The New York Rangers announced that Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert has passed away at the age of 80. Gilbert’s family confirmed the death to the Rangers on Sunday night.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 23, 2021
Rod Gilbert Passes at 80
The Montreal native spent his entire 18-year career with the Blueshirts. He scored 406 goals and 615 assists for 1,021 points in 1,065 games. Gilbert also added 34 goals and 33 assists for 67 points in 79 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
He also represented Canada at the international level as he was part of the Summit Series team in 1972. The Ranger great logged a goal and three assists in the six games he played in the victory over the Soviet Union. He got inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982 and spent many years in the Ranger organization.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Rod Gilbert – one of the greatest Rangers to ever play for our organization and one of the greatest ambassadors the game of hockey has ever had,” Rangers owner James Dolan said in a statement.
Gilbert almost had his illustrious career cut short in 1960 after slipping on garbage while a member of Guelph of the Ontario Hockey Association. He broke a vertebra in his back, but managed to carve out a long-lasting career with the Rangers.
The Blueshirts great appeared in eight All-Star Games and won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 1976 for showing perseverance and sportsmanship. He was the first Rangers player to have his No. 7 sweater retired in Oct. 1979. Gilbert was honoured by the NHL Alumni Association as its Man of the Year in 2007.
We at the Last Word on Sports send our condolences to the Gilbert family and the Rangers organization.