On Feb. 25, 1997, with Toronto rebuilding, Gilmour was traded to the New Jersey Devils. These days he admits being concerned about the toll the injuries might eventually take on his body. Yet he refuses to change his style. In New Jersey, Gilmour dyed his graying hair black and sprung for a new set of teeth. He altered little else. "He'd get in his self-destruction mode, and the whole bench would get a lift," says New Jersey coach Robbie Ftorek, who was the team's assistant coach in '97-98. Late last season he missed five weeks following arthroscopic surgery to remove loose cartilage, but Gilmour led the Devils with five goals and two assists in six playoff games.
The Blackhawks say they have felt Gilmour's presence from the first day of camp. Although his teeth gleamed and were perfectly aligned, his teammates were still calling him Killer. "For his sake I'd like to say he won't get too beaten up this season," says Chicago coach Dirk Graham. "But I know he will. He's Doug Gilmour."