Gord Pettinger followed his older brother, Eric "Cowboy" Pettinger, to the NHL via the Regina Pats junior squad. The younger sibling put in two seasons with the club as a league-leading scorer from 1928 to 1930.
From there, he turned pro with the Vancouver Lions of the NWHL in 1930-31. He stayed on for one season and then, having signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers' organization, went east to skate for the Bronx Tigers of the Can-Am league. After a successful campaign with the club, he switched to the Springfield Indians in 1932-33 before stepping up to join the Rangers for the second half of the season plus the playoffs. Pettinger's timing was perfect. The Blueshirts were on a mission that culminated with a Stanley Cup win by season's end.
Before the start of the 1933-34 campaign, the centreman's rights were sold to the Detroit Red Wings. Over the three seasons that followed, Pettinger split his time between the minors and the Wings. The good news is that he tended to be around whenever the Wings entered the playoffs. In the post-season of 1935-36, he chipped in four points in seven games to help pace his team past the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Cup.
The following year, he was again on hand as the Wings ousted the New York Rangers for another championship. Shortly after the start of the 1937-38 campaign, he was traded to the Boston Bruins where he clicked for his best offensive output, netting 25 points in 48 games plus a return trip to the Stanley Cup finals where his team prevailed over the Leafs to claim the league championship. The win was Pettinger's fourth and final Cup victory.
He played part of the 1939-40 season with the Bruins and then left the NHL for good to pursue a minor league career with the Hershey Bears of the AHL and the Regina Capitals of the WCSHL where he retired in 1945-46.