Wendel Clark

“Several years ago when I retired as a player, I stated the two proudest moments of my hockey career were when I was drafted first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs and second, the day I was named captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Clark said during a brief speech. “Tonight’s the official hat trick.” [link]

That night (last night) was the night his number was retired with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I guess this is proof that I wasn’t a Leafs fan in the 80’s, because I don’t remember him as a big enforcer.  When I think “wild-eyed 5-minute major for fighting”, I think Tie Domi.  But You-Tube has plenty of reminders of just how much this guy gave for the game, and for the Leafs.  I do remember the McSorley/Gilmour debacle, as that was the year I became a Leafs fan.

[man, at 0:41 there is a moment when McSorley looks like he could have gone end-over-end, and Clark would have had the better of him…  all but for 1/16th of an edge of ice.]

Before that, in the 80’s, when I wasn’t much of a fan, my new friends at summer camp tried to convince me that Wendel Clarke was their uncle.  It didn’t take much convincing, since I was all like “Wendel who?”  And it turns out that the joke was really on me, as they were “Clarke” and he was “Clark”, but that didn’t stop me from asking how their uncle was doing…  I guess the joke continues to be on me.

It’s weird being in Washington, and having the captian here be number 17 with the name Clark; now there’s hardly a game that goes by that I don’t think about Mr. Wendel.

Also makes me wonder if time will be so kind to Mr. Sundin, who has clearly been one of the most prolific Leafs, but who is leaving under such strained circumstances.

Whatev; looks like Gilmour is getting his due — his number will be raised in Toronto on Jan. 31.

More Wendel — All Heart:

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6 Comments

Filed under hockey

6 responses to “Wendel Clark

  1. re: the video clip — Gilmour didn’t have his head down. I’m not ready to say it was an elbow or a bad hit, but he wasn’t unaware — he just couldn’t avoid the freight train that was coming at him.

  2. killer

    did you shed a tear?

  3. I haven’t found a clip of the banner going up, but I bet I will when I see it.

  4. Rob

    Wasn’t the first clip from the ’93 playoffs? That was the year that I became a hockey fan. Maybe it was because it was new and exciting to me, but I still think of that year as being the last great playoff season. The Leafs/Kings series was brutal. Doug Gilmour with double black eyes, Wendel Clark looking way mean…surprised I didn’t become a Leafs fan. That was also the year that Hunter destroyed Turgeon. Good times, good times.

  5. rob

    Excellent… words do little to describe the full passion for the game that Clark has… however, I would kick myself if I didn’t call you out on the ‘Mr. Wendel’ phrasing in your post… thank you so much for putting that chorus in my brain… who was it? A Tribe called Quest?

  6. st4rbux

    Arrested Development

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