Former Oshawa General, Member of Parliament, coach and referee Bob Kilger dead at 77

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Published December 8, 2021 at 9:53 am

Bob Kilger, a long-time MP, two-term Cornwall Mayor, NHL referee, Memorial Cup-winning coach and Oshawa Generals alumnus, died last week following an 11-year battle with stomach cancer.

He was 77.

Kilger, the father of former NHLer Chad Kilger, played alongside Bobby Orr for the Generals from 1963-65 before making the transition to on-ice official as a linesman and then referee in the National Hockey League in the late 60s. He turned to coaching next and led the Cornwall Royals, with future stars Doug Gilmour, Scott Arniel, Marc Crawford and Oshawa’s own Dale Hawerchuk in the lineup, to the Memorial Cup championship – the club’s second straight – in 1980.

After leaving coaching in 1983 Kilger turned to politics and served as the Liberal MP for the Cornwall region from 1988 to 2004. He was Chief Government Whip for Prime Minister Jean Chretien from 1996 to 2001.

After his defeat in 2004 he successfully ran for Mayor of Cornwall and served in that role from 2006 to 2014.

Kilger was inducted into the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. He is survived by Chad, two other sons Jason and Ryan, and his wife Courtney.

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