By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter! @andrewlindrothh
Greg Hawgood was born on August 10th, 1968, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He began playing juniors as a young 15-years-old defenseman for the St. Albert Saints (AJHL) in 1983 and, after 19 games, made the jump to the Western Hockey League (WHL) that same year to play for the Kamloop Jr. Oilers. The following season, Greg was acquired by the Kamloops Blazers (WHL) and had an impressive first year, recording 25 goals and 65 points in 66 games.
The following year, Greg became a stand-out in the WHL as a gritty, offensive-minded defenseman, racking up 34 goals with 119 points throughout 71 games. Later that off-season, he was selected in the tenth round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins.
He improved and dominated the league over the next two seasons, racking up an astounding 78 goals and 255 points with 283 PIM. Then, shortly after Greg concluded his final year in juniors, he was rewarded with the first promotion that skyrocketed him to the NHL at 19 years of age. He suited up for the final regular-season match-up with the Bruins, later appeared in three post-season games, and collected his first goal in 1988.
Greg began the ’89-’90 campaign with the Boston Bruins’ minor-pro affiliate, the Maine Mariners of the American Hockey League (AHL), and suited up for only 21 contests before the Bruins requested his services once again in the NHL. Nevertheless, the 5’10, 190-pound defender had a spectacular freshman year with the Bruins, appearing in 56 contests while scoring 16 goals and 40 points with 84 PIM. The following season, Greg was a main-stay on the top-four pairing and had a magical moment in his career during the 1990 Stanley Cup Finals when Greg scored a goal in Game Two against the Edmonton Oilers.
Fast forward to the next season with Greg starting the campaign with the Maine Mariners (AHL), playing just five games before the Boston Bruins traded the defenceman to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Vladimir Ruzicka. He appeared in only six games with Edmonton and spent most of the year with their minor-pro affiliate, the Cape Breton Oilers (AHL). Greg spent just parts of two more seasons with Edmonton, suiting up for an additional 49 games before being traded in 1993 to the Philadelphia Flyers with Josef Beranek in exchange for Brian Benning. Although he finished the ’92-’93 season, his journey with Philadelphia was short-lived as he was once again on the move, this time was traded to the Florida Panthers in exchange for cash on November 30th, 1993.
At this point in Greg’s career, he became what is known as an NHL ‘journeyman’ and became a trade target or a sought-out free agent to help boost their depth to make them cup contenders. After his time with the Florida Panthers, Greg went on to suit up for the Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, and the Dallas Stars while bouncing back and forth from the AHL. He officially retired from the hockey world in 2006 after finishing his career in Finland.
During his 12-year tenure in the NHL, Greg scored 60 goals and 224 points in 474 games. Following his playing days, he went on to coach in juniors until 2010-2011 and has yet to return to the hockey world professionally. From all of us at Black N’ Gold, happy birthday Greg Hawgood!