Gaston Gingras

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Gaston Gingras
Gaston Gingras.jpg
Born (1959-02-13) February 13, 1959 (age 55)
Témiscaming, QC, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for Birmingham Bulls (WHA)
Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues
NHL Draft 27th overall, 1979
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1979–1996

Gaston Reginald Gingras (born February 13, 1959 in Témiscaming, Quebec) is a retired professional ice hockey defenceman who played ten seasons in the National Hockey League.[1][2]

Gingras did not start playing hockey until the age of seven, when he convinced his mother that if his best buddy could play then he would play too and she got the necessary equipment for both boys.[2]

In 1974, he played for the North Bay Trappers of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League and then with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, followed by the Hamilton Fincups also of the OHL. He then joined the World Hockey Association for the 1978/79 season with the Birmingham Bulls.

Gingras spent one season in Birmingham, joining Michel Goulet, Rick Vaive, Craig Hartsburg, Rob Ramage, Pat Riggin and Keith Crowder. After the 1978-79 season, the WHA merged with the NHL. Included in the merger were New England (Hartford), Quebec, Winnipeg,and Edmonton. Birmingham and Cincinnati were not brought under the auspices of the NHL and subsequently disbanded.

In the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, Gingras was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. Although he was not picked until the second round, and was 27th overall, he was Montreal's first pick, ahead of other players such as Mats Näslund, Guy Carbonneau and Rick Wamsley. Playing first with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the American Hockey League, he joined the Canadiens in the 1979–80 NHL season.[1] Gingras played four seasons at the Montreal Forum, alongside players such as Larry Robinson, Bob Gainey, Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt, before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for 2½ seasons. Possessing a fierce slap shot, he often played 'the point' on the Habs power play.

In the middle of the 1984–85 season, he was sent by the Leafs down to the AHL where he played for the St. Catharines Saints. He was then traded to the Sherbrooke Canadiens, Montreal's farm team. During this time another highlight of Gingras career emerged. Along with other notables, such as Patrick Roy, Stéphane Richer, Brian Skrudland and Ric Nattress, they won the Calder Cup.[3][4]

For the 1985–86 season, he returned to the Montreal Canadiens and was part of their Stanley Cup winning team that beat the Calgary Flames four games to one.

In the 1987–88 season, he played two games for the Canadiens before moving to the St. Louis Blues for almost two seasons. Near the end of the 1988–89 season he moved to Switzerland to play for EHC Biel followed by Hockey Club Lugano in the Italian part of Switzerland.

He then moved on to play for HC Gherdëina in Italy before returning to Canada to play for the Fredericton Canadiens where he was a player/coach until he retired. He returned to play a few games with the Chesapeake Icebreakers of the ECHL in their final season.

In his NHL career, Gingras played 476 games scored 61 goals and 174 assists for a total of 235 points while collecting 161 penalty minutes in the regular season. In the playoffs he scored 6 goals and 18 assists for 24 points in 52 games and collected 20 penalty minutes.

Although retired, Gingras still plays with the NHL Old Timers. He runs clinics to help youth players to become better players and holds one every Sunday in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec. In 2007, he went to Salluit Nunavik to help younger Inuit develop their hockey skills. He has also travelled to Inukjuak to do the opening ceremony for the Hudson Bay Cup. He went to Inukjuak with the Montreal Canadiens Alumni team. He practiced with Edua Jones, Stephane Lacasse, Conilucy Kutchaka just to name a few.

He is the uncle of figure skater Jennifer Robinson.

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