Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Caps To Raise Gartner's Number 11 To The Rafters

Per the team:

The Washington Capitals will retire Mike Gartner’s No. 11 jersey at a pregame ceremony before the team’s game against Toronto on Sunday, Dec. 28. Gartner, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame who ranks second in Capitals history in goals (397), assists (392) and points (789), will become the fourth player in Capitals history to have his number retired.

“Capitals fans have fond memories of Mike Gartner flying down the right wing and scoring goals at the Capital Centre,” said Capitals chairman and majority owner Ted Leonsis. “This is a fitting tribute to one of the elite offensive players in the history of the game who was a crucial member of the first Capitals playoff teams.”

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Washington Capitals and to join the distinguished company of my fellow teammates Ivan Labre, Rod Langway and Dale Hunter,” Gartner said. “I look forward to the upcoming evening in December and sharing those fond memories with my family and those fans in attendance.”

Gartner spent the first 10 seasons of his 19-year NHL career with the Capitals after Washington selected him in the first round, fourth overall, in the 1979 NHL Draft. He led the team in goals five times and in points four times, scoring at least 35 goals in each of his first nine years in Washington (he had 26 goals when he was traded 56 games into 1988-89, his 10th season). He left the team as its all-time leader in games played, goals, assists, points, power-play goals and game-winning goals.

The Ottawa native is one of only three players in Capitals history with a 100-point season (joining Dennis Maruk and Alex Ovechkin), having recorded 102 points in 1984-85. He holds the Capitals record for most consecutive games with a point (17, twice) and consecutive games with a goal (9) and shares the club record for most shorthanded goals in a season (6).

Gartner was a member of the first six Capitals playoff teams, leading four of those teams in playoff scoring. He recorded 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 47 playoff games for the club and at the time of his trade was Washington’s all-time leading playoff scorer.

Gartner played 1,432 career games with five teams in his career, recording 708 goals (sixth in NHL history) and 627 assists for 1,335 points. Inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001, Gartner holds the NHL record for the most 30-goal seasons (17) and shares the record for most consecutive 30-goal seasons (15). He played in seven NHL All-Star Games and three times won the NHL’s fastest skater competition at the NHL All-Star Game.

Gartner was an active member of the community during his time in Washington, D.C., and a particularly generous contributor to the Children’s National Medical Center.

Gartner’s No. 11 will join Rod Langway’s No. 5, Yvon Labre’s No. 7 and Dale Hunter’s No. 32 in the rafters at Verizon Center. Hunter was the most recent Capital to have him number retired, March 11, 2000.



Long over due and deserved!

hotdog88gt said...

That means they're also retiring Jeff Halpern's jersey and, following that logic, we can retire Olie's #37 this season as well.

b.orr4 said...

Fantastic. I'm not a big fan of retiring jersies when you haven't won a Cup, but if ever a number deserved to be honored, it's Mike's. Not only was Mike a great player, he's also a Hall of Fame person. I got to know Mike fairly well during his time as a Cap and got to spend some more time with him when he returned last summer for the new jersey unveiling and he was just as I remembered him; warm, friendly, humble and extremely intelligent. Having him return to the Caps family is something I know Ted has been working on for years and I couldn't be happier to see this long overdue day finally arrive.

Sombrero Guy said...

Awesome. Here's hoping they hand out one of those awesome printed portrait card stock posters like they did at the Dale Hunter and Rod Langway ceremonies.

Debcapsfan said...

I think it is a good thing that the Caps organization seems to be making up with some of the players they have pissed off over the years.
Now if they could just bridge the gap with Kono....

Dr CapsFan said...

Does anyone else think this is a little much?? Don't get me wrong, Mike Gartner was a phenomenal player who meant A LOT to the organization for a LONG time.

I think we need a Capitals 'Hall of Fame' to honor many of these players but leave the number retirements to a VERY select few.

Just my 2 cents...

Anonymous said...

Gartner scores 708 goals and that's NOT part of a select few? Holy crap.

Jimmy Jazz said...

Let's win a Cup before we retire any more numbers. I think we need a way of honoring players w/o retiring their numbers. We're not the Boston Bruins, here.

Dr CapsFan said...

@ anonymous

Those 708 were not all on the Capitals, Gartner played MANY more seasons after he left Washington.

I just think the Capitals have retired a little too many numbers. If they retire Olie and Bondra, then for a team that has been in existence for 35 years, you have 6 retired numbers?!? That's a little much, especially considering we have yet to win a Cup.

I would have retired #5, maybe #32, maybe #12 and #8 if he plays up to his potential. I feel there are LOTS of Capitals to be honored but they don't necessarily need their numbers never worn again.

Don't get me wrong, I think Gartner is a PHENOMENAL player and deserves to be honored. He was THE MAN!!