Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Gary Rissling
Gary Rissling was a smallish hockey player who could stir up a hurricane of fuss, usually in the form of fights that seemed to swell well beyond his modest physical stature. Whereever he played, a cloud of ice chips was sure to follow.

He played his junior hockey for the Edmonton Oil Kings and Calgary Centennials and Wranglers of the WCJHL from 1974 to 1977. He then turned pro with the Port Huron Flags of the IHL. With the Flags, Rissling scored 63 points and picked up 341 minutes in penalties in his only season with the club.

In 1978, he signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals. Over the two seasons that followed, Rissling split his time between the Hershey Bears of the AHL and the Caps. In either locale, he played it the same, cutting a swath of penalty minutes across any and every rink.

In 1981, Rissling was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. By then his scared face was said to resemble Gerry Cheevers' goaltendering mask, except that Rissling's scars were real. The Pens, however, didn't bring him on board for his looks but rather for his pugnacious behaviour to add some life to the Pens' dispirited lineup. The idea worked with mixed results as Rissling hung on for parts of five seasons in Pittsburgh. He usually spent part of each season in the AHL and was then brought up to the parent club to provide an annual infusion of frenetic bile.

But in spite of his spirited play, he tended to be somewhat of a defensive liability that lead to his final demotion to the minors in 1985. He finished out his pro career with the Baltimore Skipjacks of the AHL in 1987.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1973-74 Spruce Grove Mets AJHL 46 29 31 60 132
1974-75 Spruce Grove Mets AJHL 5 2 2 4 2
1974-75 Edmonton Oil Kings WCJHL 69 19 35 54 228
1975-76 Edmonton Oil Kings WCJHL 18 5 9 14 25
1975-76 Calgary Centennials WCJHL 47 29 38 67 196
1976-77 Calgary Centennials WCJHL 68 40 40 80 317 9 9 7 16 12
1977-78 Port Huron Flags IHL 79 29 34 63 341 17 7 10 17 131
1978-79 Washington Capitals NHL 26 3 3 6 127 -5
1978-79 Hershey Bears AHL 52 14 20 34 337 4 0 0 0 18
1979-80 Washington Capitals NHL 11 0 1 1 49 -6
1979-80 Hershey Bears AHL 46 16 24 40 279 14 3 5 8 87
1980-81 Hershey Bears AHL 4 1 1 2 74
1980-81 Birmingham Bulls CHL 19 5 7 12 161
1980-81 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 25 1 0 1 143 -4 5 0 1 1 4
1981-82 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 16 0 0 0 55 -2
1981-82 Erie Blades AHL 29 7 15 22 185
1982-83 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 40 5 4 9 128 -17
1982-83 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 38 14 17 31 136
1983-84 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 47 4 13 17 297 -9
1983-84 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 30 12 13 25 47
1984-85 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 56 10 9 19 209 -6
1984-85 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 22 9 17 26 60
1985-86 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 76 19 34 53 340
1986-87 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 66 15 23 38 285
NHL Totals 221 23 30 53 1008 5 0 1 1 4


Signed as a free agent by Washington, December 4, 1978. Traded to Pittsburgh by Washington for Pittsburgh's 5th round choice (Peter Sidorkiewicz) in 1981 Entry Draft, January 2, 1981.