Thursday, May 19, 2011
After being named CHL Rookie of the year following his 63 goal, 131 point season for the Hull Olympiques in 1987-88, Martin Gelinas was drafted 7th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft.
He would never play for the Kings though, as he was part of the package of players, draft choices and cash sent to the Edmonton Oilers as part of the Wayne Gretzky trade. Gelinas would begin the 1988-89 season with the Oilers, but after six games was sent back to Hull for more seasoning. He made the Oilers roster the following season in time to be a part of the Oilers last Stanley Cup championship of their 1980's dynasty. He would eventually play four seasons in Edmonton with a high of 40 points from 20 goals and 20 assists.
Not having lived up to the expectations he established in junior hockey, Gelinas was traded to the Quebec Nordiques, who after just 31 games, placed him on waivers from where he was claimed by the Vancouver Canucks for the second half of the 1993-94 season, which included a run all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Gelinas went from waivers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993-94
Gelinas would play four more seasons for the Canucks, including setting a career highs of 35 goals and 68 points in 1996-97 which included a four goal game and being voted the club's MVP.
A slow start to the following 1997-98 season (4 goals and 8 points in 24 games) plus the arrival of opinionated Head Coach Mike Keenan saw Gelinas and longtime Canucks goaltender Kirk McLean sent to the Carolina Hurricanes just after the New Year's. With Carolina, Gelinas would play five seasons, including a 23 goal, 52 point season in 2000-01 and another appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002.
For the 2002-03 season, Gelinas signed as a free agent with the Calgary Flames. His first season was a good one, as he reached the 20 goal mark for the fifth time in his career on his way to 52 points, the fourth 50 point or more season of his career.
The Flames finished 6th in the Western Conference the following season and met his old club the Canucks in the first round of the playoffs. The series went the full seven games and, after Vancouver scored with five seconds left in regulation to force overtime, Gelinas won the series for Calgary with a goal 1:25 into the extra period.
Calgary's reward was the top seeded Detroit Red Wings. After the teams traded wins in the first four games, Calgary's defense, led by goaltender Miikka Kprusoff, clamped down and did not allow another goal for the remainder of the series. Calgary won Game 5 by a score of 1-0 and Game 6 saw regulation end with both teams scoreless. With the first overtime winding down, Gelians again won the series with a goal with just 47 seconds remaining, making Gelinas the first player in NHL history to end three playoff series with overtime goals.
The Flames were then paired with the second seeded San Jose Sharks in the conference finals. Calgary got off to a great start, winning two in San Jose, only to lose the next two at home. Kiprusoff then blanked the Sharks in San Jose as the series moved back to Calgary for Game 6.
Jarome Iginla got Calgary on the board first and Gelinas registered the second Flames goal at 13:02 of the second before the Sharks solved Kiprusoff at 16:14. When the Sharks failed to score another goal, Gelinas was once more credited with scoring the game winning goal in a series clinching game for the third consecutive series on this date in 2004, something only Ken Linseman of the Oliers in 1984 had ever done before and no one has equaled since.
With the NHL season cancelled due to the lockout the following season, Gelinas played in Switzerland for HC Forward Morges of the Swiss second division in 2004-05.
He returned to the NHL for two seasons with the Florida Panthers and a final one with the Nashville Predators to close out his NHL career with 1,273 games played, 309 goals and 351 assists for 660 points. He would return to Switzerland for one final season, playing 27 games for SC Bern in 2008-09 before retiring for good.
Gelinas finished his career with the Predators
Today's featured jersey is a 2003-04 Calgary Flames Martin Gelinas jersey as worn during his clutch playoff performance in the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where 3 of his 8 goals were series clinching goals.
When the Flames black alternate jersey was promoted to be the Flames road jersey in 2000 when the previous set of jerseys was retired, a home white companion was needed for the black alternate, and the designers simply made a white version of the black jersey's basic striping tempate and adorned it with the Flames traditional flaming C logo on the front while keeping the same name and number font from the alternate jersey. This new white jersey was used by the Flames for six seasons until being replaced by the new league-wide redesign mandated by the change to the new Reebok Edge jerseys in 2007-08.
Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1992-93 Edmonton Oilers Martin Gelinas jersey as worn during his final season in Edmonton when all players wore the Stanley Cup Centennial patch on their jerseys.
By our count, Gelinas wore a number jerseys during his NHL career, 2 with Edmonton, 2 with Quebec, 5 with Vancouver, 2 with Carolina, 3 with Calgary, 3 with Florida and 2 with Nashville for a total of 19, an impressive number, but far short of Mike Sillinger's 40 documented jerseys.
Today's first video highlight is Gelinas' Game 7 winner in overtime against the Sharks.
Our next video is his Game 6 winner in overtime versus Detroit.