Jack Gelineau

When Jack Gelineau died of cancer in late 1998, I have to admit it was the first time I had heard of him. This is what I learned about Jack Gelineau.

Gelineau was born in Toronto on November 11th 1924. He played his amateur hockey at McGill University. He backstopped the McGill Redmen to a 48-21-2 record in his 4 years of schooling, with a career goals against average of 3.39. He was the first ever recipient of the Forbes Trophy as McGill's male athlete of the year in 1948. In 1997 he was inducted into the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame. Gelineau graduated with a B.Com in 1949.

Late in the 1949 season Gelineau was signed by the Boston Bruins to finish the season in Boston. Gelineau went 2-2-0 in 4 games with a 3.41 GAA, enough to impress the Bruins to sign him for the following season.

Gelinau won the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year in 1949-50. He appeared in 67 games going 22-30-15 with a 3.28 GAA on a bad Boston Bruins squad. The following season was surprisingly Gelineau's last full season in the NHL. He went 22-30-18 playing in all 70 games that year with a 2.81 GAA, good enough to lift the Bruins to the playoffs. Gelineau went 1-2 in 4 playoff appearances with a sizzling 1.82 GAA.

Gelineau would play most of his final four seasons of hockey with the Quebec Aces of the Quebec Senior League, though in 1953 he made two appearances in between the pipes for the Chicago Blackhawks.

In all Gelineau posted a 3.13 goals-against average in 143 NHL games with a record of 46-64-33.

Prior to his NHL days Gelineau served in the Second World War. He was awarded the British Empire Medal for gallantry after surviving a 1944 plane crash and rescuing an injured crewman from the burning plane loaded with ammunition.


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