Hockey Hall-of-Famer Clark Gillies passed away Saturday. The New York Islanders legend was 67.
A rugged top-six winger, Gillies was a big part of the Islanders team that won four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-83. They remain the last team to win more than two Cups in a row.
Gillies had 319 goals, 378 assists and 1,023 penalty minutes in 958 career games.
At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Gillies was a physical force and an accomplished fighter, but not a goon. He was tough but fair, 100 percent class.
He often skated on one of the most complete lines in NHL history: Gillies on the left. He was a battleship. Bryan Trottier at center. A gritty, gifted playmaker. Mike Bossy on the right. He ranks with Mario Lemieux as hockey’s best pure finisher ever.
But none of those three was a one-trick pony. They fit together perfectly and played the right way. That line could be unstoppable. All are in the Hall of Fame.
I crossed paths with Gillies a few times at Lemieux’s fantasy camp. He was a celebrity coach. Gillies was a great guy, and very funny. I’m honored to have met him.
Clark Gillies, RIP. He made hockey better on so many levels.
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