TORONTO (CP) - Doug Gilmour, whose passionate style of play made him a Toronto fan favourite, has returned to the Maple Leafs as a talent evaluator.
The full-time position will see him assist GM John Ferguson, assistant GM Mike Penny and player development coach Paul Dennis on assessing players.
"I'll be hands on with John, Mike and Paul," said Gilmour. "It's baby steps right now.
"I'm going to give it all the effort I have and at times give an opinion. Whether it's right or wrong, they'll decide that."
Gilmour, 43, who quit as a player three years ago, said he also is tinkering with the idea of eventually getting into coaching.
"That's a decision I'll figure out in the next couple of years," he said. "Because I'm not that far removed from the game, I have some passion for the coaching side.
"But I'll learn the player development side now. I want to learn. I live here, my kids were born here, so I'm very proud to be part of the organization. I'm looking forward to it."
Gilmour, the Leafs' captain from 1994 to 1997, was an observer during the Leafs' rookie camp and was on hand for the first of the NHL camp's on-ice workouts Friday, when Ferguson made the hiring official.
"I'm waiting for that trip where Mike sends me some place he doesn't want to go," Gilmour kidded during an interview.
Ferguson and Gilmour had been mulling over exactly what he'd do for the last few weeks.
"Bringing Doug back into the organization on this side of the business is going to allow us to use his experience, his passion, his competitiveness - those intangibles - to drive them into the organization," Ferguson said during an impromptu news conference with Gilmour. "I couldn't be more pleased to bring him back and make him part of our future.
"We all know what he's done as a player. We think he can contribute (in the new role). We value his opinion. He'll learn and contribute, and who knows what the future holds.
"His presence in the organization means so much. Obviously, what he's done here as a Maple Leaf - that passion and competitiveness, that productivity, that success - all those things I don't possess and others in our organization don't possess. We'd like to think he can bring that to our group and to our players."
Gilmour twice played for the Leafs and retired as a member of the team after suffering a serious knee injury in 2003.
"It's nice to see him back in the organization," said captain Mats Sundin.
Gilmour played 1,474 NHL games with Calgary, St. Louis, Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, New Jersey and Montreal. He won a Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989.