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04-17-2011, 10:53 PM
Student Of The Game
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
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With the 774th pick in ATD2011, The Regina Pats are proud to select:

Cal Gardner, C

- 6'1", 172 lbs.
- Stanley Cup (1949, 1951)
- Scored Stanley Cup Winning Goal (1949)
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1957)
- NHL All-Star Game Participant (1948, 1949)
- 7th in goals (1951)
- Top-16 in assists 4 times (9th, 12th, 12th, 16th)
- Top-20 in points twice (10th, 20th)
- Played in six consecutive complete seasons (at least 420 straight games, 1951-1957)

Originally Posted by Heroes: Stars Of Hockey's Golden Era
A rugged hockey player, Gardner is no stranger to on-ice combat.
Originally Posted by Quest For the Cup
A rangy guy with equal degrees of finesse and toughness
Originally Posted by The Leafs in Autumn
Gardner was the most interesting of the three. He'd kept in the best shape, tall and rangy, and he conducted himself on the ice with perfect confidence. He put on sudden bursts of speed when they were called for. He laid down passes in unstoppable, take-them-by-surprise patterns.
Originally Posted by The Leafs: An Anecdotal History
Nobody could precisely take Apps' place, but Gardner had the tools to keep the old Apps line - Harry Watson on left wing, Bill Ezinicki on right - more than respectable... good at both ends of the ice, a centre who took pleasure in handing out a body check, not a prolific scorer but a sweetheart of a passer. Gardner did the job for the Leafs in 1948-49. He skated miles, laid the body on Milt Schmidt and Elmer Lach and the other big-name opposing centres, and kept feeding passes to Harry Watson.
Originally Posted by Maple Leafs Top-100, describing Gardner's 1949 Cup Winner
The Leafs took the first two games in Detroit and then won the first game in Toronto. The Wings looked like they may be able to prolong the series when they took a 1-0 lead in the first period. The Leafs tied the game and then took the lead on Gardner's goal. The play started when Bill Ezinicki kicked the puck ahead to Jim Thomson, when then hit a streaking Gardner with a pass. Gardner raced down the side that Jack Stewart had vacated and made a shift with his body that threw Harry Lumley out of position. Gardner put the puck where Lumley had left an opening...
Originally Posted by Metro Ice
Gardner emerged as a solid two-way center who never shied away from a tough game.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
Reardon and Gardner, though, saved their worst for a game a short time later when they engaged in one of the most vicious stick fights in NHL history, both ending up bloodied and dazed and forced by Clarence Campbell to post peace bonds for the rest of the season. The two developed a hatred for eachother, and even 50 years later each swore never to so much as say hello to the other.
Originally Posted by Cal Gardner, as told to Jack Batten
It was Ezinicki who hit Reardon first, not me... Reardon swung back at Ezinicki, and his stick landed on me. That's when I took my own stick and hit Reardon on both shoulders... I broke the stick on the right.
Originally Posted by Cal Gardner, as told to Jack Batten, describing the 1951 Cup Winning Goal.
"Cal", Smythe said in the dressing room after the game, "you should've got that goal." Sure, the puck came real close to me. But if you take a look at the famous photograph of the goal, the one that shows Barilko flying through the air, you'll see me skating in the direction of a montreal player. It was The Rocket. I had my attention on him, not on the puck. The thing was, Barilko had left his defense spot open, and if he hadn't scored, the puck could easily have come out to Richard. Without Barilko in position, the Rocket could've been on a breakaway. So I was just doing my job, putting a guard on Rocket Richard.
Gardner was also good at getting the opposition's stars off their game:

Originally Posted by Metro Ice
"The opposition started to pound us," said Doug Bentley. "The Bruins sent big fellows like Eddie Sandford and Cal Gardner after us. They hit us, leaned on us, and fouled us whenever possible."

Aware that Max Bentley was a hypochondriac, Lynn instructed his players to comment casually on how terrible he looked. "Cal Gardner did it best," Lynn recalled. "After a while, Max seemed to get depressed and more depressed and the quality of his play started slipping."

...the Rangers hadn't found a way to cure Max's hypochondria and that's how the rangers became the only team to be talked out of a playoff berth. The culprit was Cal Gardner, an ex-ranger and Leaf. Cal Gardner: "I had been max's teammate on the Maple Leafs when we won the cup in 1949 and 1951 and we had been roommates but this was a game we had to win. As soon as we got on the ice for warmups, I made a beeline for Max and told him straight out that he seemed sick to me and that he should see a doctor. Whenever we'd pass I'd bring it up again. By game time, Max was a wreck and couldn't do a thing for New York that night. Naturally we beat the Rangers."
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, January 2, 1946
I newcomer to the New York lineup, center Cal Gardner, showed lack of polish but was effective as a backchecker and on the attack…
Originally Posted by Milwaukee Journal, 1948-10-12
To replace Apps, the Maple Leafs obtained Cal Gardner from the Rangers. Gardner, who was used at LW by the Rangers, most of the season, is an excellent pivot man. The Maple Leafs have three of the league's best centers in Gardner, Ted Kennedy, and Max Bentley. Kennedy is the new captain and centers the first line. Bentley is the ice general for the second line and Gardner for the third.
Originally Posted by Lewiston Daily Sun, 1948-11-18
Only one of the ten penalties handed out was a major. That was imposed on Ed Sandford early in the third session for throwing a punch at Cal Gardner, who had been roughing him.
Originally Posted by Michigan daily, April 17, 1949
fiery Cal Gardner shoved the leafs ahead…
Originally Posted by Saskatoon star Phoenix, February 28, 1950
Reardon was quoted as saying:"I am going to see that Gardner gets 14 stitches in the mouth. I may have to wait a long time, but I'm patient. Even if I have to wait until the last game I ever played, Gardner is going to get it good and plenty."
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, March 1, 1950
Cal Gardner, the aggressive center of the Toronto Maple Leafs…
Originally Posted by Toledo Blade, June 29, 1953
Gardner can play either center or left wing… A rugged player, Gardner has missed only four games out of 210 played in the last three years.
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1956-11-19
Cal Gardner, a veteran clutch player...
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, March 2, 1957
in a season when mysterious blood diseases and moody goaltenders have caused NHL clubs almost as much trouble as fractures, Cal Gardner must be a refreshing change to the Boston Bruins. When he skates out today in Boston against the New York Rangers, the thick shouldered redhaired center will be beginning his 435th consecutive game, probably a modern record for hardiness. It's difficult to find figures for comparison, but the consensus is that the 32-year-old's only contemporary rival for longevity was Tony Leswick, who had played 420 consecutive games when he bowed out of the league last season.

That leaves Gardner with the all-time record to shoot for and he is still a fair distance away. The mark is 508 regular games, set by Murray Murdoch, who played every New York Rangers game between 1926 and 1937. But Lynn Patrick, Bruins general manager, who says Gartner's 270 games in a Boston uniform is a club record, thinks Cal's achievement is even more remarkable than Murdoch's.

"Remember, when Murdoch was playing with New York the schedules were only 44 to 48 games. A player could be hurt and still not lose any playing time, with as much as five, six or seven days between a game. Today it isn't unusual to play four games in five nights."

In addition, Patrick believe there's more wear and tear on a modern player because the game is faster and the schedule longer. And Gardner didn't set his records by backing away from any fights either. The Transcona, Manitoba native has been a digging, dogged checker ever since he broke in with the Rangers during the 1946 season and since then, with Toronto, Chicago and Boston he has maintained his reputation as an honest, two-way forward. During that time he's absorbed enough broken noses and stitches to give him the look of a veteran light heavyweight boxer, but his 175 pound body still has lots of stamina left. Gardner has never been a high score – but he's always got 10 to 15 goals and 20 to 25 assists and the assurance that Gardner will nearly always be able to lease on his skates is a valuable asset to any team.
LOL - from Popular Mechanics, February 1948:

Last edited by seventieslord: 04-18-2011 at 03:56 PM.
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