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A Killer Coach?

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs
“Let’s see,” said Doug Gilmour.


“I started with Jacques Demers and then Jacques Martin in St. Louis.

Then Terry Crisp and Doug Riseborough in Calgary, Tom Watt and then Pat Burns in Toronto. There was Lindy Ruff in Buffalo and Dirk Graham in Chicago, Jacques Lemaire  in New Jersey, Michel Therien and Claude Julien in Montreal and  Pat Quinn in Toronto.”

Over 22 NHL seasons and nearly 1,500 games, Gilmour has toiled for an even dozen administrations. Now, with an announcement that he is joining the staff of the AHL Toronto Marlies, comes word that Gilmour will work the other end of the bench.

Gilmour was an assistant coach for Canada at the 2007 Spengler Cup. Contrasting that with two years spent in a player development position with the Maple Leafs allowed Gilmour to refine his search for a suitable place within the game.

“Coaching was something I found I had a lot more passion for,” he said. Gilmour will have been retired five years in September. He has worked in the mortgage and housing businesses.

“I had done some different things,” he said. “I knew if I was going to stay in the hockey business, this was the kind of experience I would need.”

The opening on the Marlies staff was created when Jim Hughes left the club over the summer.

Gilmour never played a day in the minor leagues but scoffed at the idea that riding the iron lung, the minor leaguer’s nickname for the team bus,  would be a downside.

“I’m looking forward to every part of it. I’m not worried about that at all. This is my chance to experience what Gibby and the other assistants are experiencing and learn from them. I watched the Marlies last year and I’m looking forward to helping out, giving advice and listening.”

Gilmour laughed when asked if he learned more about what to do or what not to do from all the coaches he played for.

“Both,” he said.

There is one Leafs date Gilmour figures to be available for. The former Leafs’ captain, whose 127 points in 1992-93 remains a club record, will have his banner raised Jan. 31 at Air Canada Centre.
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