Clark Gillies, hockey player (b at Moose Jaw, Sask 7 Apr 1954).
Clark Gillies, hockey player (b at Moose Jaw, Sask 7 Apr 1954). Known for his strong leadership skills, Clark Gillies was part of the famed "Trio Grande" line with fellow New York Islanders Mike BOSSY and Bryan TROTTIER, helping to form one of the most successful forward lines of the 1970s and 1980s. Gillies began his professional career as a junior with the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats, helping the team to a MEMORIAL CUP championship in 1974. His consistency as a young player did not go unnoticed, and later that year he was named to the WCJHL First All-Star Team. He played 3 seasons as an amateur with the Pats before entering the NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE.
Gillies made his NHL debut as a member of the New York Islanders in 1974, drafted 4th overall. After a remarkable training camp session Gillies was added to the Islanders' line-up later that year. A testament to his exceptional leadership skills, his teammates selected him to replace outgoing captain Eddie Westfall in 1976. (He remained in the position for 2 years before relinquishing it to Denis POTVIN). Known for his physical game, Gillies soon earned a reputation for assisting other players in elevating their own games, and with Bossy and Trottier by his side he assisted the team in winning 4 consecutive STANLEY CUPS (1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983). Though the team didn't win the Cup in 1984, Gillies registered a personal best of 12 goals (including two hat tricks) in the finals against the Oilers. When he concluded his 12-year stint as an Islander, he had earned a respectable total of 663 points, 54 of which had either tied or won games for the team.
In 1986 Clark Gillies left the Islanders for the Buffalo Sabres, playing two seasons with the Sabres before retiring in 1988. During his career he had been named to 2 NHL First All-Star Teams and represented the NHL in the 1979 Challenge Cup. In 1981 he and his fellow members of the "Trio Grande" represented Team Canada at the CANADA CUP, finishing second. Upon retirement he had amassed a career total of 697 points (319 goals and 378 assists) but his greatest contribution was what he brought to his teammates as an aggressive playmaker. In 1996 the New York Islanders retired his number (9), and in 2002 Gillies was inducted into the HOCKEY HALL OF FAME.