Eric Pettinger was born December 14, 1904 in North Bierley, England. A graduate of the Southern Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Pettinger joined Southern Saskatchewan Senior Hockey League's Regina Victorias in 1922-23 and split the next five seasons with the Regina Junior Hockey League's Regina Pats.
The North Bierley, England native competed in three Memorial Cups and two Allan Cups before joining the Manitoba-Thunder Bay Hockey League's Fort William Forts in 1926-27. Prior to his second season in Fort William, Pettinger signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers and had his rights traded a month later to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After only two months in the Maple Leafs organisation, Pettinger was off to Boston after having his rights traded by Toronto. Once the 1928-29 season began, Pettinger found himself as a member of the Boston Bruins line up before the Maple Leafs re-acquired him early into the season. Pettinger finished the 1928-29 season as a member of the Leafs and returned for a second season in 1929-30 before being traded to the Ottawa Senators in October of 1930.
Pettinger played in only 13 games with the Senators before he was dealt to the International Hockey League's London Panthers where he played for the next five years (team changed name to London Tecumsehs in 1931-32).
Following his longest stay with one team in London, Pettinger joined the International-American Hockey League's Cleveland Barons in 1936-37 where he played in only ten games while making two more stops, one with the Pacific Coast Hockey League's Portland Buckaroos and the IAHL's Pittsburgh Hornets.
Throughout his NHL career, Eric Pettinger played in 102 games, scoring eight goals and adding 12 assists for 20 points.