to Mr. Bee and he will have nothing good to say about The Great One because of that very moment.
Sadly (literally, it was the only hockey trade that ever made me cry), Gilmour was traded to the Devils in 1997 for Steve Sullivan, Alyn MaCauley and Jason Smith. The Leafs would eventually get him back for two more tours of duty between stints in Chicago, Buffalo and Montreal. But his third time as a Leaf was short-lived: during his second shift in his first game back in 2003, he ran into Calgary Flame Dave Lowry and tore his ACL. It was an abrupt and unfortunate end to a great career.
Gilmour scored 450 goals and more than 960 assists over the course of his 20 year career. His most productive years were with the Leafs, notably the 1992-93 season in which he scored 127 points. Other notable seasons include hitting the 40 goal plateau with St. Louis in 1986-87, and of course, his performance in his only Stanley Cup winning postseason with the Calgary Flames (11 goals, 11 assists).
While he did end up being somewhat of an NHL journeyman as his career declined, Dougie will always be regarded as a Leaf, and specifically, the Leaf with the best hair (for the time).