Long-time NHL referee Lloyd Gilmour, who officiated the famous game between the Philadelphia Flyers
and the Soviet Red Army team in 1976, died last Wednesday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 82.
"At last he's at peace," his son, Richard, told the Nanaimo (B.C.) Daily News. "He would have been 83 on Thursday."
Born in Cumberland, B.C., Gilmour is best known for the game in which the Red Army team left the ice after Philadelphia defenseman Ed Van Impe
crushed a Soviet player with a clean body check. Gilmour refused to penalize the Flyers and then gave the Soviets a delay-of-game penalty when they continued to complain and wouldn't line up for the faceoff. They were off ice for 15 minutes and had to be convinced to return.
Gilmour also was the referee for Game 3 of the 1975 Stanley Cup Final between the Flyers and the Buffalo Sabres
where the heat and humidity at Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium created so much fog coming off of the ice the game almost could not be completed.
Gilmour had hoped to make the NHL as a player and was a prospect in the New York Rangers
' organization before a logging injury at age 19 ended his career. He turned to officiating and spent 19 years as an NHL official before retiring in 1976 -- one year after Sports Illustrated appraised Gilmour's performance by saying: "The 42-year-old Gilmour is the NHL's best official because he is virtually an invisible man on the ice."
After he retired, he and his wife, Trudy, moved to Nanaimo, where he opened a restaurant.