Inducted November 2, 2002
From his 1965 debut in provincial hockey as an award winning pee wee to the injury that ended his career on December 9, 1983 while he was playing with the Baltimore Skipjacks against the Rochester Americans in the American hockey league, Clarenville native Rob Gladney enjoyed exceptional success as a smart, tough, hard-skating, precise-passing defenceman at every level of hockey in which he played. A badly torn retina ended Gladney’s drive toward the National Hockey League just as he was making the final move to the big time.
In the Fall of 1983 Rob played 13 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins before moving on to play with the Skipjacks. In the 1982-83 playing season, Rob was named an American Hockey League 1st Team All-Star. Drafted 6th pick in the second round or 24th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1977 NHL draft, Rob won the International Hockey League’s Best Defenseman Award and was picked for the All-Star Team.
Rob was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1981, and sent to the Saginaw Gears Farm Team. That year Rob played 78 games getting 12 goals and 71 assists for 83 points, had only 54 minutes of penalties and was selected the International Hockey League’s Defenceman of the Year. That same year, the Saginaw Gears won the Turner Cup. On December 15, 1982, Rob saw his first NHL action when he was called to New York to play for the Los Angeles Kings against the New York Rangers.
During the 1981-1982 playing season, Rob was sent to the New Haven Nighthawks in December and led all Nighthawk defencemen in points. While playing for New Haven, Rob received the 7th Player Prize for skill and sportsmanship as voted by the fans. He finished with four individual awards for the 1982-83 season with the Nighthawks. In fact, his complete seven-season pro hockey career was filled with team and individual awards for a very valuable defenceman.
Rob’s 1975-76-77 junior hockey seasons were spent with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Junior Hockey organization. In 1975-76-77 Rob won the Best Defenseman Award, the General Auto Workers’ Memorial Trophy and the Most Valuable Defenseman as judged by the fans. In 1976-77 he was Team Captain, and won the Oshawa General Presidents’ Award. He played 188 games for Oshawa with 58 goals, 144 assists for 202 points and 187 penalty minutes. This was an excellent record for a defenceman who stood out defensively. As a perennial all-star for Clarenville minor teams from 1965 to 1974, he was voted 11 major individual awards as he provided outstanding leadership for teams that did extremely well in a variety of tournaments and championships, often against teams from communities that were much larger than Clarenville. Gladney was the leader and his teammates followed his leadership.
Rob also participated in several other sports. In 1972 Rob participated in the Clarenville Tennis Association’s Boys’ Junior Doubles Tennis Championship and won the Singles Tennis Championship. From 1972-74 Rob was a member of his high school volleyball and badminton teams and in 1974 he was named the Clarenville Recreation Association’s Athlete of the Year.
Rob is employed by Transport Canada and resides with his family in Riverview, New Brunswick.