St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame

 

 

 

 

 

Bio

Jim Giacin was born in January of 1971 in St. Louis. He grew up in south county and starting skating at Affton Ice Rink by the time he was three years old. He played organized hockey at Affton starting at age 5. His first team was the Maple Video Spiders and then he moved on to the Affton Alligators. He played on his first travel team at Affton when he was seven years old, beginning his long tenure of playing for the Affton Americans AA teams. 

In 1980, during his second of year of AA hockey at age 9, he won the Skate, Pass and Shoot contest, which resulted in a trip with the St. Louis Blues against the Atlanta Flames and Chicago Blackhawks. Jim currently skates with many of the players from that team with the Blues Alumni. During the 1980-81 season, Jim began his long relationship with coaches, Frank Runco and Bob Pauk, who would coach Jim and his teammates on the Affton Americans until he and many of those teammates played for the Affton Americans Jr. B team.

In 1984, Team St. Louis was created, which was AAA caliber hockey. Local players played for their respective AA teams at Affton, Creve Coeur, Kirkwood etc., but also played for Team St. Louis and traveled to Chicago, Detroit and Canada to play against the top teams in country. Jim played for Team St. Louis from 1984 to 1986 and played a year up with 1970 birth year players.

Jim entered CBC as Freshman and made the Varsity team coached by Rick Kennedy and Doug Butler. CBC lost in state championship game in 1986. While at CBC his freshman year, Jim also played for Team St. Louis. When ​In 1987, Jim left St. Louis to attend Culver Academy in Northern Indiana. Culver Hockey, under coach Al Clark, was emerging as one of the top prep programs in the country. Culver players were going on to play Division I or Division III hockey and several were drafted in the NHL.

The Culver team won prestigious tournaments in Canada, Boston, New York, and New Jersey during Jim's junior year and went on to win the Indiana State Championship for the 87-88 season. Jim was the Most Valuable Player of the Indiana State Tournament. Shortly after his first season at Culver, Jim was invited to tryout of for U17 US National Team in Colorado Springs. Jim made this team and traveled to Prague, Czechoslovakia in September of 1988 to play international competition. Jim returned for his senior year at Culver, which resulted in another state championship for Culver, committing to play Division I hockey for St. Lawrence University, being named as a member of the U18 US National Team and being drafted by Los Angeles Kings in 1989.

Jim entered St. Lawrence as a true freshman and was an everyday player on many highly ranked teams coached by Joe Marsh, Pierre McGuire and Paul Flanagan. Each season, St. Lawrence went deep in the ECAC Tournament. In, 1991, St Lawrence lost in the ECAC Championship game but won the ECAC Championship in 1992 and was one game away from the Frozen Four before losing a one goal game to Wisconsin in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Jim graduated from St.Lawrence with a degree in Economics in 1993.

In 1994, after rehabilitation from knee surgeries and a severe sports hernia injury, Jim was invited to attend the St. Louis Blues Training Camp and earned an assignment with the Peoria Riverman. However, another knee surgery forced Jim to miss the rest of the 1994-95 season. At this time, Jim decided to end his playing career and move on to coaching and a career in corporate finance. 

Jim was named Head Coach of the St. Louis Jr. Blues in 1995 and coached the team until 1999. These teams won Gold Cup Championships and appeared in the National Championship Tournament twice. Jim stepped down as head coach to further advance his finance career. 

Jim started skating with the Blues Alumni shortly after his time in Peoria and still skates with the Alumni today. He was a member of the inaugural class of USA Hockey Alumni in 2007 and stays highly active with the Culver and St. Lawrence hockey programs. Jim lives in St. Louis with his wife, Mindy and their four children, Jimmy, Dylan, Sydney and Spencer.