goodbye to goaling

Colin Kilburn never ended up playing an NHL game but in 1949 he did attend the Montreal Canadiens’ training camp as a 21-year-old, where (when he wasn’t on the ice) he posed with a Montreal traffic policeman. Kilburn was a high-scoring left winger at this time for the Edmonton Flyers of the Western Canada Senior Hockey League, winners of the 1948 Allan Cup. He went on to play in the WHL as a Victoria Cougar, a Vancouver Canuck, and a Spokane Comet. He coached in Spokane, too, as a playing assistant for the Comets and, in the 1960s, as the full-time boss of the bench for the Spokane Jets Western International League. Born in Wilkie, Saskatchewan, he grew up in Edmonton, where he started his hockey career as a 9-year-old goaltender. A 1995 obituary by Dan Weaver in Spokane’s Spokesman-Review told how he departed the net for a more advanced position:

He was a 15-year-old goalkeeper in junior hockey with players up to 20 years of age when he remembered 13 goals being “fired past me in two periods.

“I went in and threw off the goalie pads,” he said in a 1966 interview. “I went back out and had two goals and an assist in the third period. I never played goalie again.”

(Photo: Editorial Associates)