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Born April 7, 1954 (1954-04-07) (age 55),
Moose Jaw, SK, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
210 lb (95 kg; 14 st 0 lb)
Position Left wing
Shot Left
Pro clubs New York Islanders
Buffalo Sabres
Ntl. team  Canada
NHL Draft 4th overall, 1974
New York Islanders
Playing career 1974 – 1988
Hall of Fame, 2002

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

Contents

Playing career

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 is recognized for his role as enforcer, but he was also 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. Unlike many other enforcers, 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.

Career statistics

Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1971–72 Regina Pats WCHL 68 31 48 79 199 15 5 10 15 49
1972–73 Regina Pats WCHL 68 40 52 92 197 4 0 3 3 34
1973–74 Regina Pats WCHL 65 46 66 112 179 16 9 8 17 32
1974–75 New York Islanders NHL 80 25 22 47 66 17 4 2 6 36
1975–76 New York Islanders NHL 80 34 27 61 96 13 2 4 6 16
1976–77 New York Islanders NHL 70 33 22 55 93 12 4 4 8 15
1977–78 New York Islanders NHL 80 35 50 85 76 7 2 0 2 15
1978–79 New York Islanders NHL 75 35 56 91 68 10 1 2 3 11
1979–80 New York Islanders* NHL 73 19 35 54 49 21 6 10 16 63
1980–81 New York Islanders* NHL 80 33 45 78 99 18 6 9 15 28
1981–82 New York Islanders* NHL 79 38 39 77 75 19 8 6 14 34
1982–83 New York Islanders* NHL 70 21 20 41 76 8 0 2 2 10
1983–84 New York Islanders NHL 76 12 16 28 65 21 12 7 19 19
1984–85 New York Islanders NHL 54 15 17 32 73 10 1 0 1 9
1985–86 New York Islanders NHL 55 4 10 14 55 3 1 0 1 6
1986–87 Buffalo Sabres NHL 61 10 17 27 81
1987–88 Buffalo Sabres NHL 25 5 2 7 51 5 0 1 1 25
NHL totals 958 319 378 697 1023 164 47 47 94 287
  • *Stanley Cup champion

Miscellaneous

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.

Gillies' nephew Colton currently plays for the Minnesota Wild.

See also

External links

Preceded by
Ed Westfall
New York Islanders captains
197779
Succeeded by
Denis Potvin
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