Brian Kilrea

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Brian Kilrea
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2003
Born (1934-10-21) October 21, 1934 (age 79)
Ottawa, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 182 lb (83 kg; 13 st 0 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Played for Troy Bruins (IHL)
Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Edmonton Flyers (WHL)
Springfield Indians (AHL)
Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Springfield Kings (AHL)
Rochester Americans (AHL)
Tulsa Oilers (CHL)
Vancouver Canucks (WHL)
Denver Spurs (WHL)
Playing career 1955–1970

Brian Blair "Killer" Kilrea (born October 21, 1934 in Ottawa, Ontario) is a retired ice hockey head coach, general manager, and player. He is most notable for his 35 year association with the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. Kilrea is an esteemed member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builders' category.1

Playing career

Kilrea played his first major junior season with the Hamilton Tiger Cubs in 1954–55. In his playing career he played only 26 NHL games, although he had great success in the minor leagues. Kilrea spent four seasons with the Troy Bruins of the IHL, where he was named a second team All-Star in 1958–1959. Most of Kilrea's career was spent with the AHL's Springfield Indians, where he was a multiple All-Star and the franchise's career leader in assists. He has been named to the Springfield Hockey Hall of Fame. Kilrea played under Eddie Shore and credits Shore with teaching him many things that he took into his coaching career.2

Kilrea returned to the NHL, briefly, with expansion in 1967. Kilrea has the distinction of scoring the first-ever goal for the NHL Los Angeles Kings. It was during his time with the team's AHL franchise, however, that the roots for what would become the National Hockey League Players Association would arise, as a direct result of the efforts of Kilrea and Alan Eagleson, then the agent for Bobby Orr.2

Coaching career

After ending his playing career, Kilrea started coaching minor hockey in Ottawa. He first made a name for himself when his Ottawa West Midget AA team defeated a touring Soviet squad, the only loss by the Soviets on their tour. This caught the attention of the owners of the OHL major junior Ottawa 67's and they soon offered him a coaching job, replacing Leo Boivin. He began coaching the at the start of the 1974–75 season. He would continue coaching the 67's until 1984, when he became an assistant coach with the defending Stanley Cup champions, New York Islanders of the NHL. However, after two seasons, he would return to coaching the 67's. Head coach of the Sarnia Sting, Dave McQueen played for Kilrea and says that Kilrea had his players over to his house at Christmas but when you were in his 'dog house' it was often tough to get out.2

Except for a brief retirement for the 1994–95 season, Kilrea coached the 67's until the end of the 2008–09 season, and is also the General Manager of the club. He has won the Memorial Cup, emblematic of Canada's major junior championship, twice with the 67's (1984 and 1999) and is the winningest coach in junior hockey history – a task completed on January 17, 1997 with his 742nd win. On February 2, 2007, Brian Kilrea coached his 2000th game as head coach of the 67's.

Kilrea has also won the Matt Leyden Trophy as OHL Coach of the Year in 1980–81, 1981–82, 1995–96, 1996–97 and 2002–03. Kilrea was also honoured with the Bill Long Award in 1994, for distinguished service to the OHL.

In 2003, Brian Kilrea was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders category. The Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award, given annually to the top coach in the Canadian Hockey League, was renamed in his honour shortly after his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Kilrea won the award in 1996–97 when it was known as the CHL Coach of the Year Award.

In twenty-nine seasons with the 67's he has only had six losing seasons – an extraordinary task in junior hockey, which due to age restrictions has a high turnover rate of players.

On September 3, 2008, Kilrea announced that 2008–09 would be his final season as coach of the 67's, though he plans to continue serving as general manager of the club.3

On March 15, 2009, Ottawa beat the Kingston Frontenacs 5–3 to give Kilrea a win in his final regular season game, giving him 1,193 wins all-time.

Personal

Kilrea is a nephew of former NHL players Wally, Ken, and Hec Kilrea.

Kilrea suffered a heart attack on August 12, 2012, and subsequently underwent triple bypass surgery.4

Career statistics

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1954–55 Hamilton Tiger Cubs OHA 49 27 25 52 0
1955–56 Troy Bruins IHL 60 16 36 52 22
1956–57 Troy Bruins IHL 60 9 35 44 46
1957–58 Edmonton Flyers WHL 3 0 0 0 0
1957–58 Detroit Red Wings NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1958–59 Troy Bruins IHL 54 33 60 93 44
1959–60 Springfield Indians AHL 63 14 27 41 26 8 0 1 1 4
1960–61 Springfield Indians AHL 70 20 67 87 47 8 1 5 6 2
1961–62 Springfield Indians AHL 70 20 73 93 28 2 0 1 1 0
1962–63 Springfield Indians AHL 72 25 50 75 34
1963–64 Springfield Indians AHL 72 22 61 83 28
1964–65 Springfield Indians AHL 72 23 54 77 18
1965–66 Springfield Indians AHL 70 13 47 60 14 6 3 1 4 0
1966–67 Springfield Indians AHL 63 25 38 63 29
1967–68 Los Angeles Kings NHL 25 3 5 8 12
1967–68 Springfield Kings AHL 38 7 25 32 14 4 0 3 3 0
1968–69 Vancouver Canucks WHL 1 0 1 1 0
1968–69 Tulsa Oilers CHL 24 11 25 36 12 4 0 1 1 0
1968–69 Rochester Americans AHL 33 2 11 13 4
1969–70 Denver Spurs WHL 32 5 14 19 8
NHL totals 26 3 5 8 12

Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish Result
OTT 1974–75 70 33 30 7 - 73 4th in OMJHL Lost in first round
OTT 1975–76 66 34 23 9 - 77 2nd in Leyden Lost in third round
OTT 1976–77 66 38 23 5 - 81 1st in Leyden Won J. Ross Robertson Cup
OTT 1977–78 68 43 18 7 - 93 1st in Leyden Lost in third round
OTT 1978–79 68 30 38 0 - 60 4th in Leyden Lost in first round
OTT 1979–80 68 45 20 3 - 93 2nd in Leyden Lost in third round
OTT 1980–81 68 45 20 3 - 93 2nd in Leyden Lost in second round
OTT 1981–82 68 47 19 2 - 96 1st in Leyden Lost OHL Finals
OTT 1982–83 70 46 21 3 - 95 1st in Leyden Lost in third round
OTT 1983–84 70 50 18 2 - 102 1st in Leyden Won Memorial Cup
OTT 1986–87 66 33 28 5 - 71 3rd in Leyden Lost in Second round
OTT 1987–88 66 38 26 2 - 78 2nd in Leyden Lost in third round
OTT 1988–89 66 30 32 4 - 64 5th in Leyden Lost in second round
OTT 1989–90 66 38 26 2 - 78 4th in Leyden Lost in first round
OTT 1990–91 66 39 25 2 - 80 4th in Leyden Lost in second round
OTT 1991–92 66 32 30 4 - 68 6th in Leyden Lost in second round
OTT 1992–93 66 16 42 8 - 40 8th in Leyden Missed playoffs
OTT 1993–94 66 33 22 11 - 77 2nd in Leyden Lost in third round
OTT 1995–96 66 39 22 5 - 83 1st in East Lost in second round
OTT 1996–97 66 49 11 6 - 104 1st in East Lost OHL Finals
OTT 1997–98 66 40 17 9 - 89 1st in East Lost OHL Finals
OTT 1998–99 68 48 13 7 - 103 1st in East Lost in second round/ Won Memorial Cup
OTT 1999–2000 68 43 20 4 1 91 1st in East Lost in second round
OTT 2000–01 68 33 21 10 4 80 2nd in East Won J. Ross Robertson Cup
OTT 2001–02 68 36 20 10 2 84 2nd in East Lost in second round
OTT 2002–03 68 44 14 7 3 98 1st in East Lost OHL Finals
OTT 2003–04 68 29 26 9 4 71 1st in East Lost in first round
OTT 2004–05 68 34 26 7 1 76 2nd in East Lost OHL Finals
OTT 2005–06 68 29 31 - 8 66 4th in East Lost in first round
OTT 2006–07 68 30 34 - 4 64 4th in East Lost in first round
OTT 2007–08 68 29 34 - 5 63 3rd in East Lost in first round
OTT 2008–09 68 40 21 - 7 87 2nd in East Lost in first round
OHL totals 1974–2009 2156 1193 771 153 39 2578
Preceded by
Leo Boivin
Head Coaches of the Ottawa 67's
1974–1984
Succeeded by
Cliff Stewart
Preceded by
Bob Ellett
Head Coaches of the Ottawa 67's
1986–1994
Succeeded by
Peter Lee
Preceded by
Peter Lee
Head Coaches of the Ottawa 67's
1995–2009
Succeeded by
Chris Byrne

Personal

He is an honorary member of the Rideau View Country Club, a golf club located in Manotick, Ontario.

References

External links








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