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WARMINGTON: Doug Gilmour adds to ‘Killer’ assists total – news today

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Getting to 1,000 assists is a “Killer” statistic two decades in the making for Maple Leafs legend Doug Gilmour.

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The Hockey Hall of Famer finally did it — with some symbolic help from today’s NHL all-stars including Connor McDavid.

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On his X account, No. 93 posted his career regular season stats of 450 goals and 964 assists — with a special circle around the assists.

“Adding to this total soon! Tune into the (NHL All-Star Skills competition) for something special,” teased the former Maple Leafs captain before taking the ice at the NHL all-star game festivities Friday night at the Scotiabank Arena.

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If not for having his knee blown out in the first period of his return to the Blue and White in 2003, the team’s record holder for most points in a season (127) and in a playoff run (35) would have nailed that coveted grand of helpers a long time ago.

But Friday he finally got his chance. And there he was out there along with PWHL Toronto stars Sarah Nurse and Blayre Turnbull, and fellow Leafs alumni Steve Thomas, passing the puck to today’s stars.

When the dust settled, McDavid won the million dollars. But a bonus on the evening’s festivities was Gilmour finally being able to post to get to that 1,000 assists.

“Had a blast out there,” said Gilmour on X, adding “just wanted to hit 1,000 career assists!”

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I loved this because it reminded me of all the fun I had covering Gilmour back in the day. Some of it was fun like the time after the NHL lockout ended and I found the Leafs captain at a restaurant eating a plate of spaghetti while getting ready to start the season. I remember the Sun’s front page so well. “Let’s Go” was the headline.

The Toronto Sun's front page on Jan. 12, 1995, after the NHL lockout ended. Maple Leafs captain Doug Gilmour lost no time in finding some of his favourite food.
The Toronto Sun’s front page on Jan. 12, 1995, after the NHL lockout ended. Maple Leafs captain Doug Gilmour lost no time in finding some of his favourite food. Photo by Files /Toronto Sun

But it was not as much fun the day he came back from Calgary at Pearson on crutches after that unfortunate hit that in essence sent him into retirement. He vowed to me he’d come back to play for the Leafs again.

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Well, here we are 21 years later and there Gilmour was on the ice in his iconic Leafs sweater fulfilling his promise.

So many great things have gone on this all-star weekend and congrats to today’s superstars on all teams including Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Morgan Rielly.

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They represented the team well. But for me it was amazing to see Gilmour out there again.

Maple Leafs forward Doug Gilmour skates in the warmup in Calgary on March 13, 2003, after he was acquired in a trade from the Canadiens. Gilmour would play less than five minutes against the Flames before leaving with an injury, his final game in the NHL.
Maple Leafs forward Doug Gilmour skates in the warmup in Calgary on March 13, 2003, after he was acquired in a trade from the Canadiens. Gilmour would play less than five minutes against the Flames before leaving with an injury, his final game in the NHL. Photo by AL CHAREST / CALGARY SUN / FILES /POSTMEDIA NETWORK

But here’s a little trivia for you that I think even Gilmour forgot. You already have more than 1,000 NHL assists, Doug. And more than 500 goals, too.

If you add Gilmour’s 128 playoff assists and 60 playoff goals, you are well over both milestones.

Certainly a lot of people would kill for those statistics.

jwarmington@postmedia.com

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