Defenceman Jean Gauthier was a journeyman who spread his 166 NHL games over ten seasons and three different teams. He spent most of his pro career as a farmhand and injury replacement for the Montreal Canadiens.
The Montreal native played junior with the St. Boniface Canadians of the Manitoba Junior League and the Fort William Canadians of the Thunder Bay junior loop. The parent Montreal Canadiens oversaw his development for three more years with the Kingston CKLC's and Hull-Ottawa Canadiens before bringing him up to the NHL for a four game trial in 1960-61. He continued to see most of his ice time with Hull-Ottawa until he played 65 games for the Habs in 1962-63. Gauthier was unable to keep his place and was returned to the minors where he spent most of his time for the next four years. During this period he was a mainstay in the Central League with the Omaha Knights and Houston Apollos and was named to the league's first all-star team in 1965 and second team the next year.
In June, 1967, the veteran rearguard was claimed by the Philadelphia Flyers in the Expansion Draft. He provided stability and leadership on the club's defence but was plucked by the Boston Bruins in the Intra-League Draft after the season. Gauthier played most of the 1968-69 season in the AHL then returned to the Habs as a farmhand for two more years. In 1972-73, he joined the New York Raiders of the newly founded WHA then played a year with the AHL's Rochester Americans before retiring in 1974.