Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers

One of the National Hockey League's most fearsome and respected tough guys of the 1990s, left winger Gino Odjick was born September 7, 1970 in an Algonquin Nation community, Kitigan Zibi, located just outside of Maniwaki, Quebec. He did not play for his first organized team until age 11 but the player, originally a defenseman, worked his way up to be recruited for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Laval Titans in 1988. Odjick could contribute in shifts where he was not called upon to defend teammates or try to spark its energy level with his fists --- he had 38 points in 51 regular season games and a half-dozen goals among 11 points in the playoffs in 1989-90 - but his fighting prowess drew the most attention. The "Algonquin Assassin" was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the fifth round (86th overall) of the 1990 NHL Draft.

After a short stint in the International Hockey League with the Milwaukee Admirals (17 games, 102 penalty minutes, seven goals, eight points) in 1990-91, Odjick became a regular with the Canucks. He would spend six full and two partial seasons with Vancouver.

 Establishing himself as one of the NHL's top heavyweights, Odjcik had seasons of 348 penalty minutes in 65 games (1991-92), 370 PIM in 75 games (1992-93), and 371 PIM in 70 games (1996-97). He also had a 16-goal campaign in 1993-94, when he was given the opportunity to see some power play duty in front of the net and bagged four goals on the man advantage for the Canucks.

On March 23, 1998, the Canucks traded Odjick to the New York Islanders for Jason Strudwick. Odick spent the remainder of the 1997-98 season, all of the 1998-99 campaign (dressing in just 23 games) and a portion of 1999-2000 with the Islanders.

The Flyers obtained Odjick from the Islanders on February 15, 2000 in trade for veteran defensive winger Mikael Andersson and a 2000 fifth-round draft choice (Kristofer Ottosson). Over the remainder of the 1999-2000 season, Odjick appeared in 13 games for the Flyers. Oddly, he was not involved in a single fight but produced three goals, including the third period game-winner in a 3-1 home victory over the Washington Capitals on March 9, 2000. Overall, he had four points and 10 penalty minutes on five minors.

During the 2000-01 season, Odjick was a healthy scratch in each of the first two games. He had his first fight as a Flyer on October 11, 2000, dropping the gloves with Andy Sutton on the next shift (16 seconds) after Peter White scored the game's first goal to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the middle stages of the opening period.

On October 19, 2000, Odjick scored the go-ahead goal for the Flyers with 4:25 left in the third period of a home game against Montreal. Philadelphia was unable to protect the lead, however, and settled for a 3-3 tie. When the Flyers shut out the Sabres, 3-0, on November 4, Odjick and longtime Buffalo Sabres enforcer Rob Ray tangled after the final buzzer. They were pulled apart before a fight ensued. Odjick had his second - and final - fight as a Flyer early in the first period of a 3-2 road win over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Overall, Odjick dressed in 17 games for the Flyers in 2000-01 (one goal, four points, 28 penalty minutes) before he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens on December 7, 2000, for P.J. Stock and a 2001 sixth-round draft choice (defenseman Dennis Seidenberg).

Odjick's final season playing in the NHL came with Montreal in 2001-02. During the preseason before the 2002-03 season, he suffered a concussion. A puck struck him in the back of the head in practice. Odjick spent the first four-plus months of the season on the injured reserve list. When he was cleared to play, the Canadiens assigned him to play for their American Hockey League affiliate. Odjick refused the assignment and was suspended by the Habs on February 22. Thereafter, he retired.

For his NHL career, Odjick appeared in 605 regular season games (64 goals, 73 assists, 137 points, 2,567 penalty minutes) and 44 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs (four goals, one assist, five points, 142 penalty minutes). Through the NHL's 2015-16 season, Odjick ranked 17th on the league's all-time penalty minute list.

After his NHL career ended, Odjick resettled permanently in Vancouver. The former NHL tough guy played men's senior AAA league hockey in 2004-05 for the Horse Lake Thunder, where his teammates included fellow former NHL players Theoren Fleury, Sasha Lakovic and Dody Wood. Proud of his First Nation heritage, Odjick partnered with the Musqueam First Nation in British Columbia to manage the Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy. Odjick also acted in a supporting role as a character with the name "Gino" in "Ronny Nomad the Legendary Napkins of Wood," a 12-minute Canadian short film.

Odjick publicly announced on June 26, 2014 that he had been diagnosed with a rare and terminal endocrine disease called AL amyloidosis, in which the sufferer's antibody-producing cells cease to function properly.