Where Are They Now: Brian Kilrea Enters Final Season as Legendary Head Coach of Ottawa 67’s

OTTAWA — On September 3, the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League announced that Brian Kilrea, their head coach and general manager, will step down as head coach after the 2008-09 season and will be replaced by current assistant coach Chris Bryne.

Kilrea, 73, enters his 32nd season as head coach of the 67’s. During that time, his teams have won two Memorial Cups (Canadian Hockey League Championships), three OHL championships and nine divisional titles.

Kilrea, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders category in 2002, has coached 2,088 games and has won 1,153 games—both are records for hockey coaches.

“I always knew this day would come and I never looked forward to it,” said 67’s Owner and Governor, Jeff Hunt. “Brian Kilrea, more then any other person, is the face of the Ottawa 67’s, behind the bench and in the community.”

“He has spoiled me and our fans by delivering Memorial Cups, OHL championships and exciting teams year after year,” added Hunt. “We have had an unbelievable relationship and I’m fortunate that it will continue with Brian as General Manager.”

Kilrea, a 5-11, 182-pound center, spent the vast majority of his playing career in the minor leagues, including seven seasons with the Springfield Americans of the American Hockey League. He also played in 25 games for the Los Angeles Kings in their inaugural 1967-68 season, scoring three goals with five assists for eight points with twelve penalty minutes.

Photo courtesy Ottawa 67’s.

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5 thoughts on “Where Are They Now: Brian Kilrea Enters Final Season as Legendary Head Coach of Ottawa 67’s

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  1. I bet robert e lee remembers him. Sounds like a quality guy to have spent so much time with one organization. 32 seasons! Wow.

  2. I remember him, guys (believe it or not, they even had a B & W picture of him for sale at the souvenir stands that first year…So since Gann is on this subject of “looking back” (one of my favorite hockey past times-lol), how about Gann doing me a favor and trying to dig up another short-lived King who had a problem that might bring about an answer to/for our own Jason LaBarbera…He was the third string goalie for the Kings for 1967/’68. I think he may have played in 1 or 2 games, later played a few games for St. Louis and then disappeared from the hockey scene. His name was Jacques Caron. It seems he simply had some kind of situation where nerves would get in the way of his play. I’m just not privvy to what exactly happened, but it is rare that one reads of something like that driving a guy from a game he loved to play?

    O.K., so am I being mean? Could it be that LaBarbera is a “metal head” and hears Metallica instead of seeing the puck as it goes past him? I’ve read of other Kings goalies having admitted they had a real focus problem-totally unrelated to having been in goal for a team that allowed some of it’s goaltenders to become pincushions!
    XXX to all! RL

    p.s. cristobal, I did something uncharacteristic for “an old guy” I decided to see if other Kings fans actually reminisced…or just bitched ;-) —> hope this works —> http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1463889371#/profile.php?id=1463889371

  3. As a third-generation Kings fan whose grandfather was a charter season ticket holder to the Kings back in 1967 (5 years before I was born) and a fan of the game who understands the importance of junior hockey to a player’s development, and also as a company man who has spent the last 13-1/2 years with the same employer, let me just say this:

    Thanks for everything, Killer.

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