Gilbert, who earned the nickname “Mr. Ranger” while playing his entire 18-season career with the New York Rangers from 1960 to 1978, was the first player ever to have his number retired by the team.
“Everyone in the Rangers organization mourns the loss of a true New York icon,” Rangers President Chris Drury said in the release. “Growing up a young Rangers fan, one of the first names I ever heard about was Rod Gilbert – he was synonymous with Rangers hockey.”
Gilbert’s No. 7 banner has hung in the rafters at Madison Square Garden since 1979.
“Our thoughts are with Rod’s wife, Judy, and the entire Gilbert family during this difficult time. They will always be a part of the Rangers family, he added.
The Montreal-born scorer tallied 406 goals and 615 assists in his career, retiring with the second most points by a right winger in NHL history behind the legendary Gordie Howe.
Gilbert was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982. The eight-time All-Star still ranks first on the Rangers’ all-time goals and points lists.