Monday, April 8, 2024

Today In NHL History - Vermette's Own Goal

On April 8th in 2013, Phoenix Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette fired a pass from the Vancouver Canucks goal line, past its intended recipient Keith Yandle, the entire length of the ice into Phoenix's empty net with one minute remaining in the third period trailing 1-0. The own goal, credited to Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis, came during a two man-advantage thanks to a penalty drawn by Vermette 22 seconds earlier and goalie Mike Smith sitting for a sixth attacker.

Vancouver beat Phoenix by a score of 2-0, keeping the Coyotes three points from the final playoff spot in the West with nine games to play.

That's today in NHL history.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Today In NHL History - Keith Ballard's Own Goal

On April 6th in 2010, Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard swatted an airborn puck past goaltender Tomas Vokoun and into his own net giving the visiting Ottawa Senators a 3-1 lead midway through the second period.Ballard's own goal was credited to the Senators forward Chris Neil. Ottawa beat Florida that night by a score of 5-2.

That's today in NHL history.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Today In NHL History - Turco Bets Canadiens Fan

On April 5th in 2011, Chicago Blackhawks benched backup goaltender Marty Turco allegedly wagered with a Montreal Canadiens season ticket holder named Robert during a match at the Bell Center after a second period goal by forward Michael Cammalleri put Montreal ahead 1-0.

According to Robert's retelling on the sports radio station Team 990, the bet began with a friendly $5 wager that Chicago wouldn't score. When Patrick Kane tied the game three minutes later, Robert slid a $5 bill between the glass to Turco with the note "Habs Rule" written on its face.

Double or nothing escalated into triple or nothing and eventually 5 to 1 odds that the Canadiens would win in overtime, which they did when defenseman P.K. Subban scored a powerplay goal 79 seconds into the extra frame giving Montreal a 2-1 victory over Chicago, and prompting Turco to pass a wad of $5 bills to the fan, including the original $5 bill which had been revised from "Habs Rule" to "Turco Rules!".

Despite Exhibit 14.2 of NHL CBA explicitly stating "Gambling on any NHL Game is prohibited", Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed there would be "no investigation and no action", to which Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville added, "it's something that happened, we're handling it internally". For the record, Turco owned up to passing the $5 bill back and forth with the fan, but did not admit to accepting any wagers.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Iginla Salutes Linden

On April 5th in 2008, the Calgary Flames displayed the sportsmanship that makes NHL hockey special, putting aside their bitter divisional rivalry to salute Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden in his final NHL game.

With fans applauding the Alberta-born center prior to the final period of his career, Calgary players retreated from the faceoff circle allowing players and fans alike to acknowledge the club's games played leader.

At the end of the match, Flames captain Jarome Iginla (who scored his 50th goal that night) recalled his entire roster from the visitor's dressing room and press box to the ice insisting all shake hands and congratulate Linden, a gesture that will forever be remembered in Vancouver.

Afterwards, Iginla shared his thoughts on Linden and their exchange.

Despite Calgary badly beating Vancouver that night by a score of 7-1, Captain Canuck was named the game's first star.

That's today in NHL history.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Today In NHL History - Sean Avery Hits Thomas

On April 4th in 2009, New York Rangers agitator Sean Avery slapped Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas in the back of the head with his stick during a television timeout in an attempt to unhinge the 2009 Jennings, Crozier and Vezina winner with 5 minutes to play.Both Avery and Thomas received minor roughing penalties on the play. Boston beat the Rangers that afternoon by a score of 1-0 with Thomas collecting the shutout and the game's first star.

That's today in NHL history.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Today In NHL History - 1992 NHLPA Strike Begins

On April 1st in 1992, NHLPA freshman boss Bob Goodenow announced the first player strike in NHL history. The labor strife was resolved after only 10 days largely owing to the assistance of US Federal Mediator John Martin.

The settlement provided a one year labor truce between owners and players in the form of a two year deal retroactive to the beginning of the season, resulting in several changes to the game, including the:

  • addition of two neutral site games per team each season;
  • increase in the number of regular season games (80 to 84);
  • increase in player playoff bonuses ($3.2m to $7.5m);
  • increase in player control over licensing of likeness; and
  • tweaking of the free agency system.
Though no regular season or playoff games were lost due to the stoppage, the strike represented a major moment in owner/player relations and set the stage for the 1994 NHL Lockout. In response to the strike and in anticipation of future disputes, the owners removed NHL President John Ziegler replacing him with Gil Stein and ultimately Gary Bettman.

That's today in NHL history.