Bob Gould was drafted into both the National Hockey League and the World Hockey Association in 1977. The Atlanta Flames of the NHL took him in the seventh round, 118th overall, in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft and the Calgary Cowboys of the WHA took him in the eighth round, 70th overall, in the 1977 WHA Amateur Draft. He would never play in the WHA, though, as he spent most of his professional career in the NHL.
He played one game for the Atlanta Flames in 1979–80 and relocated to Calgary with the team for the following season. He played parts of the next two seasons, 1980–81 and 1981–82, for the Calgary Flames before being traded to the Washington Capitals on 25 November 1981 along with Randy Holt for Pat Ribble and a round two selection from the 1983 NHL Entry Draft (Todd Francis).
After three seasons of bouncing between the minors and the NHL, Gould final got a chance to play full time at the NHL level with the Caps and he made the most of it. In 20 NHL games in the Flames organisation, he managed only three goals and six points. In his first 60 games as a Capital, he scored 18 goals and 31 points. He continued to score well with three straight seasons with over 20 goals and his scoring prowess would peak in 1986–87 when he scored a career high 23 goals and 50 points.
Gould is perhaps best remembered for his famous March 20, 1987 fight with Mario Lemieux. Giving up 6 inches and 25 lbs, Gould ended up breaking Lemieux's jaw with a solid right uppercut. Lemieux spent the night at George Washington University Hospital. "The first thing that came to mind when he said, `Let's go,' was that I could get him off the ice for five minutes," Gould said. "I never thought about hurting him." Lemieux would not fight again in the NHL for another 9 years.
Nearing the twilight of his career, the Capitals traded him the Boston Bruins for a defenceman named Alain Cote on 28 September 1989. This would be his final NHL season, and would help the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup finals. The team they would defeat in order to reach the finals was the Capitals. He would play for the Maine Mariners of the American Hockey League in 1990–91 before retiring altogether.
In 697 NHL games, he finished with 145 goals and 159 assists.
- ↑ Fachet, R., 'Lemieux: Beaten to The Punch', 'Washington Post', March 22, 1987