Jimmy Gardner (ice hockey)

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Jimmy Gardner
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1963
Jimmy Gardner, New Westminster Royals.jpg
Jimmy Gardner in 1912 with the New Westminster Royals.
Born (1881-05-21)May 21, 1881
Montreal, QC, CAN
Died November 7, 1940(1940-11-07) (aged 59)
Position Forward
Played for Pittsburgh Professionals
Montreal Wanderers
Montreal Shamrocks
Calumet Miners
New Westminster Royals
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1899–1911

James Henry Gardner (May 21, 1881 in Montreal, Quebec - November 7, 1940) was a Canadian ice hockey player and coach. Gardner started his career as professionalism was just starting in ice hockey. He won championships with both amateur and professional teams. After his hockey career ended, Gardner coached professionally, most notably with the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey Association (NHA). Gardner helped found the NHA, the predecessor of today's National Hockey League, and the Canadiens, including suggesting the team name.

Hockey career[edit]

Gardner in 1907 with the Pittsburgh Pros.

Gardner's playing career started with Montreal Hockey Club amateur men's team of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League in 1900, where he played until 1903, winning the Stanley Cup twice, in 1902 and 1903 as one of the 'Little Men of Iron'. In 1903, the players of the Montreal Hockey Club left to form the new Montreal Wanderers of the Federal Amateur Hockey League (FAHL).

After one season with the Wanderer, he then turned professional, playing two years for U.S. teams the Calumet Miners and the Pittsburgh Professionals before returning to Canada and the Montreal Shamrocks. He would return to the Wanderers in 1908 and play for the club until 1911, winning the Cup in 1908 and 1910. He joined the new PCHA and played for New Westminster for two seasons, before returning to Montreal to play for the Montreal Canadiens for two seasons before retiring as a player.

He then coached the Canadiens for two seasons and in later years coached the Hamilton Tigers, and teams in the Western Canada Hockey League and Quebec Hockey League.

Mr. Gardner is credited with helping to found the Montreal Canadiens in 1909, including its name. Gardner, as an official of the Wanderers, met with Ambrose O'Brien during the hockey meetings of December 1909, when the Wanderers and O'Brien's teams were left out of a new professional league. Gardner and O'Brien together worked on the idea of the new National Hockey Association, and the idea of a new francophone team for Montreal, to be named "Les Canadiens". The club would be a natural rival for the anglophone Wanderers. O'Brien, whose family controlled railway and mining business, underwrote both the new league and the Canadiens franchise. A month later, the rival league folded and O'Brien's teams absorbed some of the rival teams. O'Brien would sell the Canadiens one year later to George Kennedy, who owned Club Athletique Canadien.

Gardner was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1963.[1]


  • Hockey Hall of Fame (2003). Honoured Members: Hockey Hall of Fame. Bolton, Ontario: Fenn Publishing. ISBN 1-55168-239-7. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Napoleon Dorval
Head coach of the Montreal Canadiens
Succeeded by
Newsy Lalonde
Preceded by
Newsy Lalonde
Montreal Canadiens captain
Succeeded by
Howard McNamara