Steve Gainey was born January 26, 1979 in Montreal, Quebec. The third round, 77th overall selection of the Dallas Stars in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Gainey who is the son of former Montreal Canadiens captain and Hall of Famer Bob Gainey, is a graduate of the WHL's Kamloops Blazers.
A hard-working forward, Gainey played four seasons in Kamloops tallying 151 points (61-90-151) in 245 games before making his professional debut in 1999-00. In his first pro season, Gainey spent the majority of the year with the Stars IHL affiliate in Michigan, while seeing action in one game with the UHL's Fort Wayne Komets. In 2000-01, Gainey made his NHL debut with the Stars, while spending the better part of the year with the team's IHL affiliate in Utah. Over the course of the next three seasons, Gainey was a mainstay with the Utah Grizzlies, while seeing limited action with Dallas.
In February of 2004 Gainey was acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers, however due to a lock out he would not suit up for the club. Following a season in France, Gainey was signed as a free agent by the Phoenix Coyotes and would split the 2005-06 season with Coyotes and their AHL affiliate in San Antonio.