June 22nd, 2024

Gilmour to headline Hurricanes Celebrity Sports Dinner

By Lethbridge Herald on January 26, 2023.

Justin Seward – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – sports@lethbridgeherald.com

Former NHLer Doug Gilmour is headlining the Lethbridge Hurricanes 16th annual Celebrity Sports Dinner on Saturday.

Gilmour was drafted seventh round at 134th overall in the 1982 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues.

He carved out a 20-year NHL career, where he skated in 1,474 games with seven different teams including the Blues, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens.

Gilmour amassed 1,414 points (450G, 964A) and 1,301 penalty minutes, he won the Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989 and won the Frank J. Selke for the top defensive forward in the 1992-1993 season.

“Yeah it’s pretty much the same as when I wrote a book,” said Gilmour, in response to themes at events he attends.

“I never really wanted to do a book and then after my parents passed on, I said, ‘You know what I wish I would have done a book when they were around to have more input into it.’ And just kind of the journey that got me to where they gave (me) the opportunity to play, and where I come from and I guess as kind of stepping stones through your minor hockey to your pro hockey.”

Gilmour released Killer: My Life in Hockey in 2017.

Gilmour thought it was pretty standard when it comes to the Q&A period at events he attends.

“You know, back in the Toronto days, obviously it was the 1993 playoffs, and I’m sure someone is going to bring up the missed call with (NHL referee) Kerry Fraser,” said Gilmour.

“I can explain all that as well and my thoughts on it. But people ask you too, how I got traded out of Calgary, and kind of the steps that I took to make it happen. So I knew I was going to be traded, I just didn’t know where. So I kind of really tried to fast forward that and get somewhere and join a new team.”

The missed call referred to the Los Angeles Kings’ Wayne Gretzky high sticking Gilmour in Game 6 of the 1993 Campbell Conference Final and Fraser not calling it. Gretzky later scored the gamer winner in overtime and the Kings went on to win the series in seven games.

After his playing career, Gilmour spent some time in the Maple Leafs organization from 2006-2008, before becoming coach of the Kingston Frontenacs in November 2008.

He then spent some time as general manager and president of the team from 2008-2019, before stepping down and becoming an ambassador for the Maple Leafs.

“It’s one of those things, that I did my time in junior and now I’m just kind of an ambassador and I stay on the outside,” said Gilmour.

“But we do a lot of charity stuff together and when I retired after 20 years of playing — so I retired at 40 — and I probably didn’t get back with Leafs for about four to five years because I just needed a break mentally, physically (and from) the travel (and) everything else that went into it. And plus. I had young boys at the time that started their minor hockey and kind of moved on with them to do that and then as they got to the teenage years, that’s when I got back into hockey full time.”

When asked about his playing days, Gilmour said it was a war.

“You know I always go back to say Chicago Blackhawks,” recalled Gilmour.

“So I’m a small centreman. I’ve got to play against (Chris) Chelios whose going to run me every shift, you have Steve Smith whose going to take your head off, (Bryan) Marchment’s going to take your knees out, Dave Manson’s going to take your head off. So this is what you’ve got to prepare mentally for.”

 Gilmour had some words of advice for those players who are trying to chase their dream of maybe someday making the big leagues.

“Yeah, I guess everything’s kind of got to fall into place,” said Gilmour.

“You have to have work ethic the whole time, you have to have focus, you can’t do it without your teammates as well. So there’s a lot of things that go into it to get to that next level and again I saw it first hand when I was back in the juniors for eight years, and saw how some kids come in and they play well (and) maybe it’s a first rounder or a second rounder.”

Gilmour used the example of drafting now Dallas Star Jason Robertson in the fifth round when he was in his first year as Frontenacs general manager.

“He came in and found a way to make the team and he just improved,” said Gilmour.

“He worked hard. You know he got himself into great shape and look at the success that he is having now. He wasn’t a top three round pick. He was a fifth rounder and he found a way to make it.”

 The Celebrity Sports Dinner is on Jan. 28 at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge beginning at 6 p.m. with cocktails and the programming following at 7 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 403-328-1986.

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