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08-26-2013, 04:15 PM
  #154
BadgerBruce
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As a competitor, Clarke had a dark side that Gilmour did not. Clarke-led teams reflected both his methods and his madness on the ice, and I'm not sure what line he wouldn't cross to help his team win. He had Trottier-like skills and a Ted Lindsay-like temperament. The combination was lethal.

Gilmour is perhaps best remembered for the '93 "Gretzky non-call" high stick he absorbed. Clarke is perhaps best remembered for the vicious two-hander he delivered in '72. In many ways, this is how I remember their careers: Clarke was a predator; Gilmour was prey.

My sense has always been that the "Clarke Captaincy" years under Shero represented a significant sea change for the NHL in terms of how team captains were selected and the roles and responsibilities expected of them. When given the "C" in 1973, Clarke was just 23, at that time the youngest captain in NHL history. Consider for a moment that 33 year old Ed Van Impe stepped down to accommodate the decade-younger Clarke. The East's 4 playoff teams were captained by Johnny Bucyk (38), Henri Richard (37), Vic Hadfield (33), and Dave Keon (33). Grizzled veterans all. In the West, the other 3 playoff teams were captained by Terry Harper (33), Keith McCreary (33) and Chicago's 3-headed monster of Bill White (34), Stan Mikita (33), and Doug Jarret (29).

Today, young captains are the norm. But Clarke, to my mind, stands out as "the first" relative puppy to demonstrate that youth can lead.

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