Former Vancouver Canucks defenceman, coach, Jack McIlhargey dies at 68

Former Vancouver Canucks rearguard and coach Jack McIlhargey has died at 68 after a battle with cancer.

McIlhargey, who went undrafted, signed with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1972 getting his break into the NHL. Five years later, he was traded to Vancouver with Larry Goodenough for Bob Dailey.

With Vancouver, he played the most games for a team dressing in 167 games over parts of four seasons. Known more for his toughness than scoring ability, McIlhargey posted 403 PIM and 24 points.

A trade back to Philadelphia in 1980 ended his tenure with the Canucks. He retired in 1982 with the Hartford Whalers but took an assistant coaching job with the AHL’s Binghamton Whalers right away.

After two brief years, he joined the Vancouver Canucks once again in 1985 as an assistant coach — a position he held until 1991 when he was given the head coaching job with the IHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, the Canucks farm club. He followed the club remaining in the same role as the club moved to Hamilton and later Syracuse.

He rejoined the Canucks in1999-00 as an assistant coach, holding that and a subsequent associate role until 2006. He spent three seasons with the Philadelphia

McIlhargey was known for his establishment of the Canucks Alumni Association in 1984.

His wife, Karyne and teenage daughters Georgia and Anna were at his bedside in their Burnaby home on Capital Hill when he passed.

On Twitter: @zjlaing

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