Hall of Famer
Inducted in 1975
Chicago Black Hawks
Stanley Cup - Chicago Black Hawks
Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame
Charlie Gardiner is widely considered one of the greatest goalies to have ever graced the ice. A native of Scotland, Gardiner came to Canada at the age of seven and was soon drawn to hockey like any native boy. A poor skater, Gardiner settled himself in front of the net and soon earned a reputation as a promising young goalie. He joined the Winnipeg Maroons in 1926 and was signed by the NHL's Chicago Black Hawks the following year. Unfortunately, Gardiner did not find himself on a winning team. In his second season, the Black Hawks stood at an abominable 7-29-8. This record, however, was in no part due to Gardiner's goaltending abilities. Indeed, he ended the season with a magnificent 1.85 goals-against average, a clear indication that the young goalie was the team's best player. Over the next few years, Gardiner played a significant role in raising his team from the bottom rungs of the league to champions. In the 1930-31 season, he had 12 shutouts and an outstanding GAA of 1.73. The following year, "Gardiner the Great" earned his first Vezina Trophy. In 1934, as team captain, he miraculously led the Hawks to their first Stanley Cup victory. Although they had scored fewer goals than any other team in the league that season, Gardiner also allowed the fewest, a feat which, in itself, was virtually enough to bring the coveted Cup to Chicago. The Black Hawks' triumph, however, was short lived, as the young goalie died of a brain hemorrhage just a few weeks after the playoffs. His death was sorely felt in the hockey community, but his accomplishments were not forgotten. Gardiner played every minute of every game between 1928 and 1934, finishing with 47 career shutouts and two Vezina Trophies. He had a 2.02 GAA in 316 games, and a 1.37 GAA in 21 playoff games. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945.