Clark Gillies

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by arrbez, Feb 4, 2005.

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  1. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    i know he's widely reknowned as the weakest link in the HOF, and just looking at his stats i can see he wasn't exactly an offensive superstar (never scored more than 91 points). so what's the reasoning behind it? was he a great defensive player, bodychecker, face off man? or is it just because he was part of a dynasty?

    i'm too young to have ever really seen him play, so i really have no idea
     
  2. jiggs 10

    jiggs 10 Registered User

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    It's because he was part of the Isle's dynasty. That's the ONLY reason. And it's embarrassing! The HOF USED to be for the guys who were all-time greats, not just pretty good players on a great team! Good grief, by these new standards, the entire 1955-56 Habs team should be in the HOF! :madfire:
     
  3. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    I agree with jiggs, Gillies got in pretty much because of his role on the Islanders' dynasty. To his credit he was good defensively and was fairly tough, but overall he doesn't deserve to be in the Hall.
     
  4. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    He was a two time all-star left winger. And he was good enough to be on Canada in '81 but he played on a great team and that was the selling point. Good player but not nearly great. He's in but they can't find room for Neely, Middleton, Vachon or Anderson?
     
  5. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    Half of them are in the HoF.
     
  6. Lowetide

    Lowetide Registered User

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    Allow me to make his case. Clark Gillies was an outstanding junior (I saw the Pats a couple of times in their Memorial Cup season, good team not a great one but he was an impact player)and was drafted 4th overall.

    It was a strange draft that year, as the NHL allowed teams to pick one underager. Two of them went before Gillies, and the top pick (Greg Joly) was probably the ultimate fluke pick. Joly was unbelievably hot down the stretch and in the Mem Cup that year, and turned 20 in the height of the Orr era. He also went to a ragtag bunch that didn't really know what they were doing (Washington).

    Gillies was an outstanding athlete (played brielfly in the Houston Astros system) and his style on the ice was one of toughness and power. He didn't fight often, and he didn't win them all, but he was a fierce player in an extreme era. I don't quite remember the O'Reilly fights as others do (I don't think Gillies was the best fighter in the league, for instance) but there's no doubt he fought less than some simply because there was a fear factor.

    He was a more traditional up and back LW, and had some touch around the net. He certainly gave his linemates more room, first on the Long Island Lightning Company Line with Trottier and Nystrom, and later when Bossy was elevated to the top line.

    Gillies was named to the first all star team twice, which is no small feat. He was up against guys like Shutt, Barber and then Charlie Simmer. Not exactly Howe vs. Richard for the first all star team, but all of those guys (plus players like Rick Martin) had top level talent.

    I think that most people point to Gillies as a poor HOF choice because:

    1. His career was shortened. He injured his knee as a Sabre before he could do some things like play in a 1,000 games, or score 350 goals.

    2. He played on a very famous team, and was often overshadowed by better players. Were the Islanders really so good that this many belong in the HOF?

    3. He never lead the league in anything, and he didn't win a major award.


    My belief is that Clark Gillies is a clear HOFer. He played almost 1,000 games at LW and battled furiously through most of them. He created more ice for his linemates and at the peak of his career kep the opponent honest in an extremely violent era. He played tough minutes and helped his team outscore his opponent. He once held the Stanley Cup record for four straigh game winning goals. He and Bryan Trottier ended their careers with a dozen GWers in Stanley Cup play each.

    He was the MVP for Canada at the 1979 Challenge series at MSG.

    Mike Bossy never fought, for a couple of reasons. First of all, he was terrible at it and would be the first to tell you it wasn't his game. Secondly, he knew Gillies was three strides away and so did the opponent. The Oilers and Gretzky had enforcers, but none who could do that job, punch the clock every damn night and pop in 30 for good measure.

    And in 1984 when Bossy's back was bad and Billy Smith was poor and Lafontaine was just a hair too young to take the mantle, Gillies was a lion.

    Left Wing is quite likely the least represented position in the HOF, and the numbers of the LW HOFers tend to pale in comparison to the RW's. Glenn Anderson's numbers soared wildly past Gillies, but I'd much rather have had Gillies on my team.

    And I'm an Oilers fan! Gillies for the HOF without a throw. Here's hoping Neely and Middleton get there soon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2005
  7. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    Don't knock Gillies 91 point season. Here are the LWs that scored a 100 points in his first 10 years, 1974-75 through 1983-84:

    1975-76 Bill Barber 112
    1976-77 Steve Shutt 105
    1979-80 Charlie Simmer 101
    1980-81 Charlie Simmer 105
    1980-81 Jacques Richard 103
    1982-83 Michel Goulet 105
    1983-84 Michel Goulet 121

    That's 7 in 10 years, and only 2 in the first 5.

    That 105 is the only time Shutt scored 90 or more points. Do you have a problem with him being in the Hall?
     
  8. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

    I do; Shutt was wildly overrated as was Lemaire. Take away Guy and Shutt is a 30 goal scorer for 5-7 years max.
     
  9. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    While I tend to agree with you on Shutt, I must disagree on Lemaire. Lemaire was a solid two-way player who in a 12 year career had 12 20+ goal seasons, and topped 30 6 times. He also had more playoff goals and assists in his 12 year career than Lafleur did in his 17 year career. He doesn't rank with the greats offensively, but his all-around game does.
     
  10. isles52480

    isles52480 Registered User

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    Here's a viewpoint from someone who has owned a Gillies jersey for about 28 years now. I do NOT think Gillies belongs in the HOF. I have always viewed the HOF, in any sport, as being for the elite. Those atheletes who were truely a cut above or made some major contribution to their sport.

    That being said, I do not beleive that Gillies should be portrayed as a run of the mill player as many on this site claim. He consistantly scored 30 or more in an era when scoring 30 meant something. As mentioned, he was a two time first team all-star and did win the MVP of the '79 Canada Cup. He was the first true power forward since Gordie Howe. Also, I'd take #9 in front of the net on a power play over just about anyone I've seen play (discussed in another thread).

    All in all, an above average player on a great team, but not HOF worthy.
     
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