Sport: Hockey: Year Inducted: 1992
Bob Kilger’s hockey career has been both varied and outstanding.
He has had success as a player, coach and official at top levels of hockey competition.
Kilger was part of the Cornwall Royals famous kid line. In 1962, this line was a key factor as the Royals captured the Central Junior League Championship.
The Toronto Marlies invited Bob to their training camp. At the time, the Marlies were directly sponsored by the Maple Leafs. It was an honour to even attend the camp. Kilger finished the year with Knob Hill of the Toronto Metro League.
The following season, Bob began a two year stint in Oshawa. He played both as a forward and a defenseman. Bobby Orr was one of many outstanding players on that team. Bob later had a tryout with the Maple Leafs and a brief period with New Haven of the Eastern League.
Kilger’s playing career came to an end without making the NHL, but he would later make the NHL as an official. He began as a linesman in the minor leagues and then moved up to the NHL. He then spent three years training as a referee in the minors. Finally he was promoted to the NHL where he refereed for the next four years. Bob refereed a game in Los Angeles in 1969 where an NHL rarity took place. The puck used to start the game was in play for the entire sixty minutes. That puck is now on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Bob returned to Cornwall just in time to be hired by the Royals as their head coach in 1980. This was a great team and Kilger led them to their second consecutive Memorial Cup Championship.
Much of the 1980’s was then spent by Kilger coaching in Cornwall’s Minor system. Amongst other successes, he took two of his teams to the prestigious Quebec Pee Wee Tournament.
Bob then became a Member of Parliament for Stormont, Dundas , acting as the Liberal Sports Critic. After leaving federal politics he returned to the municipal stage when he successfully ran for Mayor in 2006.