Players’ Category ~ Class of 2017
Gino was born and raised in Toronto, Canada where he played all his youth and junior hockey. He then went on to play Division 1 hockey for Bowling Green State University. Under the coaching of Jerry York, Bowling Green won their only national championship. Gino scored the winning goal in the 4th overtime, ending one of the longest championship games on record.
After the success of his sophomore season, Gino signed as a free agent with the Calgary Flames — there he would be coached by legendary “Badger” Bob Johnson until he was traded to St. Louis in February of ‘86. He went on to play for the Blues for another 6 years alongside his brother Paul, before ending his NHL career in Quebec for the Nordiques. After 9 seasons in the NHL he then continued to play another 8 years, 3 in Milwaukee for the IHL team, the Admirals and his last five years in Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). Retiring at the age of 39 Gino played over 1200 professional hockey games of which 677 were in the NHL.
Upon his retirement he took this extensive experience in hockey and began to coach at the youth level. First in Milwaukee where he coached and directed the Wisconsin AAA program and then eventually in Chicago, where he coached with the Chicago Mission in their early years as well as directing and coaching the Barrington Red Wing youth program and High School teams.
After a short time away from Chicago, Gino returned and began his second tenure with the Chicago Mission. Since 2011 he, along with the then club president Andrea Hahn and Girls Director Tony Cachey, have grown the club to one of the premier programs in North America. Under their tutelage the club positioned itself to partner with the Chicago Blackhawks, and is now fortunate to train in one of the premier training facilities in North America, the MB Arena.
Gino has overseen the growth of the Mission and advocates for the advancement and placement of these student athletes. Presently, former Chicago Mission players can be seen playing and are on teams at many levels from junior, college, Olympics and the NHL (including 3 Chicago Blackhawks) on any given weekend.
Both Gino’s boys played hockey. His son Aidan was a 92’ birth year player who walked on at Wisconsin and lettered 4 years for the Badgers. His younger son Max currently plays junior hockey in Canada and is enrolled at Lake Forest College where he will play DIII hockey for the Foresters this upcoming season.
Gino resides with his wife of 29 years Katia, in Barrington IL.