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Clark Gillies & the Hall of Fame

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12-13-2005, 05:31 PM
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Hockey Outsider
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Clark Gillies & the Hall of Fame

Getting elected to the Hall of Fame is supposed to be one of the greatest honours a hockey player can acheive. However, I think that Clark Gillies' induction to the Hall of Fame actually hurt his legacy. Before he was inducted, Gillies was applauded as a "true hockey player" and a prototypical power forward. Everybody loved his toughness, fearlessness, and clutch play. Even though nobody considered Gillies a HOF'er, he was almost universally respected.

Since he got inducted in 2002, Gillies has only been rememered as one of the worst players to make the HOF. I've seen dozens of people argue "if Gillies is in, (undeserving player) also deserves to be in". He (along with guys like Federko, Neely, etc) are always brought up when discussing the Hall's lowering and/or inconsistent (Anderson, Howe) standards.

I think that the reputation of being one of the worst HOF'ers ever has made a lot of people forget who Gillies actually was: one of the greatest, fierciest warriors in the modern NHL. It's an ironic shame that getting elected to the HOF has overshadowed his legacy as a player. Anybody agree/disagree?

(For the record, no, I definitely don't think Gillies belongs in the HOF; but of course that's not the point I'm trying to make).


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 12-13-2005 at 08:18 PM.
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12-13-2005, 07:39 PM
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Excellent post and I concur with everything you said. Gillies was a top-notch player who`s positive attributes have been forgotten because of his Hall induction. I`ve also never heard anyone say anything bad about Gillies as a person, from all accounts he was a classy individual. The thing I liked best about him was that he was regarded as one of, if not the toughest players in the league. Yet, in his entire career he never had over 100 PMs in a season. He was definitely not a goon or a troublemaker.

The strange part about his Hall induction was that he`d been passed over about 10 times before he got in. The only reasons I can think of to explain that are:

- the hockey media a few years ago had a fetish for the term "power forward". It was always mentioned that a team needed a power forward to win the Cup. The Hockey News had some idiotic formula combining points and PMs to determine the best power forward. So it would stand to reason that when a weak year for new candidates came up, they would look at previously overlooked candidates and maybe they asked who the top power forward of the 70s was; Gillies obviously.

- What year did Al Arbour join the selection committee? If it was around that time, is it possible that he was the one who nominated Gillies and maybe played a big role in persuading the others to agree with him? Just speculation.

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12-13-2005, 08:03 PM
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I know people are probably expecting me to defend Gillies induction because I put a heavy emphasis on the playoffs, and Gillies does have four rings, but to me it's an issue of what they contributed to those championship teams. Gillies was a secondary player on those Isles teams. (Smith, Potvin, Bossy and Trottier were the cogs). Goring was the missing link and the playoff MVP in 1980, but I don't think he's in the Hall. If Gillies is in there, why don't we induct Bourne, Tonelli and Nystrom as well? Glenn Anderson was, IMO, a better player than Gillies, and a more important part of the Oilers dynasty, and he put up better playoff numbers, but he keeps being passed over.

I track the HHOF very closely, and I never heard anyone clamouring for Gillies induction. It's not like we're talking about Anderson, LaFontaine, Neely or Ciccarelli.

But I think Hockey Outsider made a great point from the outset. We're talking about a guy who was an excellent hockey player. He was a power forward in every sense before the term existed. I believe he had a couple all-star team selections. The Islanders spent many years looking for Gillies' replacement after he was gone. (They hoped Bertuzzi would be that guy. He was, but for Vancouver). But is Gillies an HHOFer? No. Worst selection (excluding the Veterans committee) in a very long time.

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12-14-2005, 03:10 PM
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Gillies is one of the few people in the HOF who I wouldn't even have CONSIDERED to vote for.

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12-15-2005, 07:59 PM
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Excellent post. As an owner of a Gillies jersey since '77 I agree 100%. Instead of leaving a legacy as a primier power forward, he's become the whipping boy for the HOF. Hopefully, that will fade over time.

http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.p...77#post3481777

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12-15-2005, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isles52480
Excellent post. As an owner of a Gillies jersey since '77 I agree 100%. Instead of leaving a legacy as a primier power forward, he's become the whipping boy for the HOF. Hopefully, that will fade over time.

http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.p...77#post3481777

It is an interesting concept. As an Oilers fan I wasn't too fond of Gillies, but he could play on my team any time. It's a shame that he is less remembered for his contribution to his team's dynasty than for his questionable induction to the Hall of fame...

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12-16-2005, 08:28 AM
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isles52480
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
It is an interesting concept. As an Oilers fan I wasn't too fond of Gillies, but he could play on my team any time. It's a shame that he is less remembered for his contribution to his team's dynasty than for his questionable induction to the Hall of fame...
Curious, as an Oilers fan what was it about Gillies that you didn't care for? He wasn't a nasty player or cheap shot artist and didn't take runs at players.

Just curious.

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12-16-2005, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isles52480
Curious, as an Oilers fan what was it about Gillies that you didn't care for? He wasn't a nasty player or cheap shot artist and didn't take runs at players.

Just curious.

Nothing other than the fact that he played for the Isles, who I hated when I was thirteen. Like Bossy, Trottier, Langevin, Potvin I would have loved Gillies if he had been on another team. I can't think of anything nasty about those guys. Smith I hated a bit more because he was dirty, but then again I never minded Glen Anderson's on ice shenanigans.

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12-16-2005, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
Nothing other than the fact that he played for the Isles, who I hated when I was thirteen. Like Bossy, Trottier, Langevin, Potvin I would have loved Gillies if he had been on another team. I can't think of anything nasty about those guys. Smith I hated a bit more because he was dirty, but then again I never minded Glen Anderson's on ice shenanigans.
Cool. I don't need many reasons to dislike Ranger$

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