|Born||December 13, 1953 |
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)|
|Played for||Montreal Canadiens|
|NHL Draft||8th overall, 1973|
|WHA Draft||7th overall, 1973|
Minnesota Fighting Saints
|Hall of Fame, 1992|
Bob Gainey (born Robert Michael Gainey on December 13, 1953) is the former executive vice president and general manager of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL). He currently works as a team consultant for the St. Louis Blues.
He is also a former professional ice hockey player who played for the Canadiens from 1973 to 1989.
After retiring from active play, Bob became a hockey coach and later an executive with the NHL Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars organization before returning to Montreal as general manager from 2003 to 2010.
Early Playing Career
Bob began his hockey career in 1972 with his hometown team the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League. His lack of scoring was made up by his impressive ability to shut down opposing players.
This impressed many scouts in the NHL and in 1973, he was drafted 8th overall by the Montreal Canadiens. He was also drafted 7th overall by the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA although he would never play a game in the WHA.
Professional Playing Career
As a rookie, Bob was committed to a defensive style of play. In his second year, he was paired up with stars Yvan Cournoyer and Jacques Lemaire on the second line.
A defensive specialist, he played with the Montreal Canadiens from 1973–74 to 1988–89, winning four consecutive Frank J. Selke Trophies awarded to the league's best defensive forward and four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1976 to 1979.
In 1982, Canadiens captain Serge Savard retired from hockey and Bob was named as his successor.
The Canadiens remained successful in the regular season but in the playoffs, they were defeated in the first round three consecutive times from 1981 to 1983.
In the next season, the Canadiens earned a disappointing record finishing with 75 points only. Despite that, they embarked on a surprising playoff run before being eliminated in the semifinals by the New York Islanders.
Bob lifted his last Stanley Cup as a player in 1986 against the Calgary Flames, and scored a playoff total of 5 goals and 10 points. Under his leadership, the Canadiens posted back to back 100 point seasons in 1988 and 1989.
In 1989, the Canadiens reached the finals again against the Calgary Flames, a rematch from 1986. This time, the Flames won the Stanley Cup in 6 games. Following the loss, Gainey announced his retirement.
In total, Bob played in 1160 regular season games, scored 239 goals, and registered 263 assists. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1998, he was ranked number 86 on The Hockey News' list of the "100 Greatest Hockey Players."
After his retirement, Bob moved to France where he was player/coach for the Epinal Écureuils (Squirrels) of the French Nationale 1B division.
His unexpected appearance on the French hockey scene created quite a stir as curious fans attended games to see the famous star in action for Epinal. He finished second in scoring for Epinal during the regular season and 18th overall in the Nationale 1B division.
Bob returned to North America a year later and became head coach of the Minnesota North Stars in 1990–91, guiding his team to the sixth game of the Stanley Cup finals in his first season.
In January of 1992, he also was named general manager. In 1996, a few seasons after the franchise relocated to Dallas, he stepped down as head coach to focus solely on his general manager duties.
Bob turned the franchise into a powerhouse by acquiring players such as Joe Nieuwendyk, Brett Hull, Ed Belfour and Sergei Zubov. The team won the Presidents' Trophy in 1998 and 1999. Dallas won the Stanley Cup in 1999.
In 1997, as Stars general manager, Bob drafted his son Steve 77th overall in the annual NHL Entry Draft. His name went on the Stanley Cup a 6th time in 1999 as General Manager with Dallas.
Along with Bobby Clarke and Pierre Gauthier, Bob was given the responsibility of selecting Canada's men's ice hockey squad for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
In May of 2003, Bob became general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. On January 13, 2006, he fired Canadiens' head coach Claude Julien and stepped in as head coach on an interim basis.
At the same time, he hired Guy Carbonneau to work as an associate coach, handing the coaching reins over to him for the 2006–07 season.
On July 24, 2006, Montreal Canadiens president Pierre Boivin extended Gainey's contract to 2009–10.
On February 23, 2008, the Canadiens retired Bob's #23 jersey.
On March 9, 2009, Bob named himself the interim coach of the Montreal Canadiens after firing Guy Carbonneau.
On June 1, 2009, he signed Jacques Martin as the new head coach. On February 8, 2010, he resigned as the Canadiens general manager due to personal reasons, and was succeeded by Gauthier. The Canadiens were 28-26-6 at the time of his resignation.
Bob remained on as a consultant to the team until the end of the 2011–12 season (following the firing of Pierre Gauthier) when it was mutually agreed between Bob and team President Geoff Molson, that he step down.
On May 9, 2012, the Dallas Stars announced Bob hiring as a team consultant. On October 1, 2014, the St. Louis Blues announced his hiring as a team consultant.
|1973–74||Nova Scotia Voyageurs||AHL||6||2||5||7||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|MIN||1990–91||80||27||39||14||-||68||4th in Norris||Lost in Stanley Cup Finals|
|MIN||1991–92||80||32||42||6||-||70||4th in Norris||Lost in first round|
|MIN||1992–93||84||36||38||10||-||82||5th in Norris||Missed playoffs|
|DAL||1993–94||84||42||29||13||-||97||3rd in Central||Lost in second round|
|DAL||1994–95||48||17||23||8||-||42||5th in Central||Lost in first round|
|DAL||1995–96||39||11||19||9||-||(66)||6th in Central||(Stepped Down)|
|MTL||2005–06||41||23||15||-||3||(93)||3rd in Northeast||Lost in first round|
|MTL||2008–09||16||6||6||-||4||(93)||2nd in Northeast||Lost in first round|
|Competitor for Canada|
|Gold||1976 Canada||Ice Hockey|
|Bronze||1982 Finland||Ice Hockey|
|Bronze||1983 West Germany||Ice Hockey|
In 1976, Bob was chosen to represent Team Canada at the Canada Cup tournament where he helped Team Canada win the Cup against the Czechs.
- Frank J. Selke Trophy winner in 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981.
- Selected to the NHL All-Star Game in 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981.
- Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 1979.
- Stanley Cup championships in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986 (as a player), 1999 (as a general manager).
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.
- In 1998, he was ranked number 86 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey *Players.
- His #23 was retired by the Montreal Canadiens on February 23, 2008.
Bob and his late wife Cathy (who died from brain cancer in 1995) have four children: a son Steve Gainey (who was drafted in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft) & three daughters: Colleen, Anna (the president of the Liberal Party of Canada) and Laura. He is a grandfather to Anna's son Jackson Robert Pitfield, born in March of 2009.
In December of 2006, his daughter, Laura, died at the age of 25 when she was swept overboard while sailing in the North Atlantic on the barque Picton Castle, a sail-training tall ship based out of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, registered in the Cook Islands and destined for Grenada.
Laura's body was never recovered, and the U.S. Coast Guard called off the search on December 11th, three days after she was swept overboard.
During this time, Bob temporarily passed his General Manager duties on to Montreal Canadiens assistant manager (and eventual successor) Pierre Gauthier for four weeks.
On January 3, 2007, officials in the Cook Islands named Captain Andrew Scheer to head an investigation into Laura's death. Captain Scheer interviewed the 30-strong crew and examined the ship’s logs, emergency equipment and crew qualifications.
Laura's death and the subsequent investigations received considerable press attention in Canada, including a documentary produced by the CBC News program "The Fifth Estate" which was highly critical of safety standards on the Picton Castle.