GARTNER HADN’T COME especially close to a Cup over the first decade-plus of his career with the Capitals, North Stars or Rangers. But in 1994, he finally found himself on a Cup favorite. By March, the Rangers were on their way to their second Presidents’ Trophy in three years, and with Mark Messier leading the way, Brian Leetch on the blueline and Mike Keenan behind the bench, the Rangers were set to finally break the franchise’s 54year Cup drought.
And as it turns out, they did. But Gartner didn’t get to be a part of it. In a deadline deal, the 33-year-old veteran was sent to the Maple Leafs for Glenn Anderson.
Gartner and the Leafs nearly made it to the Cup themselves before falling to the Canucks in the Western Conference final. Meanwhile, the Rangers went on to win it all at Madison Square Garden (despite not getting all that much production out of Anderson along the way).
For Anderson, it was his sixth Cup ring. Gartner played until 1998 but never made it out of the first round again.