February 19, 2016

Joe Contini

Joe Contini was a quick scorer. Just not a quick skater.

Born in Galt, Ontario and raised in Guelph, Contini became a junior hockey legend with the Hamilton Fincups. Playing on a line with Dale McCourt and Ric Seiling, Contini helped the Fincups down the New Westminster Bruins to win the 1976 Memorial Cup as Canada's junior champions.

Contini not just contributed. He set a Memorial Cup record scoring three goals in 72 seconds! He added three assists that game for six points.

Another highlight of Contini's junior career came in 1977 when he helped Canada win a silver medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships, scoring an impressive ten points in seven games. Only McCourt and John Anderson would score more points in that tourney.

Despite this impressive junior track record, Contini was not drafted until 126th overall in the 1977 NHL draft by the Colorado Rockies. That was largely because of his size of slow feet.

"I think if you work hard it makes up for it," Contini said.

Contini started his rookie pro season in the minor leagues but finished the second half of the season with the Rockies. In just his second game he scored twice, and then hit the post to be denied a hat trick. Playing on a line with Randy Pierce and Larry Skinner, Contini would finish the season with 12 goals and 21 points to help Colorado make the playoffs.

Contini would play another half season with the Rockies. In 1979 he would sign on with the Minnesota North Stars team, but would only play in one game with the Stars.

By the age of 26 Contini would retire. He returned home to Guelph and at that young age became coach of the OHL's Platers team for two seasons. He would coach the likes of Kirk Muller and Steve Chiasson.

Contini would settle into a more civilian life in Guelph, establishing a dry cleaning business with a postal outlet. He would only remain involved in hockey with his three daughters' various teams.

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