blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: November 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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.

Monday, November 28, 2016

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.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

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.

Today In NHL History - Malik's Shootout Goal

On November 26th in 2005, New York Rangers defenceman Marek Malik scored on Olaf Kölzig of the Washington Capitals ending the then-longest overtime shootout in NHL history.

The memorable marker, Malik's first in 21 months, came in the 15th round of the encore, giving New York a 3-2 win over Washington.

In 2014, the Capitals found themselves in the now-longest shootout in NHL history, losing to the Florida Panthers in the 20th round.  Sadly, Nick Bujstad did not mimic Malik's move to end the 18 minute affair.
That's today in NHL history.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Today In NHL History - First Female Commentator

On November 25th in 2009, Sherry Ross became the first female play-by-play announcer to call an entire NHL game in English. The milestone occurred at the Prudential Center in a match featuring the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils, which the home team won 3-1. The historical event may be heard here.

With Devils radio regular Matt Loughlin absent due to the death of his father-in-law, Ross shifted from her regular role as the two-season color commentator for the team to assume play-by-play responsibilities for the evening with former Devils forward Rob Skrlac coloring her call.

Ross once performed play-by-play duties for 20 minutes 16 years earlier when Devil's announcer Gary Thorne arrived late owing to a delayed flight, but no woman had ever before called an entire game in English. Women have, however, broadcasted games in French for RDS.

That's today in NHL history.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Today In NHL History - Ryan O'Byrne's Own Goal

On November 24th in 2008, Montreal Canadiens blueliner Ryan O'Byrne played the puck into his own net during a delayed penalty, tying up the game for the New York Islanders with five minutes remaining in the third period.

O'Byrne's own goal was credited to Islanders captain Bill Guerin, who subsequently sealed the 4-3 win with his third round shootout score as the Habs faithful taunted a dejected O'Byrne at the Bell Center.

That's today in NHL history.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Today In NHL History - Jiri Fischer's Heart Attack

On November 21st in 2005, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed on the players bench after suffering a heart attack 12 minutes into a match against the Nashville Predators causing play to be whistled as medical staff sprang into action to save the Czech's life. Unconscious for six minutes, team doctors eventually resuscitated Fischer employing a combination of CPR and the use of an automatic defibrillator before transporting the 1998 first round draft pick to a Detroit area hospital. He was released two days later.

A week after the collapse, Fischer endured an abnormal cardiac rhythm while resting at home, forcing the 2002 Stanley Cup champ to swap his roster spot for a position as Detroit's Director of Player Development.

The incident marks the first time the NHL postponed a game due to injury. A full makeup game was played on January 23, 2006, spotting Nashville their 1-0 lead from the original outing. Nashville maintained that one goal margin to beat Detroit by a score of 3-2.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Corey Perry's Own Goal

On November 21st in 2010, Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry scored an own goal when his offensive zone centering pass traveled the length of the ice into Jonas Hiller's empty net with 16 seconds to play.

Perry's own goal, credited to Tom Gilbert of the Edmonton Oilers, was met with laughs from the last place visitors and some taunting from rookie Taylor Hall. Perry made up for the miscue by clinching the goal scoring title that year with 50 markers, more than twice Hall's 22, and hoisting the Hart Trophy. Edmonton won the game by a score of 4-2.

That's today in NHL history.