Monday, June 29, 2015


One of the great pleasures of spending time with Wally Stanowski came when he told a good ole fashion hockey story.

Like this one about when he arrived in Toronto to face the Oshawa Generals at Maple Leaf Gardens to determine the 1938 Memorial Cup champion.

"That was with St. Boniface," Stanowski told me back in February 2012. "It was terrible the first time. Artificial ice is a hell of a lot slower than natural," which Stanowski skated on in his hometown. "Our first practice at the Gardens, if you threw a pass to your teammate it wouldn't get there because the puck was slow. It took a while to get adjusted."

Then, Stanowski got to the meat of the story.

"It kind of surprised me," Stanowski said after informing his visitor of a bribe letter he received at his downtown Toronto hotel room between Memorial Cup games. "I was supposed to skate behind the net and pretend I was lacing my skate, which meant I'm going to go along with it."

After thinking the situation over, Stanowski, then an 18 year-old kid, knew he had to do the right thing.

"I gave the letter to my manager," Stanowski stated 73 years later. "I was going to do it as a gag, but I didn't just in case we lost."

And what compensation were the gangsters promising Stanowski for his co-operation?

"They offered me $100," he replied without a hint of regret that he didn't sell-out. His reward came when the St. Boniface Seals won Canada's junior title.

On June 28, 2015, hockey lost one of its oldest storytellers when Wally Stanowski passed away at the age of 96.

I first met Wally Stanowski when I began attending the hockey oldtimers lunch in Markham, Ontario. Over time, I interviewed him on numerous occasions for my blog and other projects I was working on.

Despite his advanced age, Stanowski's memory remained intact as he remembered the past.

Walter Peter Stanowski was born on April 28, 1919, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

"My dad was a blacksmith and mother didn't work," Stanowski stated in a lengthy interview I conducted for The Society for International Research in June 2014.

"My mother bought me a pair of skates for $2.95 and they were brand new," Stanowski recalled of his opportunity to ditch the lady blades he had been wearing. "They were size 9 and at that time I was wearing size 5, but I was suppose to grow into them," he said with a chuckle. "That is how tight money was in those days."

Due to the turbulent financial times in the 1920's, Stanowski's dad had doubts about hockey as a career for his son.

"My dad didn't want me to play hockey. He wanted me to be a blacksmith. He used to do some welding and repair all the wagons with wooden spokes. He made carts for the farmers as he was pretty good with his hands."

When asked if he played organized or pond hockey as a youth, Stanowski answer was one that many generations could relate to.

"We had quite a few open-air rinks in Winnipeg. They also built a cabin at the rink. The boards were about two-and-half feet high and the rest was snow, which we cleaned off before playing shinny."

While strutting his stuff on the outdoor rink, little Wally Stanowski's favourite hockey player was Boston's Eddie Shore. "He was an all-round type of player," Stanowski said of Shore's ability to execute at both ends of the ice.

Before becoming a teenager, Stanowski's first taste of organized hockey came in a playground league. "We played another outdoor rink team. There must have been 10 more more of those outdoor rinks."

While in junior with St. Boniface, the New York Americans added his name to their negotiation list.

"I attended their training camp at Calgary in 1938. I remember being told to slow down that I already made the team and I had nothing to prove."

There was a reason the New York Americans didn't want Stanowski displaying his "A" game at camp. "I didn't know they made a deal with Toronto," Stanowski said of the agreement between the two clubs. "Toronto had the rights to pick any player from the camp. That's why they told me not to skate so hard and take it easy. That's how I became a Leaf."

After winning the Memorial Cup, Stanowski turned pro with Toronto and spent the 1938-39 season in the American Hockey League with  Syracuse.

He joined the Maple Leafs defence in 1939-40. His first coach in Toronto was Dick Irvin, who was behind the Maple Leafs bench in 1932, when they captured the Stanley Cup in their first year at Maple Leaf Gardens.

"He was a bad coach," Stanowski said of his new mentor. "He didn't teach me a thing. I thought here I'll learn something, but no."

In 1940-41, Hap Day, a former Leaf defenceman took over the coaching duties in Toronto. "Hap was very good. He got instructions from Smythe, but he did a lot of good things on his own."

His partner on Toronto's blue line was Bingo Kampman, with Stanowski being the take-charge guy.

"I was the one with the Leafs that if a puck came into our zone and I could get hold of it, they couldn't stop me from getting it out of our zone.

Stanowski's ability to effortlessly skate up ice and participate on offence, then motor back to attend to his defensive responsibilities was the greatest asset of his game.

"I would say as far as skating is concerned, in my opinion, Stanowski was the fastest skater," Boston Bruins legend Milt Schmidt told me in 2012, when I asked him to name the top speedster on Toronto's defence in the 1940's.

No one would argue with Schmidt's appraisal of Stanowski.

And that included Conn Smythe. On October 18, 1939, he described Stanowski's style of play to a local reporter.

"He plays defence as though he was swivelled at the hips. He skates sweepingly with legs spread out. You can rock him but he is harder to knock down than Joe Lewis," Smythe said of his rookie rearguard.

Under new coach, Hap Day, Stanowski's game flourished in his second  term in Toronto. He earned a spot on the 1941First All-Star Team, joining Boston's Dit Clapper. This achievement was one of Stanowski's fondest memories.

In season three, Stanowski and his teammates reached hockey's tallest mountain. As a result of winning the 1942 Stanley Cup, Stanowski and the other Maple Leafs remain a part of hockey history. Unable to gain a win in the first 3 games against Detroit, the Leafs took the next 4 contests and remain as the only club to accomplish this feat in the Stanley Cup Final.

Like many players from that era, Stanowski's NHL time was interrupted due to World War Two. He returned to Winnipeg along with his friend and fellow Leaf, Pete Langelle, and served as physical fitness instructor in the RCAF. While in the service, Stanowski skated for the RCAF Bombers.

Upon being discharged, Stanowski returned to the Maple Leafs and added three more Stanley Cups - 1945, 1947 and 1948 - to his trophy case.

His Stanley Cup in '48 was bittersweet, as it marked the end to his wearing the Blue & White.

The background on his escape from the Maple Leafs and Conn Smythe is another delightful story that can only be told by Stanowski.

Decked out in a comfortable blue plaid shirt and with a stream of smoke billowing from the bowl of his pipe, Stanowski sat back in his chair during one of my visits and told me about his trade to the New York Rangers in June of 1948.

"That year they didn't play me and I thought I've got to go to a team where I can play."

To accomplish this, Stanowski knew he would have to be proactive in getting the ball rolling.

"I told a Toronto reporter of my intention to quit hockey and go into business on my own. He was the only one I told. My wife didn't even know."

Like a hunter who sets a trap, Stanowski took cover and waited for his trap to work.

"I knew the reporter would take that information up to Smythe. He was a tattletale and he would get a favour from Smythe."

As the story goes, the reporter did go to Smythe with the information and shortly thereafter, Stanowski was traded to the New York Rangers. This transaction only occurred after Stanowski talked with Frank Boucher, who ran the Rangers.

"I understand you are going to quit," Boucher said to Stanowski.

"I have no intention of quitting," Stanowski told his future employer.

Secure in the knowledge he had a commitment from Stanowski, the Rangers manager made the deal with Smythe.

Aware that he could lose one of his assets without getting a return, Smythe took the bait planted by Stanowski. He wasn't going to call Stanowski's bluff.

In New York, Stanowski played a full season in 1948-49, but he wasn't so lucky for the balance of his time in Manhattan.

When the Rangers came to Toronto for a contest on January 21, 1950, their coach, Lynn Patrick, commented on the impact injuries were having on his club.

"Injuries, especially the one to Wally Stanowski. That one really hurt. Wally was the key man in our defence in front of Rayner. To make matters worse, we don't know how long he will be out."

A knee problem kept Stanowski on the sidelines for an extended period of time, and he only saw action in 37 contests during the 1949-50 campaign.

At training camp preparing for the 1950-51 season. Stanowski suffered an ankle injury, which hampered him from getting into game shape.

"He missed six or seven games early in the season and with six defencemen hasn't had much chance to play himself into condition," Frank Boucher said of Stanowski's slow start.

But the worst and final injury of Wally Stanowski's hockey career came on December 23, 1951.

The career-ending mishap took place during an encounter between the Cincinnati Mohawks and Indianapolis Caps. An American Hockey League farm team of the Rangers, Stanowski was assigned to Cincinnati to begin the 1950-51 hockey year.

The Mohawks and Caps were locked in a 3-3 tie after sixty-minutes of play and went to overtime. But 47-seconds into the overtime period, Stanowski's skates got tangled with the boards and he broke his left leg. That would be Wally Stanowski's last game as a professional hockey player.

In his retirement, Stanowski continued to lace-up his skates and play hockey for the NHL-Toronto Oldtimers. Billed as "The Whirling Dervish" due to his flamboyant skating style, Stanowski continued to entertain crowds with his moves.

I last spoke with Wally Stanowski prior to the Chicago-Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Final and I asked him which club had the best chance of being crowned hockey's new champion.  Needing no time to ponder his answer, Stanowski quickly told me Chicago would emerge victorious, the old pro demonstrating he still kept in touch with the game and could spot a winner.

The lunches on the first Monday of each month won't be the same now that Wally is gone. As the oldest living former Toronto Maple Leaf, he was the elder statesman of the group.

Similar to a hockey dressing room, Wally had his usual spot in the restaurant. When someone called attention to him, all eyes knew exactly where to turn to find Wally. That will no longer be the case, but we will have his rich and wonderful stories to remember him by.


As we edge towards the backside of June, it will be just a matter of time before I flip the page on my Hockey Heroes (Hockey Hall of Fame Collection) 2015 Calendar.

This month featured  a wonderful shot of Toronto Maple Leaf defenceman, Jimmy Morrison, battling two Chicago Black Hawk players for the puck.

As the calendar photograph (above) reveals, Morrison is engaged with George 'Red' Sullivan, as the two men lock/cross sticks in an effort to gain control of the rubber. While this is going on, Bill Mosienko (HHOF class of 1965) applies the lumber to Morrison's back. Looking on are Chicago's Harry Watson (HHOF class of 1994) and Toronto's Parker MacDonald.

At the Oldtimers lunch on the first of June, I couldn't resist snapping the above picture of Jimmy holding the calendar. Although not a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Jimmy Morrison was inducted into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame in late January of 2013.

Bill Mosienko played his entire National Hockey League career with the Chicago Black Hawks. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, he skated on Chicago's famous 'Pony Line' along with Max Bentley and his brother Doug Bentley.

One of the highlights of Mosienko's career came on March 23, 1952, when he set a National Hockey League record for the fastest three goals. In a contest at New York's Madison Square Garden, Mosienko beat Rangers goalie, Lorne Anderson, who was called-up from the New York Rovers, for three goals in 21-seconds.

Harry Watson's finest year, statically, came in 1948-49. During the regular season (60 games), Watson produced 26 goals and added 19 assists for 45 points. Of the 26 goals he scored, one stands out above the others.

On March 5, 1949, at Maple Leaf Gardens, Watson connected for 2 goals against New York Rangers netminder Chuck Rayner. His second of the game, just past the 10-minute mark of the third period, was Watson's 100th NHL goal.

Jim Vipond, writing in The Globe and Mail, described Watson's 100th:

 Watson had the play all to himself, stealing the puck from a Ranger defenseman's {sic} stick and waltzing in on an exasperated Rayner.

Vipond may have decided to use 'exasperated' due to the fact Toronto defeated New York 7-1. Obviously, Rayner didn't receive much support from his teammates.

Harry Watson looking over his 100-goal puck

In addition to the Maple Leafs, Watson skated for the Brooklyn Americans, Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Black Hawks.

Watson's last National Hockey League campaign was in 1967-57 with Chicago. At the end of his career he had amassed 236 goals in 809 league games.

Friday, June 26, 2015


As we head into the National Hockey League Draft tonight in Florida, all eyes will be on Connor McDavid. Projected to be the first overall selection by the Edmonton Oilers, McDavid's arrival in Edmonton will be the most anticipated by a hockey player since Wayne Gretzky joined them in 1978.

On June 8, 2015, while in Toronto to attend a charity event, Gretzky spoke about McDavid during a media scrum.

"Hockey is an amazing sport because when Gordie Howe retired everyone said, well what's going to happen to the game," Gretzky remarked concerning the impact of an icon leaving the scene. "When Wayne Gretzky retired the same question (was asked)."

"We just seem to have all these great people coming along," Number 99 noted about hockey's succession process when it comes to future superstars.

On McDavid going to his former hockey home, Gretzky stated, "Connor is a nice young man and everything I've seen of him and read, he's going to absolutely love Edmonton. The people in Edmonton are going to treat him with kid-gloves and be patient."

Commenting on what awaits the most prized asset in the class of 2015, Gretzky said, "It's a big step for him to go from junior hockey to the NHL. I got a little bit lucky as I went from junior hockey to the WHA."

Gretzky left little doubt that all the praise being heaped upon McDavid as hockey's 'Next One' is justified. "I think Connor McDavid is the best player we've seen since Lemieux and Crosby. I think he is going to have a great career in Edmonton."

Did he get the chance to watch the draft lottery live when Edmonton won the top selection?

"We watched it live," Gretzky told the assembled media. "I told my wife we had to watch it, but she said, 'why do we have to watch it, Edmonton's going to get the pick.' She predicted it, not me."

Later, during a panel discussion, Gretzky once again touched on the aspect of new young talent coming up to replace the giants of the sport when they hang up their skates for good.

"Well, the kids come along like Crosby to Stamkos and Toews,"Gretzky said echoing his previous comments on this subject.

And there is no better example of this than Gretzky himself. Back on November 2, 1978, when he was dealt from Indianapolis to the Edmonton Oilers in a transaction between the two WHA clubs, a hockey legend was making his exit from the game.

On November 1, 1978, the day before Wayne Gretzky was shipped to Edmonton, Bobby Hull announced his retirement as a player with the WHA Winnipeg Jets.

Prior to jumping to the World Hockey Association in the summer of 1972, Hull was an NHL superstar with Chicago. In 1961, his name was engraved on the Stanley Cup and in two subsequent seasons Hull was named the winner of the Hart Trophy (NHL-MVP).

While the door closed on 'The Golden Jets' brilliant career, a key was turned on another to welcome 'The Great One.'

In his first year of pro hockey, Gretzky had only 8 games under his belt with the Indianapolis Racers prior to his move to Edmonton. The following campaign, Gretzky was in the National Hockey League as the Oilers were part of the NHL-WHA merger. The merger also resulted in Hull briefly returning to the ice to play 27 games for Winnipeg and Hartford in '79-'80.

By this time, the guard had changed and Gretzky represented the games future.

As Connor McDavid looks forward to life in the National Hockey League, I wondered if Gretzky had an itch to get back into the game in some capacity.

"No, but listen, everything I have in my life is due to hockey," Gretzky answered in response to my question asked during his press availability. "I have enough going on in my life right now."

Included in this mix was a planned trip to last weekends U.S. Open, one of golf's elite tournaments.

"We're going to the U.S. Open next week with our grandson and hopefully, our son-in-law does well,"    Gretzky noted of his future plans.

Gretzky's son-in-law, Dustin Johnson, was in contention for his first win of a major, but his putter let him down on the final hole during Sunday's last round.

Tonight and over much of this weekend, it will be Connor McDavid's turn in the spotlight. And I'm sure we will hear Wayne Gretzky's name mentioned a few times.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Over the weekend, Al and Lorraine Shaw hosted their annual NHL Oldtimers BBQ. It was a picture-perfect day weather wise with pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

The three gentlemen in the above photo - (L to R) Mr. (Bob) Beckett, Mr. (Gary) Collins and Mr. (Danny) Lewicki - look like they could have had featured roles in Quentin Tarantino's film 'Reservoir Dogs'.

Decked out in their shades, you would think these guys had just pulled off a major heist! Of the three, Mr. Beckett appears to be the muscle and the guy asking, "Are you looking at me?"

The one downer during the Saturday afternoon festivities came when Al informed the gathering that Wally Stanowski would not be attending. Unfortunately, Wally is back in the hospital. The 96 year-old Stanowski is the oldest living former Toronto Maple Leaf.

I spoke with Wally prior to the Chicago-Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Final getting underway and he stated, without hesitation, that the Hawks would be crowned Cup champions. And his prediction came true when Chicago defeated Tampa Bay in game six. It was Chicago's first Stanley Cup title on home ice since April 12, 1938.

And what was Wally Stanowski up to on that evening back in 1938?

The answer - Wally was playing for the St. Boniface Seals as they battled the Oshawa Generals in game two of the Memorial Cup showdown at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

As the copy under the above photo notes, "The Star cameraman has caught the high-stepping defenceman in the act of applying his brakes during one of his trips down ice in practice. Wally has all the earmarks of a coming star and is billed a future Toronto Maple Leaf."

Wally went on to win four Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs starting in 1942 and adding three more - 1945, 1947 & 1948 -  after he returned serving time in World War Two.

We hope and pray Wally has a speedy recovery and is able to join us at the July lunch!

Sunday, June 21, 2015


One of the fun things about viewing the television coverage after a Stanley Cup champion is crowned, comes when the players mingle with their families.

Watching a father and son displaying raw emotions is a special moment to witness. The two of them embraced in a hug with no words being spoken. A thankful son, who knows the sacrifices his dad  made to help him climb hockey's highest mountain. A grateful father, who knows he played an important role in his boy fulfilling a life-long dream.

Another special bond in the hockey world exists between former/current professional players and their offspring. This is a completely different dynamic with unique pressures and expectations. In this grouping the public perception is the elders have already set the standard and the youngsters are expected to meet or exceed them.

There is little doubt the son of the local dry cleaner isn't carrying the same weight on his shoulders, while playing youth hockey, as the kid with the last name Morenz or Conacher. Sure, the dry cleaners lad can be filled with anxiety at the thought of letting his pop down and not performing at a certain level. Also, we have all heard the horror stories of the overbearing parent that drives their child to the brink if they aren't making the grade.  However, the public and media don't scrutinize their progress in the game. But that can't be said of Howie Morenz Jr., Pete Conacher and other youngsters who had big shoes to fill. In their cases, they had to live in the shadows of two iconic NHL superstars.

I have interviewed both Howie Jr. and Pete and their recollections of growing up in a famous hockey family are very similar. Although the spotlight was focused directly on them at a very young age, neither Howie nor Pete felt their dad applied undue pressure to join them in the family business.

I've also discussed this topic with Blaine Smith. His dad, the late Sid Smith, played his entire National Hockey League career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Blaine told me he had the full support of his dad and it was never an issue or problem if he didn't follow the same career path as his dad.

Blaine kindly lent me the above pictorial gallery, which appeared in the February 1966 edition of Hockey Pictorial magazine.

In a very subtle manner, the text hints that because dad is a pro hockey player, "...big leaguers past and present also may have future NHL stars on the way up." Again, a very slight reference, but the seed was planted for the readers to ponder the question, "does Sid Smith's son have what it takes to make it to the NHL?"

Behind the scenes, hockey was a game father and son shared and loved with a bond that couldn't be shattered or destroyed by outside forces.

A lesson the entire hockey community could learn from on this Father's Day.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks on becoming the 2015 Stanley Cup champions after defeating Tampa Bay 2-0 in game 6!

Chicago last celebrated a Cup title on home ice back in April of 1938, when the Hawks and Maple Leafs met to decide the Cup winner.

The first two games were played in Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Hawks prevailed in the opener by defeating Toronto 3-1. The Leafs rebounded in game 2 with a convincing 5-1 victory.

After splitting the first two contests in Toronto, the best-of-five Final resumed in Chicago for games 3 and 4.

At Chicago Stadium, Toronto got out to an early lead when Syl Apps opened the scoring early in the first period on the power play. The Hawks knotted the score at 1-1, when Carl Voss found the back of the net at the 16:02 mark of the middle frame.

The eventual game winning goal was scored by Chicago's Elwyn 'Doc' Romnes, but it came with controversy as the following passage from a game report reveals:

 The Toronto team argued hotly that Romnes' shot hit a goalpost and never entered the net, but they lost the argument when referees Campbell and Dye accepted the word of goal judge John McLean, who hails from Detroit.

Down a game, the Leafs needed a huge effort in game 4 on April 12 to stay in contention for the Stanley Cup. By one account, the "Leafs had an edge in speed and territorial drive." But like in game 3, they weren't able to get their scoring in gear. Toronto's lone goal in game 4 came in the first period and was scored by Gordie Drillon. Prior to Drillon's goal, Chicago's Cully Dahlstrom put the Hawks on the board.

In the middle frame, Carl Voss and Jack Shill scored to open up a 3-1 advantage for Chicago.

Mush March concluded the scoring in the final twenty-minutes of play when he beat Turk Broda late in the period.

Chicago's 4-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs was their second Cup win at Chicago Stadium. Their very first Stanley Cup in 1934 was also won on home ice.

LEFT: Referee Mickey Ion makes an effort to separate Leaf forward George Parsons from Chicago defenceman Roger Jenkins.

MIDDLE: Jack Shill of the Black Hawks is stopped by Turk Broda at point-blank-range as Reg Hamilton looks on.

RIGHT: A group of players push and shove during a stoppage in play.

In an interesting twist, the Stanley Cup wasn't in the building for Chicago's crowning moment in 1938.

Lloyd Davis, a member of The Society for International Hockey Research, unearthed an article from the April 15, 1938, edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune, which confirms this fact. A portion of the text written by Charles Bartlett notes:

 Manager  Bill Stewart, miracle man of modern hocky {sic}, and two of his players, Doc Romnes and Jack Shill, were seated in the Chicago Blackhawk {sic}headquarters yesterday morning when a drayman delivered a long crate from Detroit. They pried it apart and promptly swooned in unison, for it contained the Stanley cup {sic}, emblematic of the world title which they won last Tuesday night.

The article also stated that "one of publicity director Joe Farrell's agents dug up the fact Detroit custodians of the cup {sic} were so certain that the Hawks could not win that they withheld it for delivery to Toronto."

It appears no official explanation came from the National Hockey League.

Tonight, despite the Cup being fashionably late in arriving, fans in the Windy City got their long awaited chance to swoon at the sight of Lord Stanley's gift to hockey.


As the 2015 Stanley Cup Final shifts to Chicago for tonight's game 6, the Blackhawks have the opportunity to win hockey's biggest prize on home ice.

The Chicago Black Hawks entered the National Hockey League in 1926-27 and captured their first Stanley Cup in 1934.

Taking on the Detroit Red Wings in the best-of-five Final, Chicago won games one and two, but Detroit survived to play another game by downing the Hawks 5-2 in game 3.

At Chicago Stadium on April 10, 1934, Chicago took another crack at winning their first Cup.

In a tightly played defensive battle, Chicago and Detroit were unable to convert their scoring chances in regulation time.

During the first overtime period, the scoring drought continued with goalies Wilf Cude for Detroit and Charlie Gardiner for Chicago not allowing a puck to get past them.

The scoreless encounter continued until the 10:05 mark of the second overtime period.

A penalty to Detroit's Ebbie Goodfellow for tripping Chicago forward Tommy Cook, set the stage for Chicago to bring down the curtain on the show.

On the power play, Chicago's first two rushes failed to result in a scoring chance.

"Then March (Mush) drove in from the right pulling loose from Buswell (Walt), and slashed a shot into the cage behind Cude," is how a report in The Globe and Mail described the Stanley Cup winning goal.

One of the stars for Chicago in the post-season was netminder Charlie Gardiner. In addition to winning the Cup, Gardiner was the Vezina Trophy (fewest goals against) winner for 1933-34.

Roger Jenkins, a defenceman with the Hawks, came to the aid of his goalie several times in game 4. Here is one example from a game story:

 Gardiner had his toughest moment (in the third period) when Emms (Hap) ripped a hard one at him. The Hawk goalie went down, and only a determined effort by Jenkins kept Goodfellow from shooting, Jenkins cleared, and the attack was broken up.

While the regular season was in progress, Jenkins told Gardiner that if Chicago won the Cup, he would push him around a city block in a wheelbarrow.

True to his word, the day after winning the Cup, Jenkins took Gardiner for his wheelbarrow ride. An AP story noted this happened "in a driving snowstorm."

When their adventure ended, Gardiner told his teammate, "Now, I hope you will have more faith in your team next year."

Unfortunately,  Charlie Gardiner wasn't alive when the Chicago Black Hawks took to the ice to defend their Stanley Cup title in 1934-35. On June 13, 1934, Gardiner passed away three days after he suffered a brain hemorrhage.

Paying tribute to Gardiner, former Chicago manager, Tommy Gorman, said, "Gardiner was without doubt the greatest single factor in the winning of the Cup by the Hawks."

Chicago's first Stanley Cup.