Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gino Cavallini

Gino Cavallini was signed as a free agent by the Calgary Flames on May 16, 1984 after a storied career at Bowling Green University. He played there for 2 years, and led them to the NCAA championship in 1984. It was Gino that scored the championship winning goal in the 4th overtime of the final game!

Gino, brother of Paul - a fellow NHLer - was a rugged crasher and banger who loved to work the boards and the corners. He had great size to do this, and decent skating ability, although lacked good acceleration to become a true power forward. Despite his aggressive play he was a very disciplined player. His highest single season PIM total was just 81 minutes in 1990-91. Gino had a booming slap shot but lacked accuracy. Otherwise he head little puck skills and no creativity, and relied on banging loose pucks in front of the net to pad his goal scoring totals.

Gino spent a season and a half with the Flames organization before he was traded with Eddy Beers and Chalie Bourgeois for Joe Mullen, Terry Johnson and Rik Wilson. Gino was best known as a St. Louis Blue, playing with them from 1986 until 1992. Brother Paul joined him in St. Louis late in 1987.

Gino was exposed on waivers and claimed by a young Quebec Nordiques team on February 27, 1992. He added some veteran leadership and grit to the young team, helping to rebuild the once sorry franchise.

Gino left the NHL by 1993. He went on to play three seasons in Milwaukee of the IHL. He excelled in a prominent role there, scoring at least 43 goals each season, including 53 in his second season. Gino then left for Europe to finish his career.

Gino Cavallini played in 593 NHL contests, scoring 114 goals and 159 assists for 273 points. He added 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points in 74 Stanley Cup contests.


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