With the Leafs, Gavin got a reputation as a tough defensive forward and penalty-killer. His high was 12 goals in 1984-85.
In 1985, he was traded to the Hartford Whalers for Chris Kotsopoulos. There, he added an offensive dimension to his game and scored a career-high 26 goals in 1985-86. He continued to play for Hartford until he was claimed on waivers by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988.
He played five seasons for the Stars until a knee injury forced his retirement in 1993. After sitting out a year he attempted a comeback with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He did play the season in the minor pros and retired in the following year in 1995.
Gavin played 768 career NHL games, scoring 130 goals and 156 assists for 286 points.