Not a huge decision, heavyweight enforcers are a dime a dozen, but I think this discussion should be brought up. Gillies had bled orange and blue this year, no doubt. But Gillies also has done some stupid stuff, concussing a pens player + yelling at him from the hallway and in his 1st game back going high(accidental or
not) with his hand punching clutterbuck in the face, getting him suspended for 19gms this season and making us look “goonish”. A reputation is impossible to get rid of, and now Gillies will be looked upon the hockey world as a cheap dirty goon. And do we wanna be the team that employs, as some would see, a cooke-esque player?
Don’t get me wrong, the rest of Gillies time here was much appreciated. The fights after questionable hits on our guys, the meaningless but entertaining heavyweight vs heavyweight fights, and the occasional big legal checks, he left his mark. I believe he also does some good community service stuff too. But he has zero hockey skills, just like any other heavyweight enforcer, and is at best a bit/slightly above average heavyweight enforcer.
I personally don’t want him back because he is replacable on the ice and his goonish/dirty reputation. I don’t think he is very vocal in the locker room, and konopka does that job well. He might be able to hype up the players a little on the bench, but besides that, he doesn’t bring a lot to the table imo. I’d rather bring in somebody with a clean suspension history that can do his job. Some possible replacements(ufa): Godard, MacIntyre, McGratton, possibly Rupp(lol, he can play a little hockey), among others.
What do you think and why?