Sunday, February 13, 2011

Former NHL Referee Lloyd Gilmour

I recently learnt with a measure of sadness of the passing, this past August, of former NHL Referee Lloyd Gilmour. Mr. Gilmour has a permanent place in both, the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame and the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame. Below is the tribute as it appears on BC Hockey Hall of Fame:

"Referee Lloyd Gilmour saw a lot of changes during his almost two decades as an NHL official, in fact he played a direct role in a few of those changes. Born in Vancouver in 1928, Gilmour first dreamed about making it to the NHL as a player. His decision to become a referee came about by accident, literally. He was injured in a logging accident in the early 1950s, when he was a 19-year-old player in the New York Rangers' organization. Those injuries prevented him from pursuing a career as a player."

Gilmore started as a referee in the National Hockey League in the early 1960s. At that time the NHL was a six-team league, but growth was right around the corner. During his career Gilmour saw the league expand from the original six to eighteen teams. During his 19-year NHL career, Lloyd Gilmour was instrumental in development of protection for players involved in fights including promoting of the 'third man in' rule.

One of the highlights of Lloyd’s career was the now-infamous 1976 exhibition game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Moscow Red Army team from the Soviet Union. After a hard but clean hit on Moscow star Valeri Kharlamov, with the game still scoreless, the Soviets left the ice for 15 minutes to protest the Gilmour non call. To add insult to the injury, Gilmore in response gave the Red Army a two minute penalty for delay of game. I believe that Lloyd was involved in the discussion, along with NHL President Clarence Campbell and Flyers owner Ed Snider, where the basic message to the Soviets was ‘finish the game or you do not get paid for the series.’ Gilmour's calls stood, the Red Army team returned to the ice, and the Flyers went on score on the power play and win the game 4-1.

At the time of his death Lloyd Gilmore was a resident of Nanaimo, British Columbia.


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