Hockey Gods



Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on September 28th, 2016

Gordon Arthur Drillon - Born October 23, 1913 in Moncton, New Brunswick – Died September 23, 1986 in Saint John, New Brunswick was a Canadian professional Ice Hockey player.

Drillon played only seven seasons in the NHL, six of those with Toronto and one with the Montreal Canadiens. A winger noted for his deadly accurate shot, he created a specific style of play that made him a leading scorer. Drillon's strong frame made it difficult for opposing defencemen to clear him from the front of the net. Drillon's style of Hockey was to park himself in front of the net and tip shots and swat at rebounds, and not worry about back-checking. "I spent ten years playing in the slot before anyone invented a name for it," he said later. This style of play would earn him a league scoring title in the 1937–38 season. Future stars such as Phil Esposito, Dino Ciccarelli and Dave Andreychuk emulated his innovative style with great success.

Drillon was a first team all-star in 1938 and 1939, a second team all-star in 1942, and NHL scoring leader and Lady Byng Trophy winner in 1938. He played in the 1939 Babe Siebert Memorial Game and won a Stanley Cup with Toronto in 1941-42 when the Leafs made their legendary comeback against Detroit. Toronto was down three games to none in that best-of-seven final and Drillon was benched after the third game. The Leafs went on to win four games in a row to capture the Stanley Cup, the first and only time a team has rallied from 3-0 down to win the Cup. Although newspapermen and reporters wrote that he was bitter about being benched, Drillon told a different story. "I don't mind talking about it," he said. "Hap Day just told me that my style of Hockey was not the same as the rest of the team, and we needed this to beat Detroit. And he was right. I was going bad at the time, no doubt about it."

Traded to the Montreal Canadiens for the 1943 season he finished second on the team in goals scored. At season's end, Drillon cut short his Hockey career and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving for the remainder of World War II.

Drillon played some Hockey while in the service and returned to eastern Canada after the war to play senior Hockey.

His playing days gave way to coaching and, he worked as a hockey coach in Grand Falls-Windsor Newfoundland in 1948/49 season and returned to his native New Brunswick where he was employed as a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs, covering the Maritime provinces.

Gord Drillon was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.


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