|Hockey Hall of Fame, 2002|
April 7, 1954|
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)|
New York Islanders|
4th overall, 1974|
New York Islanders
37th overall, 1974|
Clark "Jethro" Gillies (born April 7, 1954) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He provided both physical presence and offensive punch for the National Hockey League'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.
Gillies grew up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Starting skating around the age of four, Gillies father insisted he learn to skate and keep his balance before allowing him to bring a hockey stick onto the ice. He began playing ice hockey casually at the age of six and in organized leagues at the age of seven. He played with a local team in Moose Jaw until it ceased operation. As one of the bigger players on the ice, he was often engaged in fights with players on other teams, which he felt added to the fun of playing.
Gillies' first professional sports experience was in baseball. In 1970, at 16, Gillies signed with the Houston Astros and played three years of minor league baseball in Covington, Virginia. He hit .241 in 86 games as a catcher/first baseman. He platooned at first base in 1972 with future Islander teammate Bob Bourne. Gillies suffered from home sickness and continued to play hockey during the off season. He eventually moved on to play in the Western Hockey League with the Regina Pats. During his tenure with the Pats, Gillies accrued 570 penalty minutes in 201 games. In 1974, his final season for Regina, Gillies had 46 goals and 66 assists, was named to the league's first (highest rated) All-Star team, and the team won the 1974 Memorial Cup as league champion.
Later in 1974, the Islanders made Gillies their first-round selection in the 1974 NHL draft, taking him fourth overall. Gillies was also selected by the World Hockey Association's Edmonton Oilers in the WHA draft, but signed with the Islanders, making the team out of training camp. It was during his rookie season of 1974-75, in the playoffs, that Gillies established himself as one of the toughest players in the National Hockey League (NHL), pummeling Philadelphia Flyers enforcer Dave Schultz.
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 captain. Gillies captained the Islanders through two disappointing seasons, in part because the Islanders appeared to lack team toughness. During the pre-season of 1979-80 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 Islanders' 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 scored over 30 goals for four straight seasons (starting in 1975-76) as part of the "Trio Grande", the Islanders' top forward line with Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier, and again in 1980-81 and '81-82. In 1977 he finished tenth in the voting for the Hart Trophy for most valuable player in the NHL. In 1978 and 1979 he led all left-wingers for most votes for the All-Star game. In 1981, he played for Team Canada in the 1981 Canada Cup, scoring 7 points in 7 games.
After scoring only four goals in 55 games in 1985-86, Gillies was left unprotected in the NHL waiver draft, and was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres. While wearing number 9 in Buffalo, Gillies retired after playing a season and a half with the Sabres. On December 7, 1996, Gillies' No. 9 was retired by the Islanders.
Gillies who was honoured by the Islanders on December 13, 2014, remains active in the Long Island community. He is a Business Development Manager at Protective Wealth Consultants in Huntington, New York. He plays in 30 to 40 charity softball games per year. He was inducted into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame on Long Island in the Hockey Category with the Class of 1998.
Gillies is married to Pam, who is also from Moose Jaw. They live in Greenlawn, New York. He is the father-in-law to Justin Bourne, son of his former teammate Bob Bourne, and former assistant coach of the Toronto Marlies.
|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|
Gillies' daughter, Brianna, is married to Bob Bourne's son