Minnesota born and raised, Gary Gambucci starred for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers from 1965-68 where he made All-American before becoming a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1968. After stints with the Rochester Mustangs of the USHL and Muskegon Mohawks of the IHL (during which he continued to play for the U.S., including two appearances in the World and European Championships), Gambucci was signed as a free agent by the Canadiens in May 1971.
His rights were traded to his home-state team of Minnesota, where he played nine games in the 1971-72 season, scoring one goal. He spent the rest of 71-72 season with the AHL's Cleveland Barons and the following season with the Cleveland-Jacksonville Barons.
In 1973-74, he was again called up by the North Stars, where he appeared in 42 games, and again he scored a single goal to go with seven assists. He also spent time in 1973-74 with New Haven of the AHL and Portland of the WHL before joining the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA.
Gambucci also represented the USA in the World Championships in 1976. He came from a well-known American hockey family--his father was a likely Boston Bruins draft pick out of the AHL before being called up for military service--and his uncle, Andy, played for the U.S. at the 1952 Olympics in Oslo, Norway.