Monday, March 21, 2011

Stew Gavin

Stew Gavin was an aggressive checking utility forward who could play either wing. An unsung - and often unnoticed - hero, Stew was a valuable member of 3 NHL teams over his career. His biggest asset was his skating ability. His superior speed combined with good anticipation earned him a 13 years as a valuable checker, penalty killer and playoff warrior.

Stew was drafted 75th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1980 Entry Draft after three seasons with the Toronto Marlboros.

Gavin split his first pro season in 1980-81 between the Maple Leafs and New Brunswick of the American Hockey League. That season he went all the way to the AHL playoff championship with New Brunswick. Stew graduated to the NHL club on a full-time basis in 1981-82 and he played five seasons with the Leafs organization. Those 5 seasons were pretty bad times for the Leafs, who struggled immensly.

Prior to the 1985-86 campaign Stew was traded to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for Chris Kotsopoulos. It was in his first season with the Whalers that Gavin produced his best offensive season with 26 goals, 29 assists and 55 points. He spent three seasons in Hartford recording a second 20-goal campaign in 1986-87 while also being awarded Hartford's Unsung Hero Trophy in 1986.

In 1988, Gavin became a member of the Minnesota North Stars. He spent five years in Minnesota where he was named the North Stars 1988-89 Choice Player of the Year, voted by team management and media. He was also played a big role in helping the Stars reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1991.

Stew finished his career in 1993 with Minnesota with career totals of 130 goals, 155 assists and 285 points in 768 regular season games while adding 34 points in 66 playoff contests.

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