Mike Gartner

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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
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Cincinnati Stingers (WHA)
Washington Capitals
Minnesota North Stars
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Phoenix Coyotes
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 4th overall, 1979
Washington Capitals
Playing career 1978–1998

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
  • Jersey number #11 retired by Washington Capitals December 28, 2008.
  • 2001 - Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame
  • NHL's Player of the Week for the week ending February 22, 1987.
  • NHL's Player of the Month for February, 1987, becoming first Capital to win the award.
  • NHL's Player of the Week for the week ending November 26, 1989.
  • NHL All-Star Game MVP (1993)
  • NHL's Fastest Skater at All-Star Game Skills Competition in (1991, 1993 and 1996)
  • Played in the NHL All-Star Game (1981, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1996)
  • One of the three final WHA players still active in professional hockey (Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky being the last two) at the time of his retirement.
  • In 1998, he was ranked number 89 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
  • He scored the last goal ever at Chicago Stadium in the 1994 playoffs.
  • He was ranked No. 67 on the all-time list of New York Rangers in the book 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons, 2009).
  • In 2012, he was inducted into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame in the “Legends of the Game” category.[5]

Records[edit]

  • NHL record for most consecutive 30-goal seasons - 15 (also tied with Jaromir Jagr)[6]
  • NHL record for most 30-goal seasons - 17
  • NHL record for most goals in an All-Star Game (1993) - 4 (shared with Wayne Gretzky, Dany Heatley and others)
  • NHL record for fastest two goals from the start of an All-Star Game (1993) - in 3:37
  • NHL Skills Competition record fastest time (1996) - 13.386 seconds[7]
  • Washington Capitals record for longest point-streak - 17 games (twice)
  • Washington Capitals record for longest goal-scoring-streak (1986–87) - 9 games (shares record)
  • Washington Capitals record for most shorthanded goals in a season (1986–87) - 6 (shares record)
  • Washington Capitals record most points by a right winger in one season (1984–85) - 102

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1975–76 St. Catharines Black Hawks OMJHL 3 1 3 4 0 4 1 0 1 2
1976–77 Niagara Falls Flyers OMJHL 62 33 42 75 125
1977–78 Niagara Falls Flyers OHA 64 41 49 90 56
1978–79 Cincinnati Stingers WHA 78 27 25 52 123 3 0 2 2 2
1979–80 Washington Capitals NHL 77 36 32 68 66
1980–81 Washington Capitals NHL 80 48 46 94 100
1981–82 Washington Capitals NHL 80 35 45 80 121
1982–83 Washington Capitals NHL 73 38 38 76 54 4 0 0 0 4
1983–84 Washington Capitals NHL 80 40 45 85 90 8 3 7 10 16
1984–85 Washington Capitals NHL 80 50 52 102 71 5 4 3 7 9
1985–86 Washington Capitals NHL 74 35 40 75 63 9 2 10 12 4
1986–87 Washington Capitals NHL 78 41 32 73 61 7 4 3 7 14
1987–88 Washington Capitals NHL 80 48 33 81 73 14 3 4 7 14
1988–89 Washington Capitals NHL 56 26 29 55 71
1988–89 Minnesota North Stars NHL 13 7 7 14 2 5 0 0 0 6
1989–90 Minnesota North Stars NHL 67 34 36 70 32
1989–90 New York Rangers NHL 12 11 5 16 6 10 5 3 8 12
1990–91 New York Rangers NHL 79 49 20 69 53 6 1 1 2 0
1991–92 New York Rangers NHL 76 40 41 81 55 13 8 8 16 4
1992–93 New York Rangers NHL 84 45 23 68 59
1993–94 New York Rangers NHL 71 28 24 52 58
1993–94 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 10 6 6 12 4 18 5 6 11 14
1994–95 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 38 12 8 20 6 5 2 2 4 2
1995–96 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82 35 19 54 52 6 4 1 5 4
1996–97 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 82 32 31 63 38 7 1 2 3 4
1997–98 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 60 12 15 27 24 5 1 0 1 18
NHL totals 1432 708 627 1335 1159 122 43 50 93 125
OMJHL/OHA totals 129 75 94 169 181 4 1 0 1 2

International play[edit]

International statistics

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
1978 Team Canada WJC 6 3 3 6 4
1981 Team Canada WCh 8 4 0 4 8
1982 Team Canada WC 10 3 2 5 6
1983 Team Canada WC 10 4 1 5 12
1984 Team Canada CC 8 3 2 5 10
1987 Team Canada CC 9 2 2 4 6
1993 Team Canada WCh 7 3 4 7 12
7 tournaments Team Canada Career 58 22 14 36 58

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