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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

GORD DRILLON

Inducted in 1989

Member Details

Date of Birth: October 23, 1913
Place of Birth: Moncton, New Brunswick
Date of Passing: September 23, 1986
Sport: Ice Hockey
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1941-42

Stanley Cup - Toronto Maple Leafs

1950

retired as NHL's top playoff goal getter

Honoured Member GORD DRILLON
Inspire

Story

Despite playing just 311 NHL games over only seven full seasons, Drillon's was a lasting impact on the game and his play was such that he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975. He developed his skills in New Brunswick but moved to Toronto in 1933 at which time Conn Smythe learned of his talents. Drillon played in the minors for the Leafs, and early in the 1936-37 season he was called up to take the spot of the injured Charlie Conacher. Drillon played so well he never returned to Syracuse. Playing with Syl Apps and Bob Davidson, the line quickly became known as the DAD line (for the first letters of their last names), and Drillon proved to be a scoring star. In just his second year he led the league in goals with 26 and points with 52, but just as important was how he scored. Drillon was the first player to master the art of the deflection, positioning himself near the goal and tipping in shots past a surprised goalie who had committed to making the original save. He averaged more than 20 goals a year during his time in the NHL, making him one of the most consistent scorers of his day. Ironically, his finest and worst moments collided in the playoffs in 1942 when he was part of his only Stanley Cup team. The Leafs lost the first three games of the series to Detroit, and coach Hap Day benched Drillon and several other veterans in favour of youngsters. The Leafs staged the greatest comeback in hockey history, but Drillon was in the gondola watching. He was sold to Montreal that summer and scored a career high 28 goals in '42-'43, his last in the league, playing on a line with Ray Getliffe and Buddy O'Connor. He spent several more seasons playing outside the NHL before retiring for good in 1950. Drillon finished with 26 career playoff goals, an NHL record that stood for four years until Maurice Richard eclipsed that number.


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