In the lead up to the release of his book “Killer: My Life in Hockey” later this month, Toronto Maple Leafs legend Doug Gilmour has revealed some inside stories from his day’s in the NHL. One passage in particular, where he breaks down his reasoning for rejecting a blockbuster trade to the Vancouver Canucks, has created quite a buzz amongst the teams’ fanbases.
Check it out, in Killer’s words himself:
I told Cliff Fletcher I wanted to play for a team that really wanted me. One with good management and good coaches, and a chance to win the Stanley Cup. I also told him I wanted to play somewhere in the States, but close to Toronto.
The Canucks’ general manager, Pat Quinn—Cliff ’s old friend—was considering sending young prospect Markus Naslund to Toronto for me. At the time, he was only 23 years old and was really just coming into his own, in only his fourth season in the league.
I told Cliff I didn’t want to go to Vancouver. It wasn’t because of the team, but because of the distance from southern Ontario and the long flights. It was just too far from away where I needed to be in my life.
Wooed… could you imagine Doug Gilmour as a Vancouver Canuck? Even stranger, could you imagine Markus Naslund as a Toronto Maple Leaf? While obviously the deal never happened - Gilmour has shipped to the New Jersey Devils shortly after - it’s always interesting to hear these “behind the scenes” tales.