TAIT: Clark Gillies’ links to Edmonton forged with characteristic warmth and humour

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Clark Gillies, left, poses with former Oilers Marty McSorley and Paul Coffey at an event in Calgary in 2017. Postmedia file Article content

In 1991, a group of friends from Edmonton stood outside of the Moose Jaw’s Hillcrest Golf Club on a warm Saskatchewan night, 10 hours before 18 holes of golf, a banquet and refreshments.

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Two cabs rolled up and we piled in before someone astutely asked: “Where are we going?”

Clark Gillies had one foot in the front door. “The Royal,” he growled. “Gotta get you city slickers to the Royal.”

Away we went, the five-minute drive south on Main Street.

“Welcome boys,” Gillies said when we went into the bar. “This is Moose Jaw.”

The news of Gillies’ passing Friday has generated warm words and gracious comments about the man know as Jethro.

Edmonton Oiler fans were not fond of Gillies when the forward wore a New York Islander jersey in early 1980s and zoomed down his wing —  rugged if needed — and squashed the Oilers’ hopes of winning their first Stanley Cup.

That ended in 1984. Gillies was part of the Isles when Edmonton earned their first Stanley Cup.

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When the hockey season ended and the golf…

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