Gino Odjick has died at the age of 52. Odjick played his first eight seasons of his NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks and became an immediate fan favorite with his enormous work ethic and hard play style.
Gino Odjick was an enforcer who did just about anything for his team and his teammates, and the fans absolutely loved him for it.
Eight years ago, Odjick was diagnosed with Amyloidosis. It’s a rare disease that attacks the body’s organs, and on Sunday, Gino’s sister Dina Odjick shared the devastating news of his passing.
“Our hearts are broken. My brother Gino Odjick has left us for the spirit world,” she wrote on Facebook.
Gino Odjick was drafted by the Canucks in 1990, and he was a key figure when the team reached the Stanley Cup final in 1994. Odjick still holds the Canucks franchise records in penalty minutes with his 2,127.
“Gino was a fan favourite from the moment he joined the organization, putting his heart and soul into every shift on and off the ice,” said Francesco Aquilini, the Canucks’ chairman and governor.
“He inspired many and embodied what it means to be a Canuck. Personally, he was a close friend and confidant, someone I could lean on for advice and support. He will be deeply missed.”
Gino Odjick was traded to the New York Islanders for Jason Strudwick in 1998. He also played for the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Montreal Canadiens, before retiring from the NHL in 2002. He scored 64 goals and recorded 73 assists in 605 games.
“He was one of the kindest human beings that I have met and played with,” said Canucks VP of hockey operations Stan Smyl, who played with Gino in the 90s, in an interview posted on social media by the Canucks.
“He was one of the greatest teammates that I played with,” said Smyl. “He took that role, he took it proud, and he just wanted to win as a Canuck… His heart was in the middle of it all, all the time.”
Fellow enforcer Tie Domi also published a moving tribute.
“So sad and heavy hearted to hear of the loss of one of my favorite brothers to do it. The most respectful nicest guy you would ever meet. We battled a lot but I was never mad or angry at him that’s how much I loved him and told him that.
”My deepest condolences to Gino’s family friends and fans. He was one of the best. He will be missed but never forgotten.”