Jack McIlhargey, whose work with the Vancouver Canucks over the last 24 years as a player, coach and alumni made him one of the most respected members of the organization, passed away on Sunday after battling cancer. He was 68.
The team announced his passing on Monday. McIlhargey’s wife, Karyne and teenage daughters Georgia and Anna were at his bedside in their Burnaby home on Capital Hill at the time of his death, according to the Canucks.
An undrafted defenceman, McIlhargey established himself as one of the NHL’s toughest players when he broke into the league as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers in the mid-1970s. That reputation endured when he was traded to the Canucks midway through the 1977 season.
McIlhargey played in 167 games for Vancouver, he racked up 402 penalty minutes, six goals and 18 assists. He completed his playing career with the Hartford Whalers in the 1981-82 season.
McIlhargey rejoined the Canucks in 1984 and went on to spend 20 years coaching and scouting at all levels, and was inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.