Jack McIlhargey
JackmcIlhargey.jpg
Position Defence
Shot Left
Height
Weight
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
200 lb (91 kg)
Teams Philadelphia Flyers
Vancouver Canucks
Hartford Whalers
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born (1952-03-07)March 7, 1952,
Edmonton, AB, CAN
Died July 19 2020 (aged 68),
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Pro Career 1972 – 1982


John Cecil McIlhargey (March 7, 1952 - July 19, 2020) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who played eight seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL). He played for the Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, and Hartford Whalers from 1974 until 1982. After his playing career, he worked for both the Canucks and Flyers in coaching roles, and also served as a scout for the Canucks for one season.

Playing career[edit | edit source]

McIlhargey was born on March 7, 1952 in Edmonton, Alberta.[1] McIlhargey's playing career spanned eight years on defence, beginning when he turned pro with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1974. He became a Canuck on January 20, 1977 when he was traded to Vancouver with Larry Goodenough in exchange for Bob Dailey. He appeared in 167 games for the Canucks (1977–80) before being dealt back to Philadelphia for cash on January 2, 1980. He finished his NHL career for the Hartford Whalers after he was traded there with Norm Barnes on November 21, 1980 for Hartford's second round choice in the 1982 Entry Draft. He played in 393 career NHL games recording 11 goals, 36 assists and 1102 penalty minutes. He retired following the 1981–82 season.[2]

Post-playing career[edit | edit source]

After retiring as a player, McIlhargey was a member of the Vancouver Canucks organization from 1984 to 2007, serving mostly as an assistant coach with the NHL team but also as a head coach of their top minor-league affiliates in Milwaukee, Hamilton and Syracuse from 1991 to 1999.[3]

Originally hired by the club as a special assistant to general manager Harry Neale in 1984, McIlhargey was responsible for establishing the Canucks Alumni Association and a number of scouting assignments. He moved into coaching that November after the firing of head coach Bill LaForge and spent the next seven years as an assistant coach to Neale, Tom Watt, Bob McCammon and Pat Quinn.[4]

In 1988, the Canucks sent McIlhargey and their 21-year-old goaltender prospect Troy Gamble to the Soviet Union to support a relationship that would later result in Soviet stars Igor Larionov and Vladimir Krutov joining the Canucks. While Gamble endured four weeks of rigorous off-season training with Dynamo Moscow and Spartak, McIlhargey got to socialize with legendary Soviet coach Anatoli Tarasov.[5] Three years later, McIlhargey was placed in charge of Vancouver's minor league affiliate in Milwaukee, where he spent the 1991–92 season. He remained as head coach of Vancouver's farm teams as they moved to Hamilton for the 1992–93 and 1993–94 seasons, then finally to Syracuse from 1994 to 1999, where he was that AHL franchise's first head coach.[6][7]

McIlhargey was voted one of the 30 All-Time Greatest Canucks in 1999.[6] On June 22, 2006, he was fired by new head coach Alain Vigneault from his assistant coach position with the Canucks.[8] It was later announced that McIlhargey would be working as a pro scout for the Vancouver Canucks.[9] He worked in that capacity for one season, before moving to the Flyers as an assistant coach in 2007.[3] After two seasons, he was dismissed on December 4, 2009, along with John Stevens.[10] McIlhargey was subsequently inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.[11]

McIlhargey died on July 19, 2020, at his home on Capitol Hill, Burnaby. He was 68 and had suffered from cancer in the years leading up to his death.[4][12]

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1970–71 New Westminster Royals BCJHL
1971–72 Victoria Cougars WCHL 24 1 1 2 137
1971–72 Flin Flon Bombers WCHL 33 1 4 5 142 7 0 1 1 39
1972–73 Jersey Devils EHL 72 2 7 9 229
1972–73 Richmond Robins AHL 9 0 1 1 4 4 0 0 0 7
1973–74 Des Moines Capitols IHL 16 1 2 3 52
1973–74 Richmond Robins AHL 54 2 10 12 163 5 0 0 0 12
1974–75 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 2 0 0 0 11
1974–75 Richmond Robins AHL 72 4 3 7 316 7 0 3 3 45
1975–76 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 57 1 2 3 205 15 0 3 3 41
1975–76 Richmond Robins AHL 4 0 0 0 17
1976–77 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 40 2 1 3 164
1976–77 Vancouver Canucks NHL 21 1 7 8 61
1977–78 Vancouver Canucks NHL 69 3 5 8 172
1978–79 Vancouver Canucks NHL 53 2 4 6 129 3 0 0 0 2
1979–80 Vancouver Canucks NHL 24 0 2 2 41
1979–80 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 26 0 4 4 95 9 0 0 0 25
1980–81 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 3 0 0 0 22
1980–81 Maine Mariners AHL 3 0 1 1 7 16 6 1 7 62
1980–81 Hartford Whalers NHL 48 1 6 7 142
1981–82 Hartford Whalers NHL 50 1 5 6 60
NHL totals 393 11 36 47 1102 27 0 3 3 68

Source:[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Jack McIlhargey Stats and News (en-US).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jack McIlhargey Stats. Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved on July 20, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Former Canucks player, coach Jack McIlhargey dies at 68", CBC News, July 20, 2020. Retrieved on July 20, 2020. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Douglas, Greg. "In memoriam: Jack McIlhargey", Vancouver Canucks, July 20, 2020. Retrieved on July 20, 2020. 
  5. Pinchevsky, Tal (April 6, 2014). Trip by two Canucks lifted curtain to Russia. Sunday Long Read. NHL. Retrieved on April 7, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Alumni Signing: Jack McIlhargey", Vancouver Canucks, December 13, 2010. Retrieved on July 20, 2020. 
  7. Kramer, Lindsay. "Jack McIlhargey, first coach of Syracuse Crunch, dies at 68: ‘He was one of us right away'", July 20, 2020. Retrieved on July 20, 2020. 
  8. "Canucks can 2 assistants", CBC News, June 24, 2006. Retrieved on July 20, 2020. 
  9. Kuzma, Ben. "McIlhargey Flyers the coop", June 12, 2007. Retrieved on July 20, 2020. 
  10. "Slumping Flyers fire Stevens, hire Laviolette", Sportsnet, July 16, 2020. Retrieved on July 20, 2020. 
  11. Jack McIlhargey. BC Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved on July 20, 2020.
  12. Former Canucks defenceman Jack McIlhargey passes away at age 68. Sportsnet.ca (July 20, 2020). Retrieved on July 20, 2020.

External links[edit | edit source]

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