Pioneer Arena to be renamed after Stanley Cup-winning goaltender

A community arena in Winnipeg is being renamed after a famed NHL goaltender who died just months after he helped his team win the Stanley Cup.

Charlie Gardiner died in 1934, shortly after leading Chicago Blackhawks to the Cup

Pioneer Arena is being renamed in honour of former NHL goaltender Charlie Gardiner, who lived in the area. (Lyza Sale/CBC)

A community arena in Winnipeg is being renamed after a famed NHL goaltender who died just months after he helped his team win the Stanley Cup.

The city's parks committee unanimously agreed that Pioneer Arena in the Point Douglas neighbourhood is to be renamed Charlie Gardiner Arena.

Gardiner was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but in 1911 immigrated to Winnipeg, where his family lived in several different homes in the neighbourhood north of downtown.

He played professionally with the Winnipeg Maroons of the Central Hockey League for one season before joining the Chicago Blackhawks in 1927.

Gardiner was suffering from tonsillitis during the 1934 Stanley Cup final, but helped the Blackhawks win the championship.

He died in Winnipeg's St. Boniface Hospital in June of that year and is buried at the city's Brookside Cemetery.

During his career, he won the Vezina Trophy as best goaltender in 1932 and in 1934 was voted the first goaltender to be captain of his team.

Gardiner was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945 and the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame in 1957.

Shortly after helping the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 1934, Winnipeg's Charlie Gardiner died in hospital. (Hockey Hall of Fame)

"Charlie Gardiner was one of hockey's greatest goalies, who lived a stone's throw away from where the Pioneer Arena is today in the Point Douglas ward," city Coun. Mike Pagtakhan said in a release.

"It made sense to attach Gardiner's name to it to celebrate Winnipeg's deep roots for the game of hockey."

The design for a new arena sign was to be revealed at an unveiling ceremony Thursday. The sign is to be completed by the fall.

"Charlie's story is a very inspiring one," said Edna Poulter, Gardiner's niece. "As a family, we are so thankful for this opportunity to keep his memory alive and to bring inspiration to young athletes in Charlie's former neighbourhood."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?