Douglas Robert Gilmour (born June 25, 1963 in Kingston, Ontario) is a retired professional ice hockey player and current assistant coach for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. During his NHL career, he played for the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens. Gilmour won a Stanley Cup with the Flames, and the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward while with the Maple Leafs.
During his first three seasons with the Blues, Gilmour was a consistent defensive presence who averaged 50 points. In the 1986 playoffs, he broke out and scored 21 points in 19 games, as the Blues lost in the Conference finals. Just prior to the 1988-89 season, Gilmour was traded to the Calgary Flames along with Mark Hunter, Steve Bozek, and Michael Dark for Mike Bullard, Craig Coxe and Tim Cokery. The Blues traded Gilmour after he was named in a civil suit alleging sexual improprieties with a teenaged babysitter. Gilmour denied that the incident occurred, and a grand jury did not find enough evidence to indict him. The Blues didn't admit publicly that the pending lawsuit against Gilmour was a reason for the trade, but Gilmour was convinced it was the reason: "I didn't want to leave St. Louis but from what has happened the past week, on our part and on the St. Louis Blues' part, it was our best solution."
Toronto fans did not need to wait long for the Gilmour acquisition to pay off, as the feisty forward scored a franchise-record 127 points during the 1992-1993 regular season. In the playoffs, he played a key role as the Leafs took out the powerhouse Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues, both in seven games. Gilmour finished the postseason with 35 points, behind only Wayne Gretzky. 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 latter who would also become famous with the Leafs years later. 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 Conference series against Los Angeles 3-2 and many fans, including CBC's Don Cherry, were hoping for an all-Canadian final as the Montreal Canadiens already advanced. However, during overtime of game six, Gretzky high-sticked Gilmour, drawing blood, without being assessed a penalty by the referee, Kerry Fraser, and then scored the winning goal moments later to stave off elimination. During game seven back at Maple Leaf Gardens, the Leafs were trailing 5-3 after Gretzky completed his hat-trick. Gilmour's team would score one goal but couldn't find the equalizer, which sent the Kings to the finals.
Gilmour finished the 1993-1994 season fourth overall in regular season scoring with 111 points, just one behind third place finisher Adam Oates. Gilmour made his second consecutive trip to the NHL All-Star game and finished as runner-up for the Selke Trophy. In the playoffs, he led his Leafs to the Western Conference Finals (formerly Clarence Campbell conference), although they fell to the Vancouver Canucks in five games. The Leafs were the only team in the NHL to reach back-to-back conference finals over the 1992-1993 and 1993-1994 seasons. Over the course of the 1992-1993 season and the 1993-1994 season, only Oates scored more points than Gilmour.
When the Leafs traded captain and fan favourite Wendel Clark to the Quebec Nordiques in 1994-1995, Gilmour was named team captain. Throughout his six years as a Leaf, he was one of the most popular players on the team and in the league. He was a fan and media darling, as the spokesman for the NHLPA in community and charity events, and he also appeared in a series of memorable "Got Milk?" TV commercials, one which also featured his wife. However when Clark returned in a subsequent trade, Gilmour refused to return the coveted captain's "C", which hurt his popularity somewhat.
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 of 2000, Gilmour was traded to the Buffalo Sabres. He made an immediate impact with the struggling team, which had been Stanley Cup finalists the past season, helping them to make the playoffs. However, he was felled by stomach flu and only played in five playoff games. In 2000-2001, injuries limited Gilmour's regular season stats but he had a strong playoff performance as the rejuvenated Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, although they were upset by the Pittsburgh Penguins in a tough second-round series.
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 a sixth round selection) so that he could finish his career in Toronto. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury in the second period of 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 John Ferguson Jr. declined to re-sign him.
Gilmour had 450 goals and 964 assists in 1474 games in his NHL career. He remains eligible for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
On September 15, 2006 the Maple leafs announced that Doug Gilmour would become their player development advisor. On August 7, 2008 the Maple Leafs announced that Gilmour would become an assistant coach for the Leafs farm team the Toronto Marlies.
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