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Playing careerEdit

Pre-JuniorEdit

As a youth, Billington played in the 1979 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Stoneybrook in London, Ontario.[1]

He played high school hockey at A.B. Lucus SS. He played junior B hockey for the London Chester Pegg Diamonds in the Western Junior B. OHA. He was drafted by the Belleville Bulls in the fourth round, 51st overall in the 1983 OHL Priority Draft.[citation needed]

Junior hockeyEdit

Belleville Bulls (1983-1986)Edit

Billington joined the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League for the 1983-84 season. In his rookie season, Billington appeared in 44 games, earning a record of 20-19-0 with a 4.16 GAA. In one post-season game, Billington had a GAA of 6.00 as the Bulls lost to the Oshawa Generals in the Leyden Division quarter-finals.

Billington returned to Belleville for the 1984-85 season. In 47 games, Billington earned a record of 26-19-0 with a 4.25 GAA, helping the Bulls finish second in the Leyden Division. In the playoffs, Billington posted a GAA of 2.71 in 14 games, as the Bulls lost to the Peterborough Petes in the Leyden Division finals. Following the season, Billington was named the winner of the Bobby Smith Trophy, awarded to the OHL Scholastic Player of the Year. Billington was also named to the OHL First All-Star Team.

In 1985-86, Billington returned to the Bulls late in the season after spending most of the year with the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. In three regular season games, Billington had a 2-1-0 record with a 3.67 GAA and a .893 save percentage. Billington's return to the Bulls provided a boost in the post-season, as in 20 games, Billington posted a GAA of 3.60, leading Belleville to the J. Ross Robertson Cup finals. In the final round, the Bulls lost four games to two to the Guelph Platers.

Professional careerEdit

New Jersey Devils (1984-1993)Edit

Billington was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round, 23rd overall at the 1984 NHL Entry Draft held at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec. Billington was the first goaltender selected in the draft.

The Devils assigned Billington to his junior club, the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League for the 1984-85 season.

Billington began the 1985-86 season with New Jersey. On October 26, 1985, Billington made his NHL debut, as he made 23 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. In 18 games with the Devils during the season, Billington had a 4-9-1 record with a 5.14 GAA and a .840 save percentage. Late in the season, Billington was assigned to his junior club in Belleville in an effort to get him more playing time.

Billington split the 1986-87 season between the Devils and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Maine Mariners. In 20 games with the Mariners during the 1986-87 season, Billington earned a record of 9-7-2 with a 3.65 GAA and a .873 save percentage. With the Devils, Billington played in 22 games, posting a record of 4-13-2 with a 4.79 GAA and a .844 save percentage.

In 1987-88, the Devils assigned Billington to their new AHL affiliate, the Utica Devils. In 59 games with Utica, Billington had a 22-27-8 record with a 3.67 GAA and a .880 save percentage.

Billington spent a majority of the 1988-89 season with Utica of the AHL. In 41 games, Billington had a record of 17-18-6 with a 3.70 GAA and a .872 save percentage with the club. In four post-season games, Billington posted a 1-3 record with a 4.91 GAA. Billington briefly appeared with New Jersey during the 1988-89 season. In three games with the Devils, Billington earned a record of 1-1-0 with a 4.71 GAA and a .830 save percentage.

Billington remained with Utica for the 1989-90 season. In 38 games, Billington earned a 20-13-1 record with a 3.97 GAA and a .870 save percentage. Billington did not appear in any post-season games for Utica in the 1990 playoffs.

In 1990-91, the Devils allowed Billington to play with the Canadian National Team. In 34 games with Team Canada, Billington posted a 17-14-2 record with a 3.15 GAA.

Billington returned to New Jersey in 1991-92. He remained in the NHL for the entire season for the first time in his career. On December 28, 1991, Billington stopped all 26 shots he faced in a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres for his first career shutout. In a back-up role, Billington earned a 13-7-1 record with a team best 3.04 GAA and .892 save percentage. Billington also led the Devils with two shutouts. In the 1992 NHL playoffs, Billington did not see any playing time.

In the 1992-93 season, Billington split his playing time with Chris Terreri. In 42 games, Billington had a team high 21 victories, as he earned a record of 21-16-4 with a 3.67 GAA and a .876 save percentage. On April 20, 1993, Billington played in his first career NHL playoff game, as he made three saves on four shots in relief of Terreri in a 7-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. On April 22, Billington made his first career NHL playoff start, as he stopped 31 shots in a 4-3 loss to the Penguins. Overall, in two playoff games, Billington had a 0-1 record with a 3.83 GAA and a .872 save percentage.

On June 20, 1993, the Devils traded Billington, Troy Mallette, and a fourth round draft pick at the 1993 NHL Entry Draft to the Ottawa Senators for Peter Sidorkiewicz and future considerations.

Ottawa Senators (1993-1995)Edit

Billington was named the starting goaltender for the Ottawa Senators after being acquired by the club during the off-season. On October 6, 1993, Billington made his Senators debut, making 26 saves in a 5-5 tie with the Quebec Nordiques. After starting the season 0-4-1, Billington earned his first victory with Ottawa on October 25th, as he made 23 saves in a 4-1 win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. During the 1993-94 season, Billington earned a record of 11-41-4 record with a 4.59 GAA and a .859 save percentage in 63 games.

Billington returned to the Senators in 1994-95, backing up Don Beaupre, whom the Senators had acquired prior to the season. In nine games with Ottawa, Billington had a 0-6-2 record with a 4.07 GAA and a .867 save percentage.

On April 7, 1995, the Senators traded Billington to the Boston Bruins for an eighth round draft pick in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.

Boston Bruins (1994-1996)Edit

Billington finished the 1994-95 backing up goaltender Blaine Lacher with the Boston Bruins. On April 9, 1995, Billington made his Bruins debut, making 22 saves in a 6-5 win over the Buffalo Sabres to earn his first victory of the season, after going 0-6-2 with Ottawa. In eight games with Boston, Billington had a 5-1-0 record with a 3.05 GAA and a .864 save percentage. Billington appeared in one playoff game during the 1995 playoffs, going 0-0 with a 2.40 GAA and a .900 save percentage.

Billington returned to the Bruins for the 1995-96 season. In 27 games, Billington posted a 10-13-3 with a 3.44 GAA and a .867 save percentage. In the 1996 playoffs, Billington made one start, allowing six goals in a 6-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.

Following the season, Billington was granted free agency.

Florida Panthers (1996)Edit

Billington signed with the Florida Panthers on September 5, 1996. After attending camp with the Panthers, he was made available for the NHL Waiver Draft. On September 30, 1996, the Colorado Avalanche selected Billington.

Colorado Avalanche (1996-1999)Edit

Billington was selected by the Colorado Avalanche during the waiver draft held on September 30, 1996. On October 17, Billington made his Avalanche debut, making 30 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. In his next start, on October 28, Billington stopped all 40 shots he faced in a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals for his first win with the Avalanche. In 23 games with Colorado during the 1996-97 season, Billington was 11-8-2 with a 2.65 GAA and a .909 save percentage. In one post-season game, Billington played 20 minutes, as he had a 0-0 record with a 3.00 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

Billington returned to Colorado for the 1997-98 season. In 23 games, Billington posted a 8-7-4 record with a 2.32 GAA and a .923 save percentage. In the 1998 post-season, Billington saw one minute of action.

In 1998-99, Billington had a record of 11-8-1 with a 2.87 GAA and a .894 save percentage in 21 games. In the 1999 playoffs, Billington appeared in one game, playing nine minutes. He had a 0-0 record with a 6.68 GAA and a .833 save percentage.

On July 16, 1999, the Avalanche traded Billington to the Washington Capitals for future considerations.

Washington Capitals (1999-2003)Edit

Billington made his debut with the Washington Capitals on October 19, 1999, as he played the third period against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in relief of starting goalie Olaf Kolzig. In 20 minutes of playing time, Billington made three saves on six shots in a 7-1 loss. On October 31, Billington made his first start with the Capitals, making 20 saves in a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. In his next start, on November 20, Billington stopped all 28 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory over the Boston Bruins for his first win as a member of the Capitals. In 13 games during the 1999-2000 season, Billington had a 3-6-1 record with a 2.75 GAA and a .910 save percentage. In one playoff appearance during the 2000 playoffs, Billington allowed a goal in 20 minutes of playing time, as he had a 0-0 record with a 3.00 GAA and a .833 save percentage.

Billington appeared in 12 games with the Capitals during the 2000-01 season, earning a 3-5-2 record with a 2.45 GAA and a .915 save percentage.

Billington continued his back-up duties during the 2001-02 season with the Capitals. In 17 games, Billington had a 4-5-3 record with a 3.04 GAA and a .878 save percentage.

In the 2002-03, Billington saw limited playing time. In six games, he posted a record of 1-3-1 with a 4.70 GAA and a .823 save percentage. On January 7, 2003, Billington announced his retirement.

Later careerEdit

Upon his retirement, Billington joined the Colorado Avalanche's staff,[2] eventually working up to an assistant general manager position in 2009. In the 2016–17 season, he was named the general manager of the Avalanche's American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. The following season, he held the same position with the Avalanche's new affiliate, the Colorado Eagles.[3]

PersonalEdit

Billington was once in a relationship with Toronto sportscaster Kathryn Humphreys.[citation needed]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1982–83 Thayer Academy HS-Prep 23 1338 76 0 3.41
1983–84 Belleville Bulls OHL 44 22 19 0 2335 162 1 4.16 1 0 0 30 3 0 6.00
1984–85 Belleville Bulls OHL 47 26 19 0 2544 180 1 4.25 14 7 5 761 47 1 3.71
1985–86 Belleville Bulls OHL 3 2 1 0 180 11 0 3.67 .893 20 9 6 1133 68 0 3.60
1985–86 New Jersey Devils NHL 18 4 9 1 901 77 0 5.13 .840
1986–87 Maine Mariners AHL 20 9 7 2 1151 70 0 3.65 .873
1986–87 New Jersey Devils NHL 22 4 13 2 1114 89 0 4.79 .844
1987–88 Utica Devils AHL 59 22 27 8 3404 208 1 3.67 .880
1988–89 Utica Devils AHL 41 17 18 6 2432 150 2 3.70 .872 4 1 3 220 18 0 4.91
1988–89 New Jersey Devils NHL 3 1 1 0 140 11 0 4.71 .831
1989–90 Utica Devils AHL 38 20 13 1 2087 138 0 3.97 .870
1990–91 Canada Intl 34 17 14 2 1879 110 2 3.51
1991–92 New Jersey Devils NHL 26 13 7 1 1363 69 2 3.04 .892
1992–93 New Jersey Devils NHL 42 21 16 4 2389 146 2 3.67 .876 2 0 1 78 5 0 3.83 .872
1993–94 Ottawa Senators NHL 63 11 41 4 3319 254 0 4.59 .859
1994–95 Ottawa Senators NHL 9 0 6 2 472 32 0 4.07 .867
1994–95 Boston Bruins NHL 8 5 1 0 373 19 0 3.06 .864 1 0 0 25 1 0 2.40 .900
1995–96 Boston Bruins NHL 27 10 13 3 1380 79 1 3.43 .867 1 0 1 60 6 0 6.00 .786
1996–97 Colorado Avalanche NHL 23 11 8 2 1200 53 1 2.65 .909 1 0 0 20 1 0 3.00 .923
1997–98 Colorado Avalanche NHL 23 8 7 4 1162 45 1 2.32 .923 1 0 0 1 0 0 0.00
1998–99 Colorado Avalanche NHL 21 11 8 1 1086 52 0 2.87 .894 1 0 0 9 1 0 6.68 .833
1999–2000 Washington Capitals NHL 13 3 6 1 611 28 2 2.75 .910 1 0 0 20 1 0 3.00 .833
2000–01 Washington Capitals NHL 12 3 5 2 660 27 0 2.45 .915
2001–02 Washington Capitals NHL 17 4 5 3 710 36 0 3.04 .878
2002–03 Washington Capitals NHL 5 1 3 1 217 17 0 4.70 .823
NHL totals 332 110 149 31 17,092 1034 9 3.63 .877 8 0 2 213 15 0 4.23 .870
Medal record
Representing   Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
  1985 Helsinki
  1986 Hamilton

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1985 Canada WJC 5 3 0 2 300 13 1 2.60
1986 Canada WJC 5 4 1 0 300 14 0 2.80
1991 Canada WC 3 0 0 1 46 3 0 3.91
Junior totals 10 7 1 2 600 27 1 2.70

Awards and honorsEdit

  • Directorate Award (Best Goaltender), 1985 IIHF world junior hockey championships[4]
  • Selected Scholastic Player of the year in OHL in 1984–85
  • Most Valuable Player in OHL All-Star game in 1984–85
  • Silver medalist in Men's World Championship for Team Canada in 1990–91
  • NHL All-Star in 1993

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  2. ^ "An Avalanche of changes, Sherman in, Granato out". NHL. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  3. ^ "GRIZZLIES BECOME ECHL AFFILIATE OF COLORADO AVALANCHE". ECHL. June 28, 2018. Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  4. ^ Collins gem Hockey Facts and Stats 2009–10, p.517, Andrew Podnieks, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, ISBN 978-1-55468-621-6

External linksEdit