Doug Gilmour's practically a saint in this city. More beloved than even Wendel Clark, Darryl Sittler and the other old-time greats, 'Dougie' is the guy in Toronto, the equivalent of Messier in New York or Yzerman in Detroit.
And now that Gilmour's apprenticing his way toward a coaching gig with the Maple Leafs, you wonder just how long it might be before he takes on head coaching duties behind the bench.
Now, Paul Maurice isn't going anywhere, at least in the near future (and especially if he makes good on his pledge). But we all know the relative longevity of NHL coaches, and bringing in a former great is always an option to appease a rabid fan base.
It doesn't sound as though Gilmour will be an assistant on Maurice's staff this season, but the next opening is his to lose. And the fact he's headed to Switzerland to help coach Canada's entry at the Spengler Cup this Christmas, I think, speaks volumes about where he sees his future in hockey.
Gilmour put in a year with the Leafs last season in a loosely defined management role, but this movement toward the bench is an indication that's where his heart is.
At some point, Gilmour's finally going to get his encore here, something he missed out on when an injury ended his second stint with the Leafs after just one road game.