Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gerry Pinder: A Short But Productive Stay With The Maine Nordiques

gerry pinder 1972-73 cleveland crusaders hockey card
He spent little time in the North American Hockey League during the league’s final season, just like many filtered through the NAHL in its four years. Gerry Pinder played a total of 21 games in 1976-77 with the Maine Nordiques but certainly made an impact with the club.

Gerry Pinder – NAHL

After starting the 1976-77 season in the World Hockey Association with the San Diego Mariners, playing 44 games, Pinder joined the Nordiques and played in eleven regular season games. Gerry fit right in with six goals and three assists for nine points.

In the Lockhart Cup playoffs, Maine came as close to a championship as they would get, reaching the finals. Unfortunately, they were no match for Syracuse Blazers. Pinder played ten playoff games, scoring eight goals and assisting on two for ten points.

Gerry Pinder – Junior

Pinder played two years of junior hockey with the Saskatoon Blades, 1965-66 and 1966-67. In the first year, the Blades played in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). In the second, Saskatoon played in the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League (SMJHL), the direct predecessor to the current WHL.

In 1966-67, Gerry broke loose offensively. In 55 regular season games, he scored an amazing 78 goals and assisted on 62 for 140 points. He led the league in goals and points and placed fourth for assists while being named the league’s player of the year. As for the Blades, they didn’t fare so well. The team placed fifth in the seven team league over the 56 game schedule and were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by the Estevan Bruins.

Gerry Pinder – Team Canada

Before going pro, Pinder spent a few years with Canada’s national team. He competed in the 1968 Winter Olympic Games and the 1969 IIHF World Hockey Championships.

The 1968 Winter Olympics were held in Grenoble, France. Over seven games, Gerry scored one goal. The goal came in a 3-0 win over Sweden. Canada came out of the Olympics with a bronze medal. Joining Pinder on the Canadian team were future major league pros Fran Huck, Brian Glennie and Bill MacMillan.

The following year, Pinder was with Canada when they competed at the World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. In ten games, Gerry scored three and assisted on one. Canada placed fourth in the tournament.

Gerry Pinder – NHL

Pinder played 223 regular season games in the National Hockey League between 1969-70 and 1971-72. His first two years were spent with the Chicago Black Hawks and his final year in the NHL was with the California Golden Seals. Over that time, his numbers were quite respectable with 55 goals and 69 assists for 124 points. He also played 17 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, all with Chicago.

With the California Golden Seals, Pinder was the offensive leader on the rag-tag team. His 23 goals and 54 points led the team while playing 74 of the team’s 78 games.

Gerry Pinder – WHA

Gerry jumped to the World Hockey Association for the league’s inaugural season in 1972-73. Between 1972-73 and 1977-78, Pinder played 353 regular season games, scoring 93 goals and assisting on 141 for 234 points. He played an additional 18 games in the Avco World Trophy playoffs, adding 15 points.

Over his WHA career, Gerry played for the Cleveland Crusaders, San Diego Mariners and Edmonton Oilers. His time with the Oilers was limited to just four games during the 1977-78 season. His best year was his first, scoring 30 goals for the Crusaders in 1972-73.


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