Clark Gillies came to Long Island in 1974 as a hulking, clean shaven young man from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and, aside from a brief “Now With Sabres” period late in his career, never left the place where he became a legend.
He’s probably run into more than a few Islanders fans at gas stations and convenience stores over the last 40-plus years, but never as an employee, which he recently went undercover as as part of a team promotion.
To get word out about the #PumpedUpIsles hashtag (upload photos on Twitter or Instagram with it to enter to win tickets and signed Islanders memorabilia), Gillies posed as a worker at an OK Petroleum in Centereach. In the below video, Gillies hilariously talks Islanders and takes pictures with people who either have no idea he is who he is or who are kinda thinking it but are too afraid to ask because he could just be some guy working at a gas station who looks a helluva lot like Clark Gillies.
This kid is my favorite. Gillies asks him if he’s an Islanders fan, the kid nods yes, then is like, “Please go away, old man. I am only here for Slim Jims.” Gilles’ response is an “... awesome...” that Jim Halpert would be proud of.
After a while, people start catching on and Gillies ends up signing a bunch of pictures and posing for more.
On top of being a Hockey Hall of Famer, Gillies is also as friendly and gracious as they come. He’s also an incredible storyteller, as anyone that was at last year’s Puck Talks in Brooklyn will attest. He’s really into the whole bit and it’s very funny.
I live in New Jersey, where pumping your own gas is actually illegal. If you try it, two Rutgers DBs will immediately attempt to tackle you and drag you off to a holding cell in Trenton. Fortunately, they usually miss.