November 24, 1962 |
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)|
|Played for||Calgary Flames
St. Louis Blues
Cavallini played one year for the St. Michael's Buzzers, a Junior hockey team in the Ontario Hockey Association (now part of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League). Following his short stint with the Buzzers, Cavallini was offered a scholarship to play college hockey for the Bowling Green State University Falcons. He remained with the Falcons for two years (1982–1984). He is noted for scoring the game-winning goal in the 1984 NCAA Championship game, 7:11 into the fourth overtime. At 97 minutes and 11 seconds, it stands today as one of the longest games in Division I hockey history.
Cavallini played parts of two seasons with the Flames, alternating between the NHL and minor AHL team, the Moncton Golden Flames. Following his second professional season, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues as part of a multi-player deal (Cavallini, Ed Beers and Charlie Bourgeois for Joey Mullen, Terry Johnson and Rik Wilson). While with the Blues, Cavallini served dutifully as the Alternate Captain to Brian Sutter. As part of the Ron Caron-managed franchise from 1986–1992, Cavallini helped provide leadership, enthusiasm and disciplined strength on the ice. During those seasons, the Blues re-established themselves as a competitive force in the Norris Division making the playoffs each year. During his playing seasons with the Blues, Gino's brother, defenceman Paul Cavallini also joined the squad.
Referred locally as "The Tank", Cavallini's grit on the ice was evident throughout his NHL seasons with Calgary (54 games), St. Louis (454 games) and later with the Quebec Nordiques (85 games). In total he played 593 regular season games, scoring 114 goals and 159 assists for 273 points and collecting 507 penalty minutes. He also played in 74 playoff games, scoring 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points and collecting 66 penalty minutes. From 1986–1990, Cavallini had his best NHL seasons, recording more than 30 points per season and scoring 20 goals in the 1988–89 season.
He left the NHL after the 1993 season where he spent 3 seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals of the International Hockey League. His commitment to the game helped solidify Cavallini as a leader for the Admirals with impressive stats scoring 139 goals and 248 points in 3 seasons. He then completed his career in Europe, playing primarily in Germany with EV Landshut and Austria with EC Villacher before retiring in the 2000–01 season.