3. Doug Gilmour – 2011 Induction
There are so many Hall of Fame players with fleeting time with the New Jersey Devils. Dave Andreychuk, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Viacheslav Fetisov were fleeting and unfortunate, but the one that still makes little sense to this day is Doug Gilmour. Lou Lamoriello is known for trying to make a Hall of Famer work.
One of the few players who was allowed to wear a number higher than Martin Brodeur’s 30, Gilmour’s time in New Jersey was beyond forgettable. His number (93) is the only thing that stands out in red and black. His Wikipedia is more than 6,000 words long. It spends 43 words on his time with the Devils.
At the time of the trade, the Devils were desperate for scoring. Bobby Holik was their top scorer. Gilmour, even on a terrible Maple Leafs team, had 13 more points than Holik. He was good for the rest of that season, putting up 22 points in 20 games. However, he went goalless in 10 playoff games. The next season, he was average during the regular season but insane in the Devils playoff series against the Ottawa Senators. He tried to drag them to the second round by himself, scoring five goals in six games.
Unfortunately, a first-round exit is never going to stick out, no matter how heroic the performance. He signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in the offseason, trying to provide a star presence on a rebuilding team.