Trea­sures FROM THE HALL

The Hockey News - - BUZZ - – BRIAN COSTELLO

HERB GARDINER | WCHL CHAM­PI­ONS RING THOUGH THE 1923-24 CAL­GARY Tigers were swept in the be­stof-three Stan­ley Cup fi­nal, they didn’t walk away empty-handed that sea­son.

The Tigers cap­tured the Western Cana­dian League ti­tle in an era when that league was on par with the NHL, earn­ing cham­pi­onship rings in the process. Cal­gary then beat Van­cou­ver, win­ners of the Pa­cific Coast As­so­ci­a­tion, earn­ing the right to bat­tle the NHL’s Mon­treal Cana­di­ens for the Stan­ley Cup.

The owner of this ring was 33-year-old Tigers de­fense­man and coach Herb Gardiner. He was a rock­solid de­fen­sive stal­wart who played 60 min­utes a game and hit Howie Morenz so hard it knocked him over the boards. The cham­pion Cana­di­ens were so im­pressed that af­ter the fi­nal game, coach-GM Leo Dan­durand shook Gardiner’s hand and of­fered him a job on the Mon­treal blue­line the fol­low­ing sea­son.

Gardiner stayed in Cal­gary for two more years but joined the Cana­di­ens at age 35. As a rookie, he again played 60 min­utes ev­ery game, most of the time with fu­ture Hall of Famer Sylvio Mantha. So dom­i­nant in a shut­down role was Gardiner, that de­spite just 13 points in 44 games, he won the Hart Tro­phy as league MVP. He’s one of just three rook­ies to ever win the award.

Gardiner played two more NHL sea­sons be­fore mov­ing into coach­ing, first in Chicago, then the ama­teur and mi­nor ranks in Philadel­phia where he set­tled. In

1967, Gardiner be­came the first sea­son-ticket holder of the ex­pan­sion NHL Fly­ers, a gift from team owner Ed Snider. Gardiner was in­ducted into the Hall of Fame in

1958 and died at 80 in 1972. He and his wife had two daugh­ters who have since passed away. They do­nated Herb’s ring to the Hall of Fame.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.