the constant gardiner

Hall-of-Fame defenceman Herb Gardiner arrived in the NHL as a 35-year-old in 1926, joining the Montreal Canadiens after a sterling run with the Calgary Tigers of the old WCHL/WHL. Born in Winnipeg on a Tuesday of this date in 1891, Gardiner made an immediate impact, winning the Hart Trophy that year as the NHL’s MVP. That puts him in august company: he and Wayne Gretzky are the only players in NHL history to secure the Hart in their first year in the league. Gardiner played parts of three seasons with Montreal, and had a short (if not too successful) stint as the playing-coach of the Chicago Black Hawks.