Shawn Thornton – I don’t have any (Stanley Cup memories) because I was a Leafs fan and they never got close. I have a memory of Wayne Gretzky clipping Dougie Gilmour (in 1993) and there was no penalty call and then he scored. That was the one that I remember and it isn’t a great one.
Whether it was a penalty or not, I was a young kid and I got caught in the Toronto media trap and I was bitching just like everybody else. I haven’t seen the game since then so I don’t even know it was a penalty or not. I think I went to the Skydome to watch that game with my folks and there was a big crowd there and everybody was up in arms. Obviously I couldn’t get tickets to Maple Leaf Gardens because they cost too much (money).
For 40 years Leafs fans have waited for their own parade and only have come close, maybe once, in all that time. It is impossible to remember Gilmour without remembering 1993. He scored 127 points in the regular season, another 35 through three playoff rounds, and came up a game short of advancing to the Stanley Cup final. He had already won a Cup in Calgary in 1989, but this was Toronto. "My team," he calls it.
"If someone were to tell you, you could play Game 7 at home and all you had to do was win it to get to the Stanley Cup final, wouldn't you take that?" Gilmour said. "I would. We had it and then Wayne Gretzky played one of the greatest games of his life and took it away from us."
But there still is that part of Gilmour, ever the competitor, who holds on to the notion the Leafs were ever so slightly robbed. In Game 6, the bane of every Leafs fans' existence, Gilmour face to face with Gretzky atop the faceoff circle, was cut as Gretzky's follow through of his stick went into Gilmour's forehead. Gilmour clearly was cut and bleeding: The expression on Gretzky's face was that of fear. "Should have been five and a game misconduct," Gilmour said. "But Kerry Fraser didn't see it. I've always understood that. What I didn't understand was the linesmen. They had the ability to make the call. They had to have seen it, even if Fraser didn't? That's the only regret I have of that call. Somebody else should have said something -- and if that happens, who knows what's next?"