July 26, 2015
Back on December 2nd, 2014 former Boston Bruins goaltender Andre "Cannon" Gill passed away. He was 73 years old.
Gill played just 5 games in the NHL in his career, all in the 1967-68 season. He was one of the very few goalies to record a shutout in his NHL debut, a 4-0 win over the New York Rangers on December 23rd, 1967. He made an impressive 41 saves that night. To make matters tougher, Bruins' star defenseman Bobby Orr also missed the game with an injury.
That night may never have come if it was not for some injury misfortune for the Bruins. They boasted two goalies capable of being a big league starter at that time. But Gerry Cheevers had dislocated his shoulder in a game against Chicago and Eddie Johnston broke his hand in practice.
So off went emergency calls to the Hershey Bears to get Gill to play and to the Long Island Ducks to get rookie Wayne Doll to back up.
The inexperienced tandem lasted five games, though Doll never did get to play in a NHL game. After Gill's shutout debut he was called upon to play the next four games as well. He won three of the five in total and posted a 2.89 goals against average.
The 5'7" 150lb native of Sorel, Quebec, enjoyed a lengthy minor league career, mainly with Hershey where he was part of the AHL Calder Cup championship in 1969. He also spent parts of two seasons playing with the sad-sack Chicago Cougars team in the World Hockey Association.