Gilmour trade recalled

Doug Gilmour for Joe Warminton/Lindsay Ward. (Mark O'Neill/QMI AGENCY)

Doug Gilmour for Joe Warminton/Lindsay Ward. (Mark O'Neill/QMI AGENCY)

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

No Calgary Flames fan was interested in celebrating this anniversary.

That's because it marked an ugly trade made by the Flames Jan. 2, 1992.

Doug Gilmour was brought to Toronto 18 years ago, and a few Maple Leafs veterans who grew up rooting for the boys in blue remember the winning side of what Flames fans recall as the most lopsided trade in club history.

"I remember when I was younger, I asked my brother when he was first in the league -- that was when he was playing for Detroit and he played Toronto a lot -- who he thinks is the best player in the NHL," said current Leafs centre Wayne Primeau of his brother Keith.

"He said Doug Gilmour."

Easily the prize of the 10-player swap orchestrated by former Flames GM Cliff Fletcher and his successor Doug Risebrough, Gilmour helped turn around the Leafs franchise's fortunes and guided them the next season to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semifinal series only to lose to Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings in the spring of 1993.

"That was a great team --they came very close," said Primeau, an Ontario native who played for the Whitby Flyers at the time of the trade.

Gilmour went on to captain the Leafs and break club records.

Gary Leeman, the most significant player acquired by the Flames in the deal, played just 59 games over two seasons, scoring just 11 goals and 23 points.

He was no Gilmour.

"His impact is legendary," said Leafs winger and Toronto native Jamal Mayers of Gilmour. "I certainly followed him once he got there. It seemed like his career blossomed when he got to Toronto."

Both Leafs veterans do their best to emulate the 5-foot-10 Gilmour's spirit.

"Not just his skill level but the work ethic he had," Primeau added. "Game-in and game-out, he was a little guy just competing hard."

**From Remote** Doug Gilmour for Joe Warminton/Lindsay Ward?(Mark O'Neill/Toronto Sun) Original Filename was _MG_2129.jpg Processed: Sunday, November 15, 2009 8:18:10 PM

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