January 19, 2016

Bobby Guindon

Bobby Guindon was a five-foot-nine, 160 pound junior star. "The Golden Gorf" was an offensive dynamo who won back-to-back Memorial Cup championships with the Montreal Jr. Canadiens in 1969 and 1970. Some of his more notable junior teammates included Gilbert Perreault, Rejean Houle, Marc Tardif and Rick Martin.

The Detroit Red Wings would draft Guindon in the second round, 26th overall, in the 1970 NHL draft, but he opted to stay relatively close to home. He signed with the Quebec Nordiques of the upstart World Hockey Association in 1972.

Guindon would have three solid seasons with the Nordiques. His time there was highlight by the Nordiques run to the Avco Cup championship final series in 1975. Unfortunately for the Nordiques would lose the series to the Winnipeg Jets.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Guindon signed with the Jets prior to the 1975 season but was promptly released because of financial difficulties being incurred by the team. Things would get straightened out as the season went along, and Guindon was re-signed in time for him to help the Jets win the 1976 Avco Cup.

The Jets were a WHA powerhouse. Led by the likes of Bobby Hull, Anders Hedberg, and Ulf Nilsson, the Jets would win two more Avco Cup titles, in 1978 and 1979.

But it was Bobby Guindon who was the hero of the 1978 Avco Cup playoffs with eight goals and thirteen points in nine games as the Jets swept the New England Whalers in the final. Guindon was named as the WHA Playoff MVP that spring.

When the WHA folded and the Winnipeg Jets merged with the National Hockey League, Guindon was one of the few WHA Jets to stay with the organization. Most of the WHA players were not allowed to stay with their teams, as they were, in most cases, forced to return to various teams that owned their NHL contractual rights.

As a result, the WHA teams were severely weakened and generally struggled in their NHL debuts. The mighty WHA Jets won only twenty games in their first NHL season.

Despite all their first season struggles, the Jets barely found a role for their former WHA star. Guindon would only get into six NHL games as he spent most of the season toiling with the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League.

Guindon failed to score a goal in his short NHL tenure. He did pick up one assist. But the highlight of his NHL stint was achieving his childhood dream of playing in the Montreal Forum in a NHL game.

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