Those who played with Gary Sargent don't remember him as a flashy player, even at the pinnacle of his hockey career, yet he was solid and dominant. And according to those same accounts, the stout defenseman they called "Sarge" carried leadership qualities shown in his work ethic on the ice and a locker room presence that wasn't too loud or boisterous.
"He was never one of those guys that was 'Rah! Rah! Rah!', but he was a dominant player," said former Minnesota North Stars teammate Jack Carlson.
Sargent was raised in Bemidji and worked his way up through amateur hockey and into the pros as a draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings before he returned to his home state to play for the North Stars. He was selected to play in the 1980 NHL All-Star game, but that's when his hockey-playing days began to wither. A lingering back injury held him out of All-Star activities in 1980 and 1981, which preceded three seasons of limited playing time. Just as his back problems began to subside, a knee-to-knee hit in a playoff game against Montreal knocked him out for good in 1983.