|Paul Malone Gardner
Height: 5' 11", Weight: 180 pounds
Born: 3.5.56 Fort Erie, Ontario
|How he arrived: Via Entry Draft
How he left: Traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Don Ashby and Trevor Johansen, 3.13.79
|Regular Season Statistics with the Franchise
Stats in bold signifies team leader.
Being a second generation hockey player whose father was a huge name in the game, Gardner had some huge shoes to
fill. But when he joined the Rockies, he got off on the right foot, having scored 3 goals in his first 2 games with the
team. He ultimately provided Wilf Paiement with a lot of support, finishing his rookie season with 30 goals, 11 of them
on the power play. Imagine if he played all 80 games, though. Would have likely been a 40-goal season.
He would have had 50 (at least) the following season the pace he was going at, but he suffered a fractured vertebra in
January and his season was done. Back troubles would haunt him the rest of his career.
A knee injury would shorten the 78-79 season, as well. He's productive when he's in the lineup, but the frequency of him
being in the lineup keeps lessening, even after being traded to the Maple Leafs. A little footnote about that season: he
still got 30, having scored the remaining 7 needed up with them.
He struggled to crack the Leafs' lineup, so he moved on to the Pittsburgh Penguins and was able to get playing time and
a couple more 30-goal seasons there. Like with the Rockies, though, too much time missed, otherwise he would have
He saw a few more NHL games with both the Capitals and the Sabres, but was largely in the AHL. He would retire
after 1986 with his back being the issue there.
He was gonna start up a business career post-retirement, but was offered a coaching job with the AHL's Newmarket
Saints and took that. He had also coached for the Baltimore Skipjacks and the Portland Pirates before graduating to the
NHL in taking an assistant spot when Barry Trotz, who headed the Pirates' coaching staff, became the Nashville
Predators' headman. He would stay there until 02-03.
He had coached in Russia (Lokomotiv Yaroslav) and Germany (Hamburg Freezers) up until 2011. That year, he came
back stateside to coach the expansion Bloomington Blaze of the CHL. In conjunction with that job, he also became the
Blaze's Director of Hockey Operations.
|Entry Draft: 1976 First Round Pick (11th overall) by the
Kansas City Scouts