SAN JOSE, Calif. - Longtime NHL scout Jack Gardiner has died following a long battle with cancer. He was 69.
The San Jose Sharks say Gardiner died on Sunday. He had worked for the Sharks since 2004, focusing primarily on the eastern United States.
Gardiner worked for the St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs in a nearly 35-year career as a professional hockey scout. Gardiner also worked for the NHL in the Central Scouting Bureau, where he ranked and rated all amateur players for the NHL draft.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson says Gardiner had a true love for the game of hockey.
It's a tribute to him, and everything he's done and deserved is coming to fruition tonight with his jersey in the rafters. He's going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. And I said today, if he's not, take my stuff out. If he doesn't deserve to be in there first ballot, no one does. Except for (Wayne) Gretzky, I guess.
— Hockey Hall of Fame member Brett Hull on former teammate Mike Modano, whose No. 9 was retired by the Dallas Stars on Saturday