Does Herb Gardiner Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Herb Gardiner may have been one of the premier defencemen of his era, and was awarded the Hart Trophy as a result.

But how good was he really? Can we even know? How do we evaluate defencemen from the 1920s who didn’t score a lot? Can we trust Hart trophy wins from the past when we know they sometimes awarded them for controversial reasons?

Listen to us talk about Herb Gardiner here:

Herb Gardiner’s stats:


  • NHL: 1926-29; 3 seasons, all quality (by DPS)
  • 10G, 10A for 20P in 100 games
  • 82-game average: 8G, 8A for 16P
  • 3-year peak would be the same as that’s all he played
  • Playoffs: 1A for 1P in 9 games
  • Adjusted: 18G, 57A for 75P
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 15G, 47A for 62 (probably absurd)
  • Traded into the NHL, loaned to another team for 4 games, traded at the end of his career and then traded out of the NHL.
  • WCHL:
    • 1921-26; 5 seasons, 3 quality
    • 33G (as high as 18th All Time), 18A (as high as 15th All Time) for 51P (as high as 17th All Time) in 130 games (as high as 4th All Time)
    • It’s unlikely but Gardiner might be as high as 13th All Time in APG and 14th in PPG, if the qualifier is set to 82 games
    • 30-game average: 8G, 4A for 12P
    • Playoffs: 3G, 1A for 4P in 11 games
    • Never traded.


  • NHL:
    • Hart (‘27)
    • Best Defensive Player (by DPS) once (‘27), Top 5 twice (‘28)
    • No offensive accomplishments or presence on leaderboards
  • WCHL: Never on any leaderboards


Great Teams: (3 leagues vying for Cup)

  • Best D (by points) on one WCHL Champion (‘24 Tigers), Unknown role on one WCHL Runner Up (‘25 Tigers)

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