This is Mike Gillis as a Baltimore Skipjack. He was a very high pick (5th overall) his draft year but injuries were a problem all down the line. He suffered a leg injury October 1, 1976 and missed all but 4 games that season. He missed part of 77-78 with a broken collarbone, and tore knee ligaments during Colorado’s 1978 training camp. He missed half of 1979-80 season due to complications from his 1978 knee surgery. He missed the entire 1984-85 season with a broken leg, an injury suffered in Boston’s 1984 training camp (September 1984). Much of the info here is courtesy Hockey Draft Central.
When his playing career ended Gillis went about the hard work of becoming a lawyer and then became a player agent. He was a finalist for the job as Atlanta Thrashers’ first general manager, but lost out to Don Waddell in June 1998.
Among other things we know about him:
- Gillis has negotiated some of the biggest contracts in NHL history.
- He has been extremely successful in a wicked business over a long period of time, with clients ranging from Pavel Bure, Tony Amonte, Mike Richter, Valeri Bure, Bobby Holik, Pat Verbeek, Ulf Dahlen, Peter Zezel to Markus Naslund and recently Sam Gagner.
- What makes Gillis’ success as an agent even more remarkable is the fact that during his own playing days, he was represented by the notoriously corrupt Alan Eagleson, who later went to jail for defrauding many of his clients, including Gillis. After Gillis’ stopped playing, he was eligible to receive disability insurance payments from the NHL. Although Eagleson had no right to do so, he convinced Gillis to pay him 15 percent of his disability money. He lied to Gillis in claiming that he had negotiated the a special disability deal, getting more money than Gillis would have otherwise received. Over 10 years later, in 1997, Gillis successfully sued Eagleson for $570,000, most of which went to cover his own legal costs for pursuing the lawsuit. Later in his own career as an agent, Gillis continued to speak out against corruption in his condemnation of the practice of giving lavish gifts or cash to young players in order to earn their business. (Source: Hockey Draft Central).
I’m going to find it very difficult to dislike Mike Gillis.