Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gary Sabourin

Gary Sabourin was a strong two way forward who worked hard to improve himself into a scoring threat.

"I'm just an average hockey player so I have to hustle," explained Sabourin of his hard working style "I score goals, yes, but in spurts. Most of the time, I have to rely on hard work."

Originally a prospect of the New York Rangers during the Original Six days, Gary was part of package sent to St. Louis in exchange for the coveted Rod Seiling. Sabourin would go on to become a fine player in St. Louis for 7 seasons.

Sheer perseverance got Gary into the National Hockey League. A good example of his work ethic was after his impressive rookie season where he impressed with his desire and dedication but only score 13 goals. He was told by the St. Louis coaching staff that he was missing too many goal scoring opportunities. So during his first summer as an NHLer Gary took home 100 pucks and practiced his aim and target shooting all summer long.

The extra effort paid off handsomely in his sophomore year, as he almost doubled his goal total to 25. Aside from an injury plagued 1970-71 season, Gary would continue to be a 20 goal scorer until 1973-74, twice reaching 28 red lights.

1973-74 was Gary's last season in St. Louis, and was one to forget. He had two knee injuries as he hurried himself back into the lineup, and had a spat with coach Lou Angotti. In the summer he was traded to Toronto, a move welcomed by Sabourin.

Off season surgery never fully fixed Sabourin's injuries though, and he never got untracked in Toronto. He moved on to the California Golden Seals and returned to the 20 goal level in 1975-76, but injuries ended his career the following season. That final season was actually spent in Cleveland as the Seals franchise moved to the Ohio city and became the Barons.

6 comments:

Anonymous,  April 22, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

Gary is a Class act! Great person to know and admire as a great hockey player!

liquidsilver43 April 11, 2012 at 5:39 PM  

I was at a St Louis Blues game as a young girl and I thought Gary was totally awesome! I still have one of the sticks he used in that game (that had broken). It is a great memory for me!

Anonymous,  July 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM  

Being my cousin, whenever Gary was in Toronto we always had tickets for the game.

janet February 2, 2016 at 7:38 PM  

My brother and I got to know Gary in Omaha when he played for the Knights. Our family went to St. Louis for two games in two different years and arrived early to talk with him. He still remembered us, which made us feel great. After he retired, my brother, on a motorcycle trip to Canada, looked him up to say hello. Gary was a great guy.

Steve,  October 12, 2016 at 3:19 PM  

He was definitely a great guy my favorite player when he was injured I wrote him a letter and he actually took the time to write me back and gave me one of those sticks Class Act all the way would love to meet him again and show him that letter I still have it till this day

Unknown March 17, 2017 at 10:17 AM  

Gary Sabourin was my favorite player from the first time I saw him in a Blues sweater! We shared season tickets with another couple for the first 13 seasons of the Blues. In those years I had three children who sat on our lap at games & now they are still Blues fans & grown-ups. My grandson played hockey from age 4 & all through college. Thank you Gary Sabourin!!

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