The Ontario Hockey League is saddened by the loss of former Cornwall Royals head coach, Oshawa Generals alumnus, NHL referee and long-time member of Parliament Bob Kilger who passed away on Monday at the age of 77 following an 11-year battle with stomach cancer.
A former two-term mayor in the city of Cornwall from 2006-14 as well as a Liberal MP in the region of Stormont-Dundas from 1988-2004, Kilger was an accomplished individual both at and away from the rink. Throughout his time in Parliament, he was the chief government whip and deputy speaker and chairman of committees of the whole of the House of Commons.
On the ice, after starring with his hometown Cornwall Royals, Kilger played three seasons in the OHA from 1962-65 between Toronto Knob Hill Farms and the Oshawa Generals, where he played alongside Bobby Orr. He transitioned his on-ice career into officiating, first as a linesman before making it to the NHL as a referee for four seasons in the late 1960’s.
Kilger returned to Cornwall in 1980, just in time to be named head coach of the QMJHL’s Royals as he led them to their second consecutive Memorial Cup title with a group led up front by Dale Hawerchuk, Scott Arniel, Marc Crawford and Doug Gilmour. Kilger remained at the helm as the Royals moved over to the Ontario Hockey League, remaining there until midway through the 1982-83 season.
The father of Kingston Frontenacs graduate and long-time NHL forward Chad Kilger, Bob was inducted into the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. He is survived by Chad, two other sons Jason and Ryan, as well as his wife Courtney.
For more on the life and career of Bob Kilger, visit ottawacitizen.com.