blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Today In NHL History - Roy Trade (MTL-COL)

On December 6th in 1995, the Montreal Canadiens traded Patrick Roy and team captain Mike Keane to the Colorado Avalanche for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky and Andrei Kovalenko in what remains one of the most lopsided exchanges in league history.

The seeds of the move were sewn on December 2, 1995 during a franchise worst 11-1 home loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Allowing five goals in the first period and two more in the first five minutes of the second, Habs freshman bench boss Mario Tremblay elected to strand Roy.

Eventually relieved with eight minutes remaining in the middle frame, after surrendering nine goals on 26 shots, a humiliated Roy returned to the bench and informed team president Ronald Corey that he'd played his last game in Montreal. Four days later, rookie GMs Rejean Houle and Pierre LaCroix pulled the trigger on what is simply known as Le Trade.


From Le Trade through Roy's retirement in 2003, Montreal won only two playoff series ('98, '02) failing to qualify four times ('99, '00, '01, '03). Colorado never missed a postseason with St. Patrick between the pipes, twice taking the Presidents' Trophy ('97, '01) and Stanley Cup ('96, '01).

Roy finished with five Jennings ('87, '88, '89', '92, '02), four Stanley Cup ('86, '93, '96, '01), and three Conn Smythe ('86, '93, '01) and Vezina ('89, '90, '92) wins. He is arguably the best goalie to ever play the game.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Today In NHL History - Carcillo Punches Bradley

On December 5th in 2009, Philadelphia Flyers goon Daniel Carcillo sucker punched Matt Bradley of the Washington Capitals with five minutes remaining in the first period and the teams tied 1-1.

Carcillo received 29 minutes in penalties on the play (Bradley drew nothing) with the NHL adding a four game suspension, forcing the Flyer to forgo $43,597 in pay. Washington scored three times on the ensuing 9 minute powerplay and ultimately beat Philadelphia by a score of 8-2.

That's today in NHL history.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Today In NHL History - Thornton Trade (BOS-SJS)

On November 30th in 2005, Boston Bruins GM Mike O'Connell traded the jewel of the 1997 Draft to Doug Wilson's San Jose Sharks for first rounders Wayne Primeau (17th in 1994), Marco Sturm (21st in 1996), and Brad Stuart (3rd in 1998), stunning pundits from coast to coast.

Blindsided by the deal, Joe Thornton went on to win the Art Ross and Hart trophies in his west coast debut, cinching the Rocket Richard for linemate Jonathan Cheechoo en route.

The Bruins fired O'Connell four months later launching a successful rebuilding campaign that yielded the 2011 Stanley Cup, though none of the players from this trade were on that winning roster.  The Sharks skated in their first Stanley Cup Final in 2016, and have twice qualified for the Western Conference Final (2010, 2011) since the trade.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Ballard Slashes Vokoun

On November 30th in 2009, Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard bloodied teammate Tomas Vokoun with a vicious slash to the head after Atlanta Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk scored halfway through the first period.

Vokoun exited on a stretcher after a 10 minute delay and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The Czech netminder escaped serious injury, needing only 10 stitches to repair his ear. An apologetic Ballard was neither penalized nor suspended for the act. Atlanta beat Florida that night by a score of 4-3.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Today In NHL History - Billy Smith's Goal

On November 28, 1979, New York Islanders netminder Billy Smith became the first goaltender to be credited with a goal in a NHL game.

Blindly playing the puck to the blueline, Colorado Rockies defenceman Rob Ramage watched his pass slide the length of the ice into his now empty thanks to an astute move by his goalie on a delayed penalty. Smith, being the last offensive player to touch, was credited with the marker.

It would be another eight years before a goalie scored a goal in the NHL by shooting the puck into an empty net. Ron Hextall holds that honor.

That's today in NHL history.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Today In NHL History - NHL Is Born

On November 26th in 1917, the NHL was born out of discussions commencing four days prior amongst disgruntled NHA owners at Montreal's Windsor Hotel.

Struggling to survive amidst WWI enlistment and intense ownership disputes, four of the five NHA franchises (Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs) elected to leave behind troublesome Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone and the NHA. Their new league was named the NHL.

Surviving years of expansion, contraction, franchise relocation and renaming in its infancy, the NHL eventually settled into a six team structure in 1942 before ultimately filling out into its current 30 team, four division and two conference structure in 2013.
That's today in NHL history.