Steve Shutt Or Clark Gillies. Who Would You Take?


They’re both Hall of Famers, both were left wingers, they both played 14 seasons, and both come from the same era.

One was a huge, tough player with great hands, and the other was smaller with great hands.

Both were extremely important players on their teams.

Who would you pick to play left wing on your team, Clark Gillies or Steve Shutt?

Shutt, 5’11”, 180 pounds, notched 424 goals and 393 assists for 817 points in 930 games. And he had only 410 minutes in penalties. In the playoffs, Shutt had 98 points in 99 games.

Gillies, 6’3″, 210 pounds, tallied 319 goals and 378 assists for 697 points in 958 games. He was sent to the penalty box for a total of 1023 minutes. In the playoffs, Gillies had 94 points in 164 games.

Gary Lupul told me once that of all the players he played against when he was with the Canucks, it was Gillies who frightened him the most. He was as strong as a bull who could also play the finesse game – a very lethal combination. Gillies also benefitted from playing alongside Brian Trottier and Mike Bossy and grabbing rebounds from a Denis Potvin slapshot.

Shutt on the other hand didn’t scare anybody except enemy goalies. He’d been a junior superstar with the Toronto Marlies, and continued his knack for scoring when he joined the Canadiens. Many times he simply cashed in after Lafleur or Lemaire had done much of the work, but regardless, if garbage goals were easy, then everyone would be scoring. Phil Esposito was the same sort of goal scorer as Shutt. And Shutt also grabbed rebounds from Robinson, Lapointe and Savard at the point.

Both were extremely valuable players on cup-winning teams, – Gillies with the Islanders, Shutt with the Habs. Their points are similiar, their size isn’t.

Who would you take?

14 thoughts on “Steve Shutt Or Clark Gillies. Who Would You Take?”

  1. That’s a good question… hard one to answer.

    I lean towards Shutt, just because he’s ingrained in my brain as a great Habs player.

    But there’s no doubt Gillies would have looked good in a Habs uniform too!

  2. At the time when they both played I’d probably take Shutt but today with the size of the players and especially the advantage a power forward gives you I’d be inclined to take Gillies.
    You know when I picked up that McFarlane duo of Lafleur and Shutt I did kind of think of Shutt as a throw in but watching that video reminded me why I really liked him when he played. Seeing how quickly he could redirect a pass or shot was really amazing. Thanks Dennis your timing is impeccable!

  3. I’d take Shutt too but a big, tough power forward is hard to come by. And geez, more and more I’m thinking I should have bought some McFarlane’s.

  4. Gillies would have to bulk up some too. A lot of today’s power forwards are coming in at least 15 – 20 lbs heavier. Now I think I’ll go look at Koivu, Kovalev, Lafleur, and Shutt and see where I want to display them. 🙂

  5. That’s it. Now I’ve got to get over to the Wal-Mart in Courtenay and get some McFarlane’s. It’s your fault.

  6. I dunno about a country mile. Shutt had better skills, just not as tough. I think it’s a bit closer than a country mile.

  7. theres no doubt in my mind I’d take Steve Shutt over Clark Gillies. I dont see whats so great about Clark Gillies, besides the fact he played on a dynasty team and won 4 Stanley cups, there is nothing about him that I find overly impressive, and I dont have a clue how he made the hockey hall of fame. He is well below any important milestone and hes not even remotely close to a point per game for his career. His lack of numbers are grossly inflated in part to playing with Mike Bossy. Clark Gillies being in the hall of fame makes me think Todd Bertuzzi is a first ballot hall of famer (sarcasm) if he can muster up a stanley cup or two. Players like Clark Gillies being in the hall of fame is what separates hockey’s hall of fame to all of the other major sports hall of fames, the standards to get into hockey’s is terribly low.

    Steve Shutt is another questionable hall of famer but definitely makes a stronger case then Gillies. This question to me is a no brainer regardless of Gillies size and tuffness. Shutt all the way.

  8. Definitely a tough call.

    Shutt was a compliment to the gritty Lemaire and flying Lafleur. Gillies was a compliment to Bossy and Trotts. What you lack in scoring with Gillies you more than make up with toughness. At the time you had some bruising teams in the Flyers and Bruins. These teams won on intimidation. Do the Islanders win their first cup if Gillies doesn’t go toe-to-toe with the Hammer? Do they beat the Bruins in the playoffs if Gillies doesn’t go for a few tilts with O’Reilly?

    Without Shutt do the Canadiens dominate in 76-77, probably the greatest team of all time. 60 goals by Shutt and an unbelieveable record. Shutt would have probably put up even better numbers if he was the center of attention. The rest of Shutt’s stats speak for themselves.

    Can’t pick either way, but I’m glad the Hockey Hall of Fame did the right thing and put both of these guys in. For the same reason I’d take Beliveau over Gretzky if I was starting a team and want to win a cup, there’s more to hockey than just stats.

  9. Nice comment, Sam. I think it’s a tough call too. Some don’t though. Some feel Gillies didn’t have enough hockey skills, just a lot of strength. And some feel Shutt was bascically a garbage goal scorer. I think you’re right, the Hall did them both justice by putting both in. Thnaks, Sam, good stuff.

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