Doug Gilmour’s non-stop stories highlight Rock fundraiser

Doug Gilmour was full of stories during his appearance at the third-annual NHL celebrity dinner fundraiser Monday night, hosted by the Timmins Rock at the Porcupine Dante Club.

Doug Gilmour had the crowd standing, laughing, cheering – whatever he wanted – from the moment he stood in front of them holding a microphone.

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Then he told them the milk commercial story.

“This is really good,” Gilmour said. “This is embarrassing as hell.”

Gilmour’s famed mid-90s milk commercials included some details most people don’t know: During the shoot, he had to wear a Speedo, get his legs shaved and have cow-print makeup painted on. That made for some awkward conversations with people passing by the set – perhaps catching more of a glimpse of the hockey star than they bargained for.

“I’ve got cow legs, a Speedo and no shirt on and people are coming up and saying, ‘Hi, are you Doug Gilmour?’ And I look at them,” he said, while covering himself, “and say, ‘Hi, how are you?’”

Cedric Leclair, left, Kathleen Danis, bottom middle, and Pat Labranche, right, pose with hockey legend Doug Gilmour during the meet-and-greet portion of Monday’s NHL celebrity dinner fundraiser at the Porcupine Dante Club.

Gilmour was full of stories during his appearance at the third-annual NHL celebrity dinner fundraiser Monday night, hosted by the Timmins Rock at the Porcupine Dante Club. TSN broadcaster Rod Black, who recently covered the Raptors’ historic run to an NBA championship, was there as a guest speaker/moderator as well.

For a $75 ticket, attendees consumed a four-course meal and ate up a 40-minute Q-and-A between Gilmour and Black.

Gilmour, a Hockey Hall of Fame member from Kingston, talked about his humble start as an undersized seventh-round pick, dished about the current Leafs — “Hopefully we get (Mitch) Marner signed real soon before somebody sends him an offer sheet” — and shared a story about the time he waited for Darius Kasparaitis in the parking lot after a game in Buffalo.

He also explained how his nickname, “Killer,” came from former Blues captain Brain Sutter, who Gilmour roomed with during his five years in St. Louis.

“(Sutter) called me Charlie, because again I was 5-10, 150 pounds, a mullet – I looked like Charlie Manson,” Gilmour said.

Before addressing his adoring fans, Gilmour signed autographs, shook hands and took photos with everyone who wanted to approach. He signed jerseys, hats, books, photos, sticks and even a Leafs-themed model car.

Mike Jean, the owner of the car, said he’d add it to his growing collection of model cars signed by former Leafs. But whose signature did he still covet the most?

“I already got them,” Jean said. “(Wendel) Clark and Gilmour. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Jean’s friend, Randy Demers, was another one of the several Leafs diehards in the room Monday night. Demers has a blue Maple Leaf inked on the left side of his chest with a No. 14 in it for his idol, Dave Keon. He was ecstatic to meet Gilmour.

“To have a guy like that, a hall of famer come to our community and help out the Rock, it’s great,” Demers said.

The Rock did receive help through this event, to the tune of more than $9,000 raised for its general operating budget. Most of the funds came from the silent and live auction items, including signed photos and jerseys of current and former NHLers. The event’s top-earning prize, however, was a package that included two Raptors tickets and a Raptors warmup shirt autographed by Serge Ibaka, which sold for $2,000.

The time spent with Gilmour, on the other hand, was priceless. With his salt-and-pepper hair, a plain T-shirt and checkered pants, Gilmour looked and spoke like an everyman who just happened to be a member of hockey’s elite.

Leafs super fans Mike Jean, Randy Demers and Ryan Jean show off their newly-signed Doug Gilmour memorabilia at Monday night’s NHL celebrity dinner fundraiser hosted by the Timmins Rock at the Porcupine Dante Club.

His final story was the tale of how he almost turned pro in Germany until St. Louis decided to sign him at the last minute – an example of one of the breaks that, along with a lot of hard work, led to his illustrious career.

Then came one final standing ovation, the third Gilmour received that night, which was accompanied by a send-off from Black: “Ladies and gentleman, one of the nicest killers you’ll ever meet.”