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Truculent get… truculenter? Tough guy Gillies signs with Calgary’s AHL affiliate

Jan 31, 2014, 10:53 AM EDT

The Calgary organization is beefing up.


On Friday, Calgary’s AHL affiliate — the Abbotsford Heat — announced it had signed notorious tough guy Trevor Gillies. Gillies, 35, has appeared in 57 career NHL contests with the Ducks and Islanders, scoring three points while racking up 261 penalty minutes.

And no, that last part isn’t a typo.

Gillies’ most infamous moment(s) came during the 2010-11 campaign, when he was suspended nine games for this attack on then-Pittsburgh forward Eric Tangradi:

In his first game back from suspension, Gillies nailed then-Minnesota forward Cal Clutterbuck with this hit, earning himself a 10-game suspension:

Gillies has spent the last few seasons playing in Russia, Finland and, most recently, with ECHL Orlando.

As for the Flames, they already have a pair of heavyweights on their active roster — Kevin Westgarth (who GM Brian Burke acquired via trade) and Brian McGrattan — and were engaged in some fisticuffs two weeks ago during their now-infamous line brawl against Vancouver.

  1. jpelle82 - Jan 31, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    makes absolutely no hockey sense for this guy to be in the flames lineup…ever.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      Great move… now let the winning commence…

    • jpelle82 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:02 PM

  2. stcrowe - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Burke must be loading up for the next Flames-Canucks game.

    It is very rare that I suggest that any NHLer has zero hockey skill. Even guys like Westgarth and McGrattan rate 2 or 3 out of 10. A guy like John Scott might rate 1. Gillies is as close to a 0 out of 10 as I have seen in recent years.

  3. bcisleman - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    The Tangradi hit was always a bit of a mystery as Tangradi hadn’t really done anything in a game that was full of chippy play on both sides. The Clutterbuck hit, however, was justified as Cal had just levelled DiBenedetto from behind. Both players were injured but DiBenedetto never returned to the NHL again.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Yeah, safe to say clutterbuck had that one coming. He was just, ya know… probably expecting the comeback for it a lot later than .3 seconds.

  4. nunan - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    There is a difference between tough, physical players, who happen to fight but actually contribute.. and guys like Gillies. Burke is sending the wrong message…going about getting tough in the wrong way. Teams that employ those sorts of players never win. McGrattan is enough as far as employing a fighter. Stock up on physical, hard-nosed players who can play. That’s the sort of ‘truculence’ you want…guys like Shaw, Neil, Thornton, etc.

  5. bencia823 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that Burke has failed to make the playoffs as a GM since the 2004 lockout rule changes. This guy is basically a dinosaur of a GM at this point who still tries to build teams that play a style that is no longer prevalent.

    • storminator16 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Burke was the GM of the Ducks when they won the Stanley Cup in ’07.

    • sk8vantuyl - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Did you forget about 2005-2008 with the Ducks where he won a cup in 2007???

  6. jdrew506 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    This guy reminds me of Racki from Youngblood. Doesn’t belong anywhere near the ice unless it’s the 1970’s-80’s in Thunder Bay.

  7. charlieconway96 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Seems like a real sweetheart.

  8. 2qswing - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    He’s rockin that 70’s, Charlsetown Chiefs stasch though. Gotta like that eh

  9. killerpgh - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    If this is the type of players Burke is going to give Hartley he should probably demand a raise. It’s safe to say any time Gillies touches the ice the coach should be expecting a fine.

    Just a few months ago Gillies snapped on Jarkko Ruutu in one of the Finnish league. I always thought the Finnish elite leagues were less physical and more about skill and didn’t have players like Gillies, but I guess I was wrong.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      yeah he’s a complete db

  10. flash8910 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Guys like this give Burke a hard on.

  11. muckleflugga - Jan 31, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    look beyond the moment …

    think john gaudreau … five foot seven … lethal scoring and skill machine … coming to the nhl … coming to calgary … soon … home on the range

    think shotgun … riding

    thinking of touching gaudreau

    get your affairs in order

  12. buysamadrink - Jan 31, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Brian Burke’s to-do list:

    1. Sign 35 year old ill-tempered knuckledragging meathead with 70’s stache to minor league contract to bolster “organizational truculence”. CHECK.

    2. Scout Mike Tyson, specifically looking for degree of mental instability and skating ability. If he cannot skate, can he be trained to skate well enough in time for March 8th game vs Canucks?

    3. Coax Marty McSorley out of retirement.

    4. Start all three vs. Canucks on March 8th.

  13. nicofthenorthstar - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    Classy move by the Flames. If you can’t beat ’em, injure ’em.

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