Monday, March 18, 2013
Absurd Goalie Monday: Jack Gelineau
When it comes to heroes, this week's AGM could be considered one. Not for his work on the ice, though, but what he did off of it. Serving his country was something that may have put a hiccup in his professional hockey career, but what he did during the war was something more spectacular and notable. This week, the profile of Jack Gelineau.
Gelineau started his trek in the high schools of Quebec with Montreal Catholic High in the 1942-43 season before going to juniors in 1943-44 with the Toronto Young Rangers, putting together a 1-9-1 record in 11 games, while also playing four games for the Toronto CIL of the Toronto Midget League, going 0-4-0.
Towards the end of the 1943-44 campaign, Gelineau went into the Royal Canadian Air Force and would play out the rest of the year for the Toronto RCAF, going 5-2-0 in seven games, then 0-1 in the playoffs. Gelineau would move to the Montreal RCAF in the 1944-45 season, playing in only eight games and five in the playoffs. Gelineau would be discharged from the RCAF after the war. Due to surviving a plane crash and rescuing a crew member from a fiery plane, Gelineau would get the British Empire Medal for gallantry.
At the end of the 1944-45 season, Gelineau would play for the Montreal Jr. Royals for five games and would go 2-3-0.
At the start of the 1945-46 season, Gelineau would go to play for McGill University going 13-2-0 in 15 games his first season, while helping McGill win the Queen's Cup. In the 1946-47 season, Gelineau went 10-5-1 in 16 games for McGill, while then going 14-6-0 in 20 games in the 1947-48 season. Gelineau would receive the 1st Forbes Trophy for male athlete of the year at McGill. In his last year with McGill, Gelineau went 3-3-0 in six games before graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
The Boston Bruins picked up Gelineau and played in four games for the Bruins at the end of the 1948-49 season, going 2-2-0. Gelineau went to be the starter of the Bruins for the 1949-50 season, tallying a 22-30-15 record in 67 games, which allowed Gelineau to take home the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year. In the 1950-51 season, Gelineau played all 70 games and posted a 22-30-18 record, then 1-2 in three playoff games.
Before the 1951-52 season, Gelineau signed with the Quebec Aces-- but still was property of the Bruins in the NHL. With the Aces, Gelineau went 6-4-2 in 12 regular season games and 8-4 in 12 playoff games, helping them win the Quebec Senior League. Gelineau played 21 games in the 1952-53 season, finishing with an 8-9-4 record, then going 13-8 in 21 playoff games. Back with Quebec in the 1953-54 season, Gelineau went 24-27-6 in 57 games, as well as playing 14 playoff games in another Quebec Senior League championship.
Also during the 1953-54 season, Gelineau's rights were traded from Boston to the Chicago Blackhawks, where he played for two games and lost them both.
In the 1954-55 season, Gelineau went back to Quebec to play with the Aces and went 4-7-0 in 11 games, then 1-3 in the playoffs before he would hang up the pads for good.
Gelineau passed away in November 1998.
A hero in the war is what Gelineau should be most noted for. While he did have a brief time in the NHL and some success in the senior leagues, it wasn't as widely noted as his time with the Royal Canadian Air Force.