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kennydryden Profile
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Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


Here is an interview of Rod Gilbert about Gilles Gratton that I have found on the NHL site.
It is funny and very interesting.

Here it is:
Gilles Gratton joined the Rangers in 1976 after playing three years in the WHA and a part of another season with the St. Louis Blues in 1975-76. Gratton had a lot of ability, but also came to New York with a legacy of stories.

"There was nobody weirder than him." Gilbert said with a smile. "Not only did I play with him, but I let him live in my house. He was very, very different. We got hypnotized one time by a psychologist, a priest who used to work with the Yankees and the Mets, Father Joe Dispenza, and we learned that Gilles Gratton had been reincarnated from being an executioner from Barcelona and he used to stone people to death. Now, he is in the goal and whenever he didn't feel right, he would get out of the way of the puck because he thought it was a rock.

"He could play the piano really well. He had the most talent of any goalie I ever played with. Better than Giacomin. If he was on, nobody was better than him. I went 0-for-20 against him in a shootout. Nobody has ever done to me, including Giacomin, Plante and Sawchuk at the end of the practice session. I was the most frustrated guy on earth when I couldn't score on him."

But that frustration on ice did carry over to Gilbert's Manhattan townhouse. Seems that Gilbert couldn't make heads or tails out of Gratton there either.

"He was so talented in many areas. He had memorized this disc by Andre Gagnon, who is a top pianist in Canada, and recited the whole album. I had a piano and he sat behind the piano one day and played the whole album like you think it was the album itself without looking at any music."

Gratton never took any piano lessons.

Gratton also threatened to streak on ice. "Streaking" was a mid 1970s college craze where students would run through an outside common area naked.

"I think it was his last game (the Rangers final game of the 1976-77 season in Los Angeles) that he was going to leave in style in LA. He wanted to go out with his skates, jock strap and his mask. He had a mask representing a lion. But he didn't do it because everything had to be aligned with the stars.

"I remember one day, John Davidson got injured in Vancouver and we didn’t have time to bring in a substitute and that night Gilles was scheduled to play. He told (Rangers GM and coach John) Ferguson, who is not a good guy to tell, that he didn't feel right. John Ferguson had gotten him here. Gilles, I know his act now and I see him in the warm-up that he is not stopping the puck. This was after we had been hypnotized and he said he didn't feel right.

"I said 'Gilles you got to play, I mean this game could put us in the playoffs, you got to play.' He said 'I can't.' I said 'What do you mean you can't?' I said 'You know I am sick and tired of your bull, you tell the coach.' He said call him in, so I call Ferguson in and Ferguson came in and I said 'Tell him, don't tell me.'

"So he says to Ferguson, 'Don't play me tonight, the stars are not aligned and I am not psychologically prepared to play.'"

The Rangers missed the playoffs, Gratton never streaked and had played in his last NHL game. Gratton would play one game with the New Haven Nighthawks in 1977-78 and retired at the age of 25.
2/4/2007, 8:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to kennydryden   Send PM to kennydryden
 
maskman30 Profile
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Re: Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


Is Gilbert freaking carazy saying that Gratton was more talented than Giacomin? This guy is crazy. I never liked him. He is so full of himself.
2/4/2007, 8:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to maskman30   Send PM to maskman30
 
Lindbergh31 Profile
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Re: Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


I remember hearing/reading about those streaking stories....for some reason I always thought he actually did streak,in this interview it says he thought about it bu t never did it.



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craigcoxe Profile
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Re: Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


quote:

Lindbergh31 wrote:

I remember hearing/reading about those streaking stories....for some reason I always thought he actually did streak,in this interview it says he thought about it bu t never did it.




I thought he streaked too. In one of my books, Ferguson talked about how in one pre-games, one fo the Rangers came over to the bench and told Ferguson that he shouldn't play Gratton tonight. He asked why. The Rangers (can't remember who it was) said Gratton is growling (like a big cat) at everyone. Ferguson shrugged it off and started Gratton.

In a skirmish that happened in the Rangers' end, players were paired up and Gratton (as Ferguson said 'If I didn't see it myself I wouldn't believe it.") dropped his gloves and started to skate and stalk the players with his hands out like claws, growling. He jumped onto one of the players and 'mauled' him.

I mentioned this story to the folks at Classic Auctions where Gratton works and they asked him one day over lunch. I think they asked him about the streaking too and they said he laughed and said they were true.
2/4/2007, 9:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to craigcoxe   Send PM to craigcoxe
 
Lindbergh31 Profile
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Re: Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


Coxe Yeah I have the same book.

I think that story was prinited in a big coffe table book called "NHL The World Of Professional Hockey"

Mario Lessard is on the cover.

great book!



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2/5/2007, 9:43 pm Link to this post Send Email to Lindbergh31   Send PM to Lindbergh31
 
craigcoxe Profile
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Re: Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


Lindbergh: I just posted some neat books I found on ebay in the Classified Section, if you are missing any, they are at very good prices.
2/5/2007, 10:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to craigcoxe   Send PM to craigcoxe
 
algoon Profile
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Re: Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


When he was on, perhaps Gratton was better than Giacomin. But the true professional makes sure he is on all the time. Clearly Gratton had little interest in staying in the pro ranks whereas Giacomin played day in, day out. SUre, any goalie can get hot, but to do it as a daily job is completely different level of talent and desire.
2/6/2007, 6:53 am Link to this post Send Email to algoon   Send PM to algoon
 
NYR1 Profile
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Re: Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


 emoticon Let me just say that Rod Gilbert may have had one too many drinks before this interview. The fact is Rod and Eddie were never really that close. They had little in common even during their playing days. Eddie was a family man who never was one to seek the limelite. Rod was a swinging bachelor who craved attention and usally always got what he wanted during those early days. The fact is Rod was extremely jealous of Eddie, once the New York Ranger fans adopted him as their favorite son. Rod couldn't stand those "Eddie, Eddie", chants, that rained down into his ears almost every night. Till this day, during on ice ceremonies, Eddie always gets a louder ovation then Rod, and it makes him nuts. During the Mike Richter and Mark Messier retirement ceremonies, Rod got to hear 18,000 plus of his so called fans shout out Eddie's name in complete harmony. I believe Rod has developed a serious inferiority complex in regards to Eddie, which is why he would need to make a moronic remark that Gilles Gratton had more talent then Eddie. I will see Eddie this weekend, and make him laugh when I mention Rods statement. I'm laughing myself.
2/8/2007, 8:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to NYR1   Send PM to NYR1
 
maskman30 Profile
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Re: Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


Tony,

Amen brother. I could not have said it better myself. Both you and I know what's what between Eddie and Rod. He never liked the fact that Eddie was New York's favorite Ranger during that period. And for years after they were both retired, Rod never included Eddie in the Alumni events
He really has a problem with Eddie's fame.

Dennis
2/9/2007, 5:30 am Link to this post Send Email to maskman30   Send PM to maskman30
 
NYR1 Profile
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Re: Rod Gilbert about Gilles Graton (Very interesting)


 emoticon Dennis, I would not have said it, if it were not true. Rod won't even appear with Eddie at the Rangers legends show this weekend. He would stroke out if he sees that Eddie has a longer line of fans waiting for an autograph.
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