Gilles Gratton

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Gilles Gratton
Born (1952-07-28)July 28, 1952
LaSalle, Quebec, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Ottawa Nationals
Toronto Toros
St. Louis Blues
New York Rangers
National team  Canada
Playing career 1972–1978

Gilles Gratton (born July 28, 1952 in LaSalle, Quebec) is a retired ice hockey goaltender.

Hockey career[edit]

As a youth, Gratton played in the 1965 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from LaSalle, Quebec.[1]

Gratton began his junior hockey career in 1969 with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey Association; after three years in Oshawa, Gratton was drafted in the fifth round of the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. Instead of signing with Buffalo (where his brother, Norm Gratton, would soon be playing after his acquisition from the Atlanta Flames), Gilles jumped to the new World Hockey Association, inking a deal with the Ottawa Nationals; in 1973, Gratton would move with the team to Toronto, as the franchise became the Toronto Toros. At the 1974 Summit Series, Gratton was selected as Team Canada's number three goaltender, seeing action in warm-up games against Finland and Czechoslovakia, and very briefly in Game Three of the series against the Soviet Union.[2]

In 1975, Gratton jumped to the St. Louis Blues of NHL, but injuries limited him to just six games. The following year, Gratton wound up with the New York Rangers, splitting time in goal with John Davidson. Finally, Gratton played one game with the minor-league New Haven Nighthawks in the 1977-78 season before retiring.

Gratton is perhaps best known for his goalie mask, which was an adaptation of his astrological sign, Leo. However, Gratton states that he got the idea from a picture in a National Geographic magazine that he was reading on a plane flight, stating, "It's not a lion mask at all. It's a tiger."[3] Allegedly, Gratton would live up to his "feline" image by growling at opposing players on the ice, and even hissing like a cat during a fight.[4]

"Gratoony the Loony"[edit]

Throughout his career, Gratton, nicknamed "Gratoony the Loony", was known for his eccentric personality and outspoken character, often drawing attention away from his talent. While playing in the WHA, he once hurled insults against the opposing team's fans in San Diego ahead of a playoff game.[5] Legend has it that Gratton once told his teammates he was reincarnated and had once been a soldier in the Spanish Inquisition.[6] Gratton also allegedly believed that, in a previous existence, he was an executioner who had stoned people to death, and thus was "fated" to be a goalie as punishment.[7] While with the Toros, he refused to play because the moon was in the wrong part of the sky, thereby not lined up with Jupiter. He later stated he did so to protest against the firing of coach Billy Harris.[8][9]

On THN.com, he was voted to have the sixth scariest goalie mask.[4]

Today[edit]

In October 2015, ECW Press announced that it would be publishing Gratton's autobiography, Grattoony the Loony, written with author Greg Oliver.[10]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1969–70 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 26 1550 129 0 4.99
1970–71 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 47 2808 234 0 5.00
1971–72 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 50 3000 178 3 3.56 10 5 4 1 600 31 0 3.10
1972–73 Ottawa Nationals WHA 51 25 22 3 3021 187 0 3.71 .882 2 0 1 86 7 0 4.88 .904
1973–74 Toronto Toros WHA 57 26 24 3 3200 188 2 3.53 .895 10 5 3 539 25 1 2.78 .913
1974–75 Toronto Toros WHA 53 30 20 1 2881 185 2 3.85 .887 1 0 1 36 5 0 8.33
1975–76 St. Louis Blues NHL 6 2 0 2 265 11 0 2.49 .921
1976–77 New York Rangers NHL 41 11 18 7 2034 143 0 4.22 .858
1977–78 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 1 0 1 0 60 6 0 6.00 .760
WHA totals 161 81 66 7 9102 560 4 3.69 .888 13 5 5 661 37 1 3.36
NHL totals 47 13 18 9 2299 154 0 4.02 .866

International[edit]

Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1974 Canada SS 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.00

[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  2. ^ 1974 Summit Series
  3. ^ The Hockey News. Greatest Masks of All Time. Duff, Bob. Gilles Gratton. Pp 89–90.
  4. ^ a b "Top 10: Scary goalie masks". THN.com. October 31, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
  5. ^ Legends of Hockey http://www.legendsofhockey.net/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/SearchPlayer.jsp?player=18535
  6. ^ Zinser, Lynn (December 13, 2006). "Goalies Gone Normal: A Little South of Sanity". The New York Times.
  7. ^ McGrath, Charles (February 21, 2013). "How Come Martin Brodeur Is Still So Good?". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Radio-Canada - Que sont-ils devenus? Gilles Gratton http://www.radio-canada.ca/sports/hockey/2009/10/29/002-mardi03-gratton.shtml
  9. ^ Zinser, Lynn (December 13, 2006). "Goalies Gone Normal: A Little South of Sanity". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  10. ^ "ECW Press acquires two hockey memoirs". quillandquire.com. Quill and Quire. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Gratton's stats". The Goaltender Home Page. Retrieved 2017-09-30.

External links[edit]