Gilmour to Come Back to Toronto?

With Steve Thomas signing with the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, things could get very interesting in Toronto. When the Buffalo Sabres were eliminated from the playoffs earlier this year, Doug Gilmour announced his retirement. Then, 2 days later, said that he had reconsidered, and that he wanted to play another year in the NHL. …But only with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Doug said that he would even take a pay cut if it meant he could finish his career in the blue-and-white, but the Leafs head brass were reluctant to comment. “We have not considered, or have any interest in signing him [Gilmour] at this time,” said the Leafs assistant to the president Bill Watters one month ago when asked to comment on Gilmour’s announcement….But can Watters be trusted?

If you recall, earlier this month, when the free agent market just opened, Mr. Watters was asked by reporters if he was going to pursue a defenseman to fill the void left by Danny Markov’s departure, to which Watters sourly responded, “what do you want me to do? We just got Reichel, Green, Renberg, Pilar, and Mills. Listen, we are going with our playoff defense in Dave Manson. I know this is a tough town, but this is ridiculous. Dave played 73 games for us last season, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.” The next day, Watters announced that the Leafs had signed defenseman Anders Eriksson.

Gilmour would be an excellent fit in Toronto. He’s a great leader (and the Leafs will need leadership now that winger Steve Thomas has left), and one of the most beloved Leafs of all time. Plus, at one point or another Doug has played with some of the players on the Leafs roster: He played with Sundin and Domi back when he was captain in Toronto, he played with Gary Roberts in Calgary, and he also played with Dave Manson and Brian McCabe in Chicago.

This said however, the Leafs may decide that they have enough leadership in the dressing room with players like Shayne Corson, and Gary Roberts, and opt to bring up some of their young talent to fill Thomas’ spot. Should the Leafs

choose to take this road, Alyn McCauley, Jeff Farkas, Alexei Ponikarovski, and Don MacLean are the more likely names not to be on the St. John’s roster next year.

At this point, this is mostly speculation, but a lot can happen by training camp this fall.


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