Herbert Martin Gardiner - Born May 8, 1891 in Winnipeg, Manitoba – Died January 11, 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was a Canadian professional ice Hockey defenceman.
Gardiner first played senior Hockey in Winnipeg in 1908 before moving on to other pursuits. He began a career as a banker in 1909, winning the Winnipeg banker's league Hockey title. He stopped playing entirely for four years as he took on a job as a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He joined the Canadian Army in 1915 and fought for three years in World War I before earning a medical discharge. Returning from the war, Gardiner resumed his surveyors job and settled in Calgary, Alberta.
Returning to Hockey, Gardiner joined the Calgary Wanderers of Alberta's Big-4 League in 1919 then shifted to the Calgary Tigers one season later. He turned professional at the age of 29 in 1921–22 when the Tigers joined the newly formed Western Canada Hockey League, and quickly established himself as one of the league's top defencemen. He enjoyed his greatest success partnered with future NHLer and league president Red Dutton on defense. In 1924 Gardiner helped the Tigers gain the WCHL crown in a tough series versus Regina. He and Dutton provided stellar work in their own end against the likes of superstars George Hay, Dick Irvin and Barney Stanley. Gardiner scored a key goal in the first match at Regina, which ended in a 2-2 deadlock. The Tigers clinched the total-goals series with a 2-0 win on home ice.
Gardiner and the Tigers lost to the Montreal Canadiens in the 1924 Stanley Cup final, but his performance impressed the Montreal organization. When the WCHL collapsed in 1926, the Canadiens purchased his rights and invited him to join their team.
Gardiner made his NHL debut in 1926 at the age of 35 and immediately showed himself to be one of the league's top defenders. Playing on a rebuilding Montreal team, he was said to have played every minute of every game for the Canadiens, a feat that earned him the nickname of "the ironman of Hockey". He was named the winner of the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player, nine votes ahead of Bill Cook of the New York Rangers. As of 2010, Gardiner remains the second-oldest player to ever win the award, after Eddie Shore and along with Wayne Gretzky is one of only two players to be named most valuable in their first year in the league.
Gardiner again appeared in all 44 games the Canadiens played in 1927–28, but was loaned to the Chicago Black Hawks to start the 1928–29 NHL season. Serving as a player-coach in Chicago, Gardiner appeared in 13 games as a player, but posted a dismal 5–23–4 record as coach. Montreal recalled him from Chicago in February 1929 and he finished his NHL career with the Canadiens.
His rights were sold to the Boston Bruins following the season, and Boston named him player-coach of their Canadian-American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Arrows. Gardiner remained with the team, renamed the Philadelphia Ramblers, and joined the American Hockey League in 1936 as an affiliate of the New York Rangers. He led the Ramblers to the Calder Cup finals in 1937 and 1939.
Gardiner continued coaching until 1946. In 1947, efforts were made to relocate the suspended Montreal Maroons franchise to Philadelphia. The organization named Gardiner the general manager of the proposed Philadelphia Maroons but the team was never launched.
Gardiner remained in Philadelphia following his retirement.
1927 Hart Trophy Winner.
Herb Gardiner is a honoured member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
Herb Gardiner was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958