Former Washington Capitals great Mike Gartner played his entire 19-year hall-of-fame career with a vision condition he mostly kept to himself. Gartner’s suffers from amblyopia in his right eye.
“My left eye is my dominant eye, I have 20-20 vision in my left eye and 20/200 vision in my right eye,” Gartner said in an interview with The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek. “If I cover my left eye and look out of my right eye, I couldn’t even drive my car. It didn’t really come into play until I turned pro, at which point I had to take an eye test.”
Mike Gartner was drafted in the first round, 4th overall, by the Washington Capitals in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He began his professional career in the WHA as an underager with the Cincinnati Stingers in 1978–79 where he played on a line with Mark Messier. Gartner would finish second to Wayne Gretzky for Rookie-of-the-Year honors. Gartner would play for the Capitals for ten years, from 1979 to 1989.