Clark Gillies, a Hockey Hall of Fame The power forward and four-time Stanley Cup winner with the New York Islanders died Friday, according to the National Hockey League. He was 67 years old. No cause of death was given.
“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Clark Gillies, a tour de force on the ice for Dynasty New York Islanders of the early 1980s and a pillar of the Long Island community ever since,” the commissioner said. NHL, Gary Bettman. noted.
“Gillies helped define the term ‘power forward’ during a 14-season Hall of Fame career with the Islanders and Buffalo Sabers, which was highlighted by winning four consecutive Stanley Cups with the Islanders.”
The Saskatchewan native was selected fourth overall by the Islanders in the 1974 NHL Draft. with the islandershe scored 304 goals and had 359 assists in 872 games over 12 seasons.
In 159 playoff games with the Islanders, Gillies had 47 goals and 46 assists. One of 17 Islanders to win four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983, Gillies was a member of the group that won a league record 19 consecutive playoffs – a record that still stands.
The left-winger was on one of the most successful forward lines of the decade, dubbed the “Grande Trio,” along with two future Hockey Hall of Famers, center Bryan Trottier and right-winger Mike Bossy. This line also led Team Canada to a second-place finish at the 1981 Canada Cup.
“The entire Islanders community is devastated by the loss of Clark Gillies,” Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “He epitomized what it means to be a New York Islander. The pride he felt wearing the Islanders jersey on the ice was evident in his will to do whatever it takes to win. Off the ice, he was just as present, always taking the time to give back to the local community.
“The New York Islanders have four Stanley Cups because of the sacrifices he and members of those dynasty teams have made for the franchise. On behalf of the entire organization, we send our deepest condolences to the entire Gillies family.
After the Islanders 4-0 home win over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday, head coach Barry Trotz said the forward will be missed.
“He was larger than life,” Trotz said. “When you saw Clark Gillies you thought Islander. I mean there was no doubt. There was no gray area. Charismatic. He played the right way; he was part of the community.
“Whatever you think of an Islander, being a good teammate, a fantastic person, all those things. My heart sank when I was told I was coming off the ice. We will miss him, you know, we will really miss him.
New York retired Gillies’ number 9 jersey on December 7, 1996.
In 2002, Gillies was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. His bio page it reads: “He was a relentless competitor who was virtually unstoppable when the opposing team raised their anger.”
Gillies will end his career with 319 goals and 378 assists in the regular season, after playing two seasons with the Sabres.
Gillies created The Clark Gillies Foundation, a non-profit society that helps children with physical, developmental and/or financial difficulties. The goal, according to the organization’s website, “is to help children improve their quality of life and be of service in times of crisis.”
The pediatric emergency unit at Huntington Hospital on Long Island was named after Gillies and its foundation.