Left-winger Hec Kilrea played 633 NHL games for three different teams. The "Hurricane" was a fast skater and a strong checker who could score when allowed to play a more offensive role. His brothers Ken and Wally also played in the NHL as did his nephew, Brian.
Born Blackburn, Ontario, Kilrea played a year with the senior Ottawa Rideaus before joining the NHL Senators in 1925-26. He played six years with Senators and was a member of the 1927 Stanley Cup champions. He exploded for 36 goals in 1929-30 and finished fifth in the NHL scoring race playing on a line with Frank Finnigan and Joe Lamb.
Kilrea dropped to 14 goals in 1930-31 and then spent a year with Detroit Falcons after being claimed from Ottawa in the Dispersal Draft. While in Motown he was teamed with Ebbie Goodfellow and Larry Aurie on an effective forward unit. The talented winger was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the off-season and spent two years there before returning to Detroit in 1935. Kilrea spent nearly five years with the Red Wings where he was an effective two-way player with linemates Gord Pettinger and Syd Howe.
Kilrea was an integral part of the team when it became the first U.S. club to win consecutive Stanley Cups in 1936 and 1937. He also set up Mud Bruneteau for the goal that ended the longest game in NHL history at 116:30 of overtime versus the Montreal Maroons. After leaving the NHL he played nearly four full years with AHL's Indianapolis Capitals then retired in 1943. During World War II he served in France and Belgium and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.