Mike Gartner

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Mike Gartner
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2001
Born(1959-10-29) October 29, 1959 (age 54)
Ottawa, ON, CAN
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
PositionRight Wing
ShotRight
Played forCincinnati Stingers (WHA)
Washington Capitals
Minnesota North Stars
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Phoenix Coyotes
National team Canada
NHL Draft4th overall, 1979
Washington Capitals
Playing career1978–1998
 
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For the American journalist and businessman, see Michael Gartner.
Mike Gartner
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2001
Born(1959-10-29) October 29, 1959 (age 54)
Ottawa, ON, CAN
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
PositionRight Wing
ShotRight
Played forCincinnati Stingers (WHA)
Washington Capitals
Minnesota North Stars
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Phoenix Coyotes
National team Canada
NHL Draft4th overall, 1979
Washington Capitals
Playing career1978–1998

Michael Alfred Gartner (born October 29, 1959) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who played 19 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Washington Capitals, Minnesota North Stars, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Phoenix Coyotes. He also played one season in the defunct World Hockey Association for the Cincinnati Stingers. Gartner was born in Ottawa, Ontario, but grew up in Mississauga, Ontario.

Playing career[edit]

Gartner was drafted in the 1st round, 4th overall, by the Washington Capitals in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He started his professional career playing in the WHA as an underager with the Cincinnati Stingers in 1978–79. He played on a line with Mark Messier and had a successful campaign, finishing second to Wayne Gretzky for Rookie-of-the-Year honors. As a result, with the WHA folding at the end of the season, he played the next season with the Capitals, and would play for them for the better part of ten seasons. He recorded an assist in his NHL debut on October 11, 1979, versus the Buffalo Sabres, and he wore number eleven for the Caps.

Gartner had a solid season in 1979–80, winning the Capitals' Rookie of the Year and MVP awards, as well as being voted by their fans as the team's Most Promising Player. He also led the team with 36 goals. Gartner was traded to the Minnesota North Stars on March 7, 1989, with Larry Murphy for Dino Ciccarelli and Bob Rouse. He left the Capitals as the team's all-time leader in career goals, assists and points, and currently stands second in those three categories.

However, Gartner only lasted one season with Minnesota and was traded to the New York Rangers on March 6, 1990, for Ulf Dahlén, a draft pick and future considerations. He had a strong start with the Rangers scoring two goals in his debut versus the Philadelphia Flyers. He scored eleven goals and sixteen points in the remaining twelve regular season games the Rangers played that year. In 1991–92, he became the first player in NHL history to score his 500th goal, 500th assist, and 1000th point all in the same season. The next season, Gartner became the first Ranger to score at least 40 goals in three consecutive seasons. He also scored four goals in the NHL All-Star Game and earned the All-Star Game MVP award.

Gartner has his number retired by the Washington Capitals in 2008.

In 1993–94, Gartner was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Glenn Anderson, a minor leaguer, and a draft pick. He played with the Leafs until 1996, when he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes, who had just re-located from Winnipeg. Gartner scored the first goal and hat trick in Phoenix history on October 7 against the Boston Bruins, in the franchise's second game since relocation. He played two seasons with the Coyotes before retiring in August 1998.

Gartner was also active with the NHL Players Association. He served as president of the NHLPA from 1996 until his retirement in 1998 and served as Chairman of the Goals & Dreams program with the NHLPA. He resigned from the NHLPA on March 19, 2007.[1]

Gartner is a born-again Christian, and was introduced to the faith during his playing days by former Washington teammate Jean Pronovost. His son, Josh, played goalie for Yale University and right wing for the Tuck School of Business A-Team in the Upper Valley Hockey League.[2]

Gartner and his former teammate, Wes Jarvis, are business partners and own three skating rinks in the Greater Toronto Area located in Newmarket, Ontario,Richmond Hill, Ontario, and Barrie, Ontario..[3]

Distinction[edit]

Despite his long impressive career, Gartner never won the Stanley Cup or played in the Cup Finals, never won an NHL award, and was never named to the postseason All-Star Team, being one of the few NHL players with this distinction to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Dino Ciccarelli has likewise never managed any of these accolades, although he made the Cup Finals in 1995. Only Phil Housley has played in more games (1495) than Gartner without winning the Cup, though Housley participated in the 1998 Cup Finals and has been named a Second Team All-Star.

Gartner was a member of the New York Rangers team that would go on to win the championship in 1994, but he was traded to Toronto at the trade deadline. However, Gartner got farther than he ever would in the playoffs that same year, as the Maple Leafs made it to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Vancouver Canucks in 5 games. He was traded close to the NHL trading deadline three times in his career, and had a knack for producing immediately for those teams, as in a combined 35 games with his new teams during the regular season after the mid-season deals, he had 24 goals, 18 assists, 42 points, and a +16 rating.

Gartner was noted for his consistency during his career, as he led his team in goals nine times during his career and scored 30 or more goals each year for the first 15 seasons of his NHL career, since tied by Jaromír Jágr in 2007. Despite only once scoring 50 goals in a single season, Gartner became only the fifth player in NHL history to reach 700 goals (subsequently, Brett Hull and Jaromir Jagr have also achieved the 700 goal milestone).

Gartner was also known for his blazing on-ice speed and ability to beat defenders down the ice.[4]

The Washington Capitals retired Gartner's #11 in a ceremony before their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 28, 2008.

During the 1994 Super Skills competition, he set the modern record for the fastest skater event with a time of 13.38.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Mike Gartner's banner rises to the rafters after his jersey was retired by the Washington Capitals

Records[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

  Regular season Playoffs
SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIMGPGAPtsPIM
1975–76St. Catharines Black HawksOMJHL3134041012
1976–77Niagara Falls FlyersOMJHL62334275125
1977–78Niagara Falls FlyersOHA6441499056
1978–79Cincinnati StingersWHA7827255212330222
1979–80Washington CapitalsNHL7736326866
1980–81Washington CapitalsNHL80484694100
1981–82Washington CapitalsNHL80354580121
1982–83Washington CapitalsNHL733838765440004
1983–84Washington CapitalsNHL80404585908371016
1984–85Washington CapitalsNHL8050521027154379
1985–86Washington CapitalsNHL74354075639210124
1986–87Washington CapitalsNHL7841327361743714
1987–88Washington CapitalsNHL80483381731434714
1988–89Washington CapitalsNHL5626295571
1988–89Minnesota North StarsNHL137714250006
1989–90Minnesota North StarsNHL6734367032
1989–90New York RangersNHL121151661053812
1990–91New York RangersNHL794920695361120
1991–92New York RangersNHL76404181551388164
1992–93New York RangersNHL8445236859
1993–94New York RangersNHL7128245258
1993–94Toronto Maple LeafsNHL106612418561114
1994–95Toronto Maple LeafsNHL3812820652242
1995–96Toronto Maple LeafsNHL823519545264154
1996–97Phoenix CoyotesNHL823231633871234
1997–98Phoenix CoyotesNHL6012152724510118
NHL totals143270862713351159122435093125
OMJHL/OHA totals129759416918141012

International play[edit]

International statistics

YearTeamEventGPGAPtsPIM
1978Team CanadaWJC63364
1981Team CanadaWCh84048
1982Team CanadaWC103256
1983Team CanadaWC1041512
1984Team CanadaCC832510
1987Team CanadaCC92246
1993Team CanadaWCh734712
7 tournamentsTeam CanadaCareer5822143658

Personal life[edit]

Gartner and his wife Colleen have two sons, Joshua and Dylan, and a daughter Natalie. They reside in Shanty Bay, Ontario.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Tim Coulis
Washington Capitals first round draft pick
1979
Succeeded by
Darren Veitch
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Doug Wilson
NHLPA President
September 13, 1993–1998
Succeeded by
Trevor Linden