Monday, August 24, 2009


Count me in as one of the people who views Clarke as a menace not a top-level player worthy of respect or admiration.

In '72 he showed the world several examples of what kind of player he was, dirty, nasty, backstabbing, egotistical, he unfortunately gained a totally undeserved reputation as the kind of player a team needed to win against a highly skilled team like the Soviets.

I will acknowledge that he had exceptional passing skills and was decent at face-offs especially when he was allowed to cheat which was quite often in the NHL especially for many years after the Summit Series where he gained a reputation as a key player for Team Canada that is quite of out proportion with his actual contributions.

Many people are under the impression that Clarke made Paul Henderson in that series yet interestingly in my Revised Statistics I discovered that Clarke earned only 5 points in 8 games (not 6 as he was given an assist on Canada's 3rd goal in Game 5 that actually should have gone to Ellis) and thus earned points in only 3 of Canada's eight games.

He also gained four of those five points in two of Canada's most disappointing losses (Game 1 and 5) and had NO points at all in the crucial games 6, 7 and 8 of Canada's unbelievable comeback yet again gained this undeserved reputation as a "clutch" performer even though he was nowhere to be found offensively when the games were really on the line.

Meanwhile Henderson had 11 revised points gained in 6 of Canada's games and 2 of those points came while playing with Phil Esposito in Game 8!

Thus, I would argue who actually made who in 1972?

I for one believe that Dave Keon would have greatly outshone Clarke if he had not been passed over for the '72 team as he had not yet signed an NHL contract and had an offer on the table from the WHA's Ottawa Nationals.

Dave was a much better skater than Clarke, a terrific checker, a good face off man, quite familiar with playing with Henderson and Ellis and very capable of putting points on the board. He would have done just as well or better against the Soviets and would never have taken the kind of stupid and undisciplined penalties that Clarke did that only served to inspire the Soviet players against such dirty play.

Richard B.


  1. What got into your cornflakes this morning?

  2. My (even) anonymous friend,

    The published article is an opinion of well-known and highly respected Richard Bendell. It may not correspond and reflect my own views. Every one is free to comment and leave one's opinion here. That was the reason behind to have these comments opened (even for anonymous authors)