Episode 25 of the Pro Hockey Alumni Podcast features Paul Gardner, a consistent 30-goal scorer with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Colorado Rockies in the 1970’s and 80’s.
Paul comes from a legendary hockey family, which includes his father Cal, an all star centerman with the Bruins, Leafs, Blackhawks and Rangers and brother Dave, a first round pick and NHL pro.
With the Penguins, Paul twice led the NHL in power play goals. Blessed with a great touch around the net, his career average of 36 goals scored per 80 games ranks the 55th among all NHL players past and present.
Unfortunately, Paul’s NHL career was short circuited by a pair of severe injuries, including a broken jaw -- the result of the infamous blind side attack by Winnipeg’s Jimmy Mann, that cost him 22 games and a potential 50-goal season in 1981-82.
Paul tore through the AHL at an incredible rate in the mid 80’s and eventually launched a long and successful coaching career, which included a five-year stint with Barry Trotz and the Nashville Predators.
Paul is a terrific guy and an excellent interview and you’ll enjoy his take on his interesting career and the many characters he crossed paths with as a pro.
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Host: Mark Willand