Gilles Villemure

Gilles Villemure
Gilles Villemure 1976.JPG
Villemure in 1976
Born (1940-05-30) May 30, 1940 (age 78)
Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Right
Played for WHL
Vancouver Canucks
AHL
Baltimore Clippers
Buffalo Bisons
NHL
New York Rangers
Chicago Black Hawks
Playing career 1963–1977

Joseph Hector Gilles Villemure (born May 30, 1940) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey goaltender. He played for the New York Rangers and Chicago Black Hawks in the 1960s and 1970s. Villemure was born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec.

Playing career[]

Villemure played a season in the junior leagues with the Guelph Biltmores of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). He then spent ten years in the minor leagues, principally with the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Baltimore Clippers and the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League (AHL). He was a star in the minors; in each of his final two seasons in the AHL, 1968-69 and 1969-70, he won the Les Cunningham Award with the Bisons as the league's most valuable player, leading all goaltenders in the playoffs the second year to backstop the Bisons to the Calder Cup in their final season. During his minor league career, he led his league in goals against average three times and in shutouts five times. During this time he was called up on several brief occasions by the New York Rangers, with whom he had signed in 1964.

The 1970–71 season saw Villemure called to the NHL for good as the Rangers' backup to Eddie Giacomin. Over the next three seasons, Villemure recorded a sparkling 66–27–10 mark, with ten shutouts and a goals-against average never higher than 2.30, and shared the Vezina Trophy with Giacomin in 1971. He played in the NHL All-Star Game all three seasons, allowing only a single goal and recording the lowest career GAA of any All-Star Game goaltender. The Rangers were a powerhouse at that time, reaching the Stanley Cup finals in 1972.

By the 1974–75 season, with both goaltenders aging, Villemure had become the number one goaltender in New York, but had only modest success, and was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks in the off-season. He backed up Tony Esposito and appeared in only 21 games in two years, and he retired after the 1976–77 season.

During the off-season, Villemure was a professional harness racehorse driver. He now resides in Levittown, New York.

Awards and honors[]

Villemure 1963 trading card

Career statistics[]

Regular season and playoffs[]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1958–59 Trois-Rivières Reds QJHL
1958–59 Troy Bruins IHL 3 1 2 0 180 18 0 6.00
1959–60 Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters OHA-Jr. 35 1980 128 1 3.66 5 300 19 1 3.80
1960–61 New York Rovers EHL 51 16 34 1 3060 223 1 4.37
1961–62 Long Island Ducks EHL 65 25 39 1 3900 242 3 3.72
1961–62 Charlotte Checkers EHL 1 0 1 0 60 7 0 7.00
1961–62 Johnstown Jets EHL 1 1 0 0 60 2 0 2.00
1962–63 Vancouver Canucks WHL 70 35 31 4 4200 228 5 3.26 7 3 4 429 27 1 3.78
1963–64 Baltimore Clippers AHL 66 31 33 2 3960 192 3 2.91
1963–64 New York Rangers NHL 5 0 2 3 300 18 0 3.60 .899
1964–65 Vancouver Canucks WHL 60 27 26 6 3676 212 2 3.46 5 1 4 309 17 0 3.30
1965–66 Vancouver Canucks WHL 69 32 34 3 4178 223 5 3.20 7 3 4 420 27 0 3.86
1966–67 Baltimore Clippers AHL 70 34 27 9 4180 238 4 3.42 9 4 5 569 39 0 4.11
1967–68 New York Rangers NHL 4 1 2 0 200 8 1 2.40 .934
1967–68 Buffalo Bisons AHL 37 18 13 6 2160 89 3 2.47 5 1 3 247 15 0 3.64
1968–69 New York Rangers NHL 4 2 1 1 240 9 0 2.25 .921 1 0 1 60 4 0 4.00 .882
1968–69 Buffalo Bisons AHL 62 36 12 14 3674 148 6 2.42 6 2 4 360 19 1 3.17
1969–70 Buffalo Bisons AHL 65 3714 156 8 2.52 14 11 3 875 31 1 2.13
1970–71 New York Rangers NHL 34 22 8 4 2039 78 4 2.30 .919 2 0 1 80 6 0 4.50 .829
1971–72 New York Rangers NHL 37 24 7 4 2129 74 3 2.09 .913 6 4 2 360 14 0 2.33 .919
1972–73 New York Rangers NHL 34 20 12 2 2040 78 3 2.29 .910 2 0 1 61 2 0 1.67 .935
1973–74 New York Rangers NHL 21 7 7 3 1054 62 0 3.53 .880 1 0 0 1 0 0 0.00 .000
1974–75 New York Rangers NHL 45 22 14 6 2470 130 2 3.16 .888 2 1 0 94 6 0 3.83 .854
1975–76 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 15 2 7 5 797 57 0 4.29 .859
1976–77 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 6 0 4 1 312 28 0 5.38 .843
WHL totals 199 98 91 13 12,504 663 12 3.18 19 7 12 1158 71 1 3.68
AHL totals 300 17,688 823 24 2.79 34 18 15 2051 104 2 3.04
NHL totals 205 100 64 29 11,581 542 13 2.81 .899 14 5 5 656 32 0 2.93 .898

"Villemure's stats". The Goaltender Home Page. Retrieved 2017-08-07. 

External links[]

Preceded by
Tony Esposito
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Eddie Giacomin

1971
Succeeded by
Tony Esposito
and Gary Smith