Did we see a new Gillies? Would he show some respect to the game and his opponents, or continue to be a worthless, skill-less hack with no redeeming qualities as a hockey player outside of his ability to hold his own in a fight?
Gillies chose Option B.
Was Cal Clutterbuck guilty of a penalty? Yes.
That's why the officials called one.
Gillies, of course, can't just let that be enough. He decided to hit Clutterbuck in the head, then made it clear after the game that he just doesn't get it.
"I went over and finished my hit. There was no intent to injure him. That's it. I didn't think it was from behind at all. I hit him from the side."
If the only thing required to make a hit not dirty was "don't hit him from behind," we wouldn't have a problem here.
But you're not allowed to target an opponent's head, whether you hit him in the back, side, or front.
The only thing worse than a dirty hockey player is a dirty hockey player who pretends to have no understanding of why everyone thinks he's dirty.
Gillies might have that understanding, but he doesn't display it here.
I'm not going to sit here and say the guy should be kicked out of the NHL. If some team in the league is stupid enough to pay Gillies a salary to be nothing more than a piece of trash and a stain on his team and the sport, then so be it.
But Gillies sat nine games, then came back and pulled this crap in his first game off the suspension. The Islanders have 17 games left. If the league wants to send a strong message about this behavior, Gillies won't be eligible to play in any of them.