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Doug Gilmour  

After a stellar junior career with the Cornwall Royals, Doug Gilmour began his professional career with the St. Louis Blues in 1983.

After a stellar junior career with the Cornwall Royals, Doug Gilmour began his professional career with the St. Louis Blues in 1983. (He was drafted in the seventh round, 134th overall by St. Louis in 1982.) After being hastily traded to Calgary from St. Louis after the 1987-88 season, amidst allegations of impropriety with his children's 14 year old baby sitter (the trade allegedly being part of an out-of-court settlement), and with Gilmour's wife agreeing to lift her no trade clause; Gilmour went on to win a Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989.

Several months after the Toronto Maple Leafs hired Cliff Fletcher to be their new general manager, Fletcher made a blockbuster trade with Calgary (where he had previously been general manager) in February 1992. He acquired "Killer" (a nickname given to Gilmour by Brian Sutter, then a St. Louis teammate, because of the fierce look in his eyes and a resemblance to Charles Manson when Gilmour sported a mullet) as well as a number of other players that would help revive the moribund Leafs franchise.

Toronto fans did not need to wait long for the Gilmour acquisition to pay off, as the feisty forward was a key player during the 1993 playoffs. The Leafs took out the powerhouse Detroit Red Wings in the first best-of-seven series, and went on to play the Blues in the second round. 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 Maple Leafs would go on to win the series, but would eventually be eliminated in the next round by Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. Toronto was leading the series against Los Angeles 3-2. However, during overtime of game six, Gretzky high-sticked Gilmour without being assessed a penalty by the referee, Kerry Fraser, and then scored the winning goal moments later. The Los Angeles Kings thus won the game, and subsequently, the series.

When the Leafs traded captain and fan favourite Wendel Clark to the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, Gilmour was named team captain. After six years as a Leaf during which he was a fan and media darling, Gilmour was traded by Fletcher to the New Jersey Devils in 1997. 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, 2000 Gilmour was again traded to the Buffalo Sabres. Gilmour, a well travelled 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 in the second round.

Rumours floated around the hockey world that Gilmour was considering retirement. To the delight of Maple Leaf fans, the NHL trade deadline of 2003 brought good news: the Canadiens traded Gilmour to the Maple Leafs (for future considerations) so that he could finish his career in Toronto. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury in his first game back on March 13 against the Calgary Flames, and never played again. He officially announced his retirement on September 8, 2003 after the Maple Leafs declined to re-sign him.

Gilmour had 450 goals and 964 assists in 1474 games in his NHL career.


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