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Sunday, January 28, 2024

Today In NHL History - Morenz's Broken Leg

On January 28th in 1937, Montreal Canadiens superstar Howie Morenz fractured his leg in four places when he crashed awkwardly into the corner boards and Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Earl Seibert landed on top of him.

The three-time Stanley Cup (1924, 1930, 1931) and Hart trophy winner (1928, 1931, 1932), who led the NHL in points twice (1928, 1931), goals once (1928), and the Canadiens in both categories from 1926-1932, spent his remaining days in a hospital bed until a heart attack claimed his life 39 days later at the age of 34.

Stunned by the news of the NHL all-time points leader's passing, family, friends, and fans totaling 50,000 paid their respects as he laid in his casket at center ice of the Montreal Forum. Eight months later the team retired Morenz's number 7, the first such honor in franchise history.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945 among the first group of twelve, the "Mitchell Meteor" is remembered as the best hockey player from the first half of the 20th century, among the top ten Canadiens of all-time, and a player who died during his playing days.

That's today in NHL history.