Clark Gillies

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Clark Gillies
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2002
Born(1954-04-07) April 7, 1954 (age 60)
Moose Jaw, SK, CAN
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
PositionLeft Wing
ShotLeft
Played forNew York Islanders
Buffalo Sabres
National team Canada
NHL Draft4th overall, 1974
New York Islanders
WHA Draft37th overall, 1974
Edmonton Oilers
Playing career1974–1988
 
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Clark Gillies
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2002
Born(1954-04-07) April 7, 1954 (age 60)
Moose Jaw, SK, CAN
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
PositionLeft Wing
ShotLeft
Played forNew York Islanders
Buffalo Sabres
National team Canada
NHL Draft4th overall, 1974
New York Islanders
WHA Draft37th overall, 1974
Edmonton Oilers
Playing career1974–1988

Clark "Jethro" Gillies (born April 7, 1954) is a retired professional ice hockey player. He provided both physical presence and offensive punch for the NHL's New York Islanders during their four-year run as Stanley Cup champions. In a career that spanned 958 games, Gillies notched 319 goals, 378 assists, and 1023 penalty minutes. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.

Playing career[edit]

Gillies earned his tough-guy reputation in the Canadian Junior leagues, earning 570 penalty minutes in 201 games with the Regina Pats. In 1974, Gillies and the Pats won the Memorial Cup. Later that year, the Islanders made him their first round selection in the NHL draft, taking him 4th overall. Gillies would also be selected by the World Hockey Association's Edmonton Oilers in the WHA draft, but Gillies signed with the Islanders, making the team right out of training camp. It was during his rookie season of 1974–1975 in the playoffs that Gillies established himself as one of the toughest players in the NHL, pummeling Philadelphia Flyers enforcer Dave Schultz.

Gillies scored over 30 goals for four straight seasons as part of the "Trio Grande", the Islanders' top forward line with Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier, and was named to the NHL's All-Star team twice.

In the latter half of the 1976-77 NHL season, Gillies was named team captain; however, in spite of Gillies' articulate speaking manner and amiable nature, he never felt completely comfortable as team captain and it affected his play adversely in big games.[citation needed] Gillies captained the Islanders through two big disappointments in his two-year stint as captain, in part because the Islanders appeared to lack a team toughness. During the pre-season of the 1979–1980 season Gillies allowed Denis Potvin to take over as captain.

During the 1980 playoffs, Gillies got the best of Terry O'Reilly, one of the Boston Bruins' toughest players, several times, helping to fuel the Islanders' drive to the Stanley Cup. Gillies was used during this series as the Islander's chief protector and enforcer, and in taking on this role, Gillies allowed his team to battle through a violent series with the Bruins. Gillies, now totally comfortable with his role with the team, prospered individually and collectively, as the Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cups during Gillies' tenure.

Gillies was a solid skater, possessed a great shot, passed the puck well, back-checked well, and developed an uncommon hockey savvy through the championship years with the Islanders . Gillies never exceeded 100 penalty minutes during any NHL regular season.

Gillies' swan song may have been during the 1983–1984 playoffs. After struggling through the regular season, he came alive in the playoffs, leading the Stanley Cup runner-ups in scoring for that playoff year.

After scoring only 4 goals in 55 games in 1985–86, Gillies was left unprotected in the NHL Waiver Draft, and the Buffalo Sabres picked him up. He wore #90 in Buffalo. Gillies retired after playing a season and a half with the Sabres. On December 7, 1996, Gillies' #9 was retired by the Islanders. In 2002 Gillies was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Personal life[edit]

In 1982 Gillies and three teammates — Bob Nystrom, Wayne Merrick, and Gordie Lane — stripped to their briefs in the February issue of Penthouse magazine for a fashion layout promoting the latest in men's underwear.

He is the father-in-law to his former teammates son, and current editor of The Backhand Shelf Justin Bourne.

Despite having the same last name and playing for the same team, Clark Gillies is not related to former Islanders enforcer Trevor Gillies, nor is either one related to Colton Gillies.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIMGPGAPtsPIM
1971–72Regina PatsWCHL68314879199155101549
1972–73Regina PatsWCHL68405292197403334
1973–74Regina PatsWCHL65466611217916981732
1974–75New York IslandersNHL80252247661742636
1975–76New York IslandersNHL80342761961324616
1976–77New York IslandersNHL70332255931244815
1977–78New York IslandersNHL8035508576720215
1978–79New York IslandersNHL75355691681012311
1979–80New York Islanders*NHL7319355449216101663
1980–81New York Islanders*NHL803345789918691528
1981–82New York Islanders*NHL793839777519861434
1982–83New York Islanders*NHL7021204176802210
1983–84New York IslandersNHL7612162865211271919
1984–85New York IslandersNHL5415173273101019
1985–86New York IslandersNHL55410145531016
1986–87Buffalo SabresNHL6110172781
1987–88Buffalo SabresNHL2552751501125
NHL totals9583193786971023164474794287

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Denis Potvin
New York Islanders first round draft pick
1974
Succeeded by
Pat Price
Preceded by
Ed Westfall
New York Islanders captain
197779
Succeeded by
Denis Potvin