Gilles Villemure
Position Goaltender
5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
170 lb (77 kg)
Teams WHL
Vancouver Canucks
Baltimore Clippers
Buffalo Bisons
New York Rangers
Chicago Black Hawks
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born May 30 1940 (1940-05-30) (age 79),
Trois Rivieres, QC
Pro Career 1963 – 1977

Gilles Villemure (born May 30, 1940, in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada) is a retired Canadian professional goaltender. He played for the New York Rangers and Chicago Black Hawks in the 1960s and 1970's.

Playing careerEdit

After a season in the junior leagues with the Guelph Biltmores of the OHA, Gilles Villemure had a lengthy ten-year apprenticeship in the minor leagues, principally with the Vancouver Canucks of the WHL, and the Baltimore Clippers and Buffalo Bisons of the AHL. He was a star in the minors, but despite being signed by the Rangers in 1964, he only saw spot duty in New York during the Sixties. However, 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.

Rangers' management took notice, and the 1970–71 season saw Villemure recalled for good as the backup to Eddie Giacomin, to form the most devastating goaltending tandem in the NHL in the early Seventies. 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 was named to play 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 in 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 offseason. He backed up Tony Esposito his two remaining years, only appearing in 21 games in all and playing poorly, retiring after the 1976–77 season.

In total, Villemure appeared in 205 NHL games, notching 100 wins, 13 shutouts and a 2.81 career goals against average.


  • Shared the Vezina Trophy in 1971 with Ed Giacomin.
  • Named to play in the NHL All-Star Game in 1971, 1972 and 1973.
  • Won the AHL Hap Holmes Memorial Award (fewest goals against) and named First Team All-Star in 1969 and 1970.
  • Won the AHL's Les Cunningham Award for most valuable player in 1969 and 1970.
  • Won Rookie of the Year honors and named Second Team All-Star in the WHL in 1963.
  • Named to the WHL's First All-Star Team in 1966.
  • Named to the AHL's Second All-Star Team in 1967.

External linksEdit

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

Succeeded by
Tony Esposito
and Gary Smith

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