blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Today In NHL History - Lindros Trade (QUE-PHI)

On June 30th in 1992, Quebec Nordiques owner Marcel Aubut and GM Pierre Page traded 1991 draft day holdout Eric Lindros to Philadelphia.



Amidst confusion among two competing bids, arbitrator Larry Bertuzzi selected Flyers GM Russ Farwell's proposal over New York Rangers GM Neil Smith's package of Doug Weight, Tony Amonte, Alexei Kovalev, John Vanbiesbrouck, three first round draft picks, and $12 million.

The trade ultimately saw Peter Forsberg, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Chris Simon, two first-round picks (Jocelyn Thibault, Nolan Baumgartner), and $15 million going to Quebec in exchange for the inaugural Next One. The deal remains one of the most significant and lopsided trades in NHL history.

The club would later exchange Hextall for Adam Deadmarsh and package Thibault for Patrick Roy and Mike Keane, claiming two Stanley Cups as the Colorado Avalanche. The Flyers remain winless since 1975.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Today In NHL History - Luongo Trade (NYI-FLA)

On June 24th in 2000, New York Islanders GM Mike Milbury traded Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to the Florida Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha. The 2000 NHL Entry Draft day play saw the Isles select goalie Rick DiPietro 1st overall ahead of future all-stars Dany Heatley (2nd), Marian Gaborik (3rd) and Henrik Lundqvist (205th), to name a few.

In response to the move Milbury surmised, "In the end, we thought the quality that DiPietro will bring is just a notch above Luongo. If we're wrong, we may have made an unbelievable mistake. It'll be bonehead city. It's my job. If we're not a better team immediately, off with my head. I've been here five years, and I'm tired of losing."

Safe to say the Isles would have been better off with future Vezina/Hart/Pearson finalist Luongo, Calder winner and two-time 50 goal scorer Heatley, and Finnish national teamer Jokinen than the trio of DiPietro, Parrish, and Kvasha. Alas, the Milbury legacy lives on and on.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo's Playoff Poop.
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo's Stick Gets Stuck.
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo Trade (FLA-VAN).
* See also Roberto Luongo Interview - 2011 NHL Awards.
* See also Roberto Luongo Interview - 2009 NHL Awards.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Today In NHL History - Luongo Trade (FLA-VAN)

On June 23rd in 2006, Florida Panthers GM Mike Keenan traded Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek, and a 6th round pick (Sergei Shirokov) in the next day's 2006 NHL Entry Draft to the host city's Vancouver Canucks for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen, and Alex Auld.

Both Bertuzzi (7 games) and Auld (27 games) enjoyed limited play during their one season down south while Allen (284 games) was a fixture for Florida before being traded to Carolina for forward Sergei Samsonov (20 games), skating in his final NHL season.

On September 2, 2009, Luongo signed a 12 year contract extension with Vancouver through 2022 where he's won Olympic Gold (2010), presided over two Presidents' Trophy wins (2011, 2012), been named to three NHL All-Star Games (2007, 2008, 2009), received four NHL Award nominations (Vezina 2007 & 2011, Pearson 2007, Hart 2007), captured a Jennings Trophy (2011) with Cory Schneider, set several Canucks franchise records, and authored a popular Twitter feed @strombone1.

Despite these successes, Luongo has been widely criticized for spectacular playoff losses to the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, blamed for the Canucks failure to capture the Stanley Cup in 2011, and remains to this day a favorite whipping boy for hockey pundits everywhere.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo's Playoff Poop.
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo's Stick Gets Stuck.
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo Trade (NYI-FLA).
* See also Roberto Luongo Interview - 2011 NHL Awards.
* See also Roberto Luongo Interview - 2009 NHL Awards.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Kozlov

On June 20th in 1995, New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens dealt a devastating blow to Detroit Red Wings forward Vyacheslav Kozlov in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, turning the tide of the game and series.

The 2nd period collision sparked the Devils, turning a 1-1 tie into a 4-2 win and eventually sweeping the series 4-0 to clinch their first Cup.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Lindros.
* See also Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Kariya.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Today In NHL History - Brett Hull's No Goal

On June 19th in 1999, Brett Hull scored 5 minutes and 9 seconds into the third overtime period of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals giving the Dallas Stars a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres and their first (and only) Stanley Cup.

The goal remains the most controversial in NHL history due to a now defunct rule banning a player's skate from entering the crease before the puck as it appears Hull's did. NHL Director of Officiating Bryan Lewis, however, claimed no crease violation on the play noting "Hull had possession of the puck when his skate entered the crease."

ESPN counts the non-call as the 5th worst officiating moment in sports history. The NHL removed the rule the following month.

That's today in NHL history.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Today In NHL History - Konstantinov Limo Crash

On June 13th in 1997, heartbreak hit Hockeytown when a limousine carrying two members of the Russian Five and the Detroit Red Wings masseuse struck a tree six days after their first Cup win in 42 years.

The crash left Vladimir Konstantinov and Sergei Mnatsakanov in a coma with severe head injuries. Both eventually awoke, Konstantinov suffering extensive brain and bodily damage and Mnatsakanov paralyzed from the waist down. The Vladinator would never play hockey again. Slava Fetisov walked away unscathed.

Bearing badges embroidered "Believe" the Wings repeated as Stanley Cup champions, engraving Konstantinov's name despite his on-ice absence. Though not officially retired, no player has worn his number 16 since the injury. His locker remains intact.
Driver Richard Gnida was sentenced to nine months for operating the vehicle with a suspended license and testing positive for marijuana.

That's today in NHL history.

Canucks Who Left Vancouver & Won Stanley Cup

The Vancouver Canucks have skated in three Stanley Cup Finals (1982, 1994, 2011) since their NHL debut in 1970. Despite twice taking their Cup Final opponent to Game 7 (1994, 2011), no Canuck has hoisted or had their name etched on the Stanley Cup during their tenure with the club.

A fortunate few, however, have clinched the Stanley Cup with another squad subsequent to their stay with the Canucks. The chart below lists each former Canuck that won the Stanley Cup by year and team.

Year         Former Canuck         Championship Team
2019         Michael Del Zotto*   St. Louis Blues 
2017         Nick Bonino   Pittsburgh Penguin 
2016         Nick Bonino*   Pittsburgh Penguin 
2014 Willie Mitchell   Los Angeles Kings
2012 Willie Mitchell Los Angeles Kings
2010 Brent Sopel Chicago Blackhawks
2009 Matt Cooke Pittsburgh Penguins
2007 Brad May Anaheim Ducks
2006 Bret Hedican Carolina Hurricanes
2004 Jassen Cullimore Tampa Bay Lightning
2002 Jiri Slegr Detroit Red Wings
2000 Alexander Mogilny*      New Jersey Devils
1999 Doug Lidster Dallas Stars
1998 Igor Larionov Detroit Red Wings
1997 Igor Larionov Detroit Red Wings
1994 Doug Lidster* New York Rangers
1993 J.J. Daigneault Montreal Canadiens
1987 Moe Lemay* Edmonton Oilers

*  Won Stanley Cup during 1st season with new team after Canucks.

At least fourteen former Canucks (Lemay, Daigneault, Lidster, Larionov, Mogilny, Slegr, Cullimore, Hedican, May, Cooke, Sopel, Mitchell, Bonino, Del Zotto) have hoisted the holy hardware skating with other clubs after their west coast stint, though only five (Lemay, Lidster, Mogilny, Bonino, Del Zotto) won the Stanley Cup in the same season they left Vancouver.

Moe Lemay arrived in Edmonton on March 10, 1987 (in exchange for Raimo Summanen) and was part of the Oilers third Stanley Cup win. Doug Lidster was dealt to the New York Rangers on June 25, 1993 (in exchange for John Vanbiesbrouck) and won the Stanley Cup the following season against his former team. Alexander Mogilny was sent to the New Jersey Devils on March 14, 2000 (in exchange for Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson), where #89 captured the Stanley Cup 89 days later. Nick Bonino was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 28, 2015 (along with Adam Clendening and in exchange for Brandon Sutter), where he led the Pens in postseason assists en route to a Stanley Cup win.

Del Zotto was dealt to the Ducks on January 23, 2019 and subsequently sent to the Blues 33 days later. Though he skated in only 7 regular season games in St. Louis with no playoff appearances, he trained with the Black Aces and was part of the club when they won. His name was etched into the Stanley Cup as he skated in more than 41 games during the regular season (Canucks 23, Ducks 12, Blues 7 = 42 games).

Today In NHL History - Maggie The Monkey Retires

On June 13th in 2009, the Bowmanville Zoo's primate prophet Maggie the Monkey, technically a Crab-eating Macaque, made her last Stanley Cup Playoff pick at the ripe age of 18, leaving the stage to the paid pundits she's owned in the past.

Selecting the underdog Anaheim Ducks to swim away with it all in 2003 (they ultimately lost to New Jersey in the Stanley Cup Final), Maggie tamed TSN's braintrust and was invited back for five more seasons.

Year: Record
2003: 8-7 (beating James Duthie; tying Gord Miller and Gina Reda)
2004: 7-8 (beating Bob McKenzie; tying Gord Miller and Dave Hodge)
2006: 9-6 (beating Bob McKenzie, Pierre McGuire and Bill Berg)
2007: 8-7
2008: 8-7
2009: 5-10 Peaking in 2006 when she out-picked the entire TSN panel, Maggie slowed with age ending with an even 45-45 record after six seasons. Never nailing the Stanley Cup winner in her previous five playoff predictions, Maggie correctly picked the Pittsburgh Penguins in her Final finale putting McKenzie, Duthie and Darren Pang to shame one last time.
That's today in NHL history.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Kariya

On June 7th in 2003, defenseman Scott Stevens of the New Jersey Devils crushed Paul Kariya of the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals with an unpenalized late hit rendering the speedy winger motionless on the ice. Amazingly, Kariya returned to the game scoring a goal and finishing with three points and the first star in a 5-2 victory to force Game 7. Two nights later New Jersey won their third Stanley Cup marking the first Final since 1965 where the home team won every game.

The hit ranks #2 on SportsCentre's top 10 Stevens hits of all-time, bested only by his hit on Eric Lindros in Game 7 of the 2000 Conference Final. That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Kozlov.
* See also Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Lindros.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Today In NHL History - Cam Neely

On June 6th in 1965, Cameron Michael Neely was born in Comox, BC. Blessed with the rare trifecta of size, talent and toughness, Bam-Bam Cam became the NHL's prototypical power forward.
Selected 9th overall in the 1983 Draft, Neely spent three seasons with the Canucks before Harry Neale sent him to Boston on his 21st birthday with the club's 1987 first round draft pick (Glen Wesley) in exchange for Barry Pederson, the worst trade in franchise history.

Neely would collect 395 goals (395G/299A/694Pts) in his 726 game 13 year career, including three 50+ goal seasons ('90, '91, '94), placing him 15th overall in goals per game. Despite his Masterton winning perseverance (1994), Neely never recovered from a pair of Ulf Samuelsson-induced injuries in the 1991 Wales Conference Finals, finally buckling at the age of 31. In 2005, Neely was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, a year after having his number 8 jersey raised to the Boston rafters. Today he serves as Vice President of the Bruins, a position held since 2007. Away from the rink Neely focuses on his Foundation, helping cancer patients battle the disease that took his parents, and appears in TV (Cheers, Rescue Me) and film (Dumb & Dumber, Me, Myself and Irene), most famously as the Farrelly brothers' recurring tough guy Sea Bass. That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Today In NHL History - McSorley's Illegal Stick

On June 3rd in 1993, the Los Angeles Kings were two minutes away from taking a 2-0 series lead against the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Finals when coach Jacques Demers called for a measurement of Marty McSorley's stick. Kerry Fraser described it as one of his easiest calls: "For any player to go into the third period in a Stanley Cup final with an illegal stick was, to my mind, absolutely asinine. The stick was so illegal, I mean, I just looked at it and said holy smokes, we won't need the gauge for this one."

With McSorley in the box and Patrick Roy on the bench, Eric Desjardins scored the tying goal on a two man advantage with 1:13 remaining in regulation. Desjardins completed the hat trick in overtime sending the series to the Great Western Forum tied 1-1. Melrose's Kings lost the next two games in overtime, surrendering the series 4-1 six days later at the Montreal Forum and denying the Great One his California crowning.

McSorley revisited the mishap 19 years later (beginning at the 2:45 mark below) prior to the Kings' first return to the Stanley Cup Final, acknowledging the illegality of his stick and accusing the Canadiens of foul play in measuring visiting players' sticks prior to the game. Amazingly, Marty admits to playing subsequent games in the Final with sticks identical to the illegal one that so dearly cost his team in Game 2.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Jason Spezza's Illegal Stick.
* See also Today In NHL History - Willie Mitchell's Long Stick.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Today In NHL History - Chris Pronger's Own Goal

On June 2nd in 2007, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger scored an own goal on Jean-Sebastien Giguere late in the second period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, putting Ottawa ahead 4-3, their first lead of the evening. Pronger's own goal, created by the forecheck of Senators forward Dean McAmmond, held up as the game-winner in Ottawa's 5-3 win. Moments later Pronger exacted revenge on McAmmond with an vicious headshot, putting him out of the series that Anaheim eventually won 4-1. That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Pronger Hits McAmmond.

Today In NHL History - Pronger Hits McAmmond

On June 2nd in 2007, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger delivered a devastating elbow to the head of Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final rendering McAmmond unconscious. The third period cheapshot was likely in response to Pronger's second period own goal that was created by and credited to McAmmond. Pronger was assessed his 7th career suspension for the unpenalized play, earning the 3rd ever suspension during a Cup Final (Fischer 2002, Nieminen 2004) and marking the 3rd time a player was suspended twice during the same postseason (Lemieux 1996, Nieminen 2004).

Ottawa beat Anaheim that night 5-3 but Pronger returned after his one game suspension to win the Stanley Cup in Game 5. McAmmond missed the remainder of the series owing to a concussion suffered on the play.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Chris Pronger's Own Goal.
* See also Today In NHL History - Downie Hits McAmmond.

Today In NHL History - Larry Robinson

On June 2nd in 1951, Larry Clark Robinson was born in Winchester, Ontario. Blessed with exceptional size, strength and skill, Big Bird patrolled the blueline for 20 seasons in the NHL with Montreal (17) and Los Angeles (3) scoring, banging and scrapping as he saw fit.
Selected 20th overall in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft, Robinson earned six Stanley Cup wins ('73, '76, '77, '78, '79, '86), two Norris nods ('77, '80) and a Conn Smythe ('78). In addition to his 958 regular season (208G/750A) and 144 playoff points (28G/116A), Robinson holds NHL records for plus-minus (+730) and most consecutive post season appearances (20). Stepping behind the bench for New Jersey ('93-'95, '00-'03, '05) and Los Angeles ('95-'99), Larry locked lips with Lord Stanley's Mug three more times, twice as an assistant ('95, '03) and once as a head coach ('00). He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995 and had his number 19 retired by Montreal in 2007. That's today in NHL history.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Today In NHL History - Paul Coffey

On June 1st in 1961, Paul Douglas Coffey was born in Toronto, Ontario. Selected 6th overall by Edmonton in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, the slick skating blueliner spent seven seasons with the Oilers before suiting up for eight others (PIT, LAK, DET, HAR, PHI, CHI, CAR, BOS).

During his 21 year career, Coffey posted five 100+ point campaigns (1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990), two 40+ goal seasons (1984, 1986), and four 80+ assist (1984, 1985, 1986, 1989) efforts. The three time Norris winner (1985, 1986, 1995) also made seven trips to the Stanley Cup Final, winning four times (1984, 1985, 1987, 1991) and losing thrice (1983, 1995, 1997). With 1531 points (396G/1135A) in 1409 games, Coffey sits 13th in points (behind Ray Bourque) and 28th in points per game (behind Bobby Orr), and still holds defense records for goals in a season (48 goals in 1986), points in a playoff (37 points in 1985), and points in a game (8 points on March 14, 1986).When he wasn't putting up points Coffey amassed penalty minutes, sharing the distinction with Bobby Orr of being the only two defensemen in NHL history to collect 100 points and 100 penalty minutes in the same NHL season three different times (1984, 1986, 1989).

Coffey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and had his number 7 retired in Edmonton the following year in 2005. That's today in NHL history.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Today In NHL History - Malkin Fights Zetterberg

On May 31st in 2009, with his team trailing 3-1 in the closing seconds of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins attacked Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg.Refs assessed 17 and 5 sin bin minutes, respectively, of which each served only 19 seconds. Despite Malkin's instigator penalty, Colin Campbell refused to enforce Rule 47.22 mandating an automatic one game suspension for such an act in the final five minutes, electing instead to exercise his broad right to rescind.

Thus, rather than sitting for suckering the 2008 Conn Smythe winner, the 2009 Conn Smythe winner-to-be returned in Game 3 to set up three goals en route to a 4-2 win. Absent Malkin's helpers, Detroit may have won Game 3, taking a 3-0 series lead and clinching consecutive Cup wins. Instead, Pittsburgh cut Detroit's series lead in half and won in 7.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Carrying Over Penalties In NHL Playoffs.
* See also Today In NHL History - Malkin Boards Mitchell.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Today In NHL History - Lemieux Boards Draper

On May 29th in 1996, Colorado Avalanche cheapshot Claude Lemieux checked Detroit Red Wings grinder Kris Draper face first into the boards in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals igniting a fierce rivalry between the teams that remains to this day.

The hit hospitalized Draper with a concussion, broken nose, fractured jaw, and shattered cheek and orbital bone requiring extensive facial reconstructive surgery, several stitches, and wiring shut his jaw.

Lemieux received a five minute major and match penalty to which the NHL added a two game suspension and $1000 fine. Colorado won the game 4-1 closing out the series that night 4-2 en route to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance sweeping the Florida Panthers. Draper didn't return to hockey until midway through the following season.
That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Bourdon's Motorcycle Crash

On May 29th in 2008, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luc Bourdon, the 10th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, died in a motorcycle crash when he collided with a semitrailer near his hometown in New Brunswick.

The accident shocked the hockey community, especially Kris Letang who missed Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals to attend Luc's funeral.


The Canucks honored Luc at their home opener against Calgary, presenting Luc's family with his last game worn jersey and screening a video tribute accompanied by a live performance of "Big League" by Tom Cochrane.

Vancouver shutout Calgary 6-0 with Bourdon's best friend Alex Burrows scoring twice and earning the game's first star. Burrows carried the momentum of that match into a 28 goal breakout season, acknowledging his fallen friend with a bow and arrow tribute from time to time.

Luc Bourdon, forever a Canuck.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Today In NHL History - Gretzky Highsticks Gilmour

On May 27th in 1993, Wayne Gretzky cut Doug Gilmour for eight stitches with a high stick during overtime in Game 6 of the Campbell Conference Final. The unpenalized play left the Great One on the ice to score the winner moments later.


Referee Kerry Fraser's historic non-call, which haunts him and leagues of Leafs fans to this day, invited conspiracy chatter to Don Cherry's Coaches Corner with Torontonians claiming the NHL influenced officiating to ensure Los Angeles would advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

NHL Director of Officiating Brian Lewis later spoke with HNIC host Ron MacLean to discuss the events surrounding the Game 6 non-call.

Gretzky collected a hat trick in Game 7 at Maple Leaf Gardens leading the Kings to a 5-4 win over the Maple Leafs and their franchise first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, which they lost 4-1 to the Montreal Canadiens.

That's today in NHL history.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Lindros

On May 26th in 2000, New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens decimated the oft-injured Philadelphia Flyers forward Eric Lindros with an open ice hit midway through the first period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.


The hit represents Lindros' final on-ice moment as a member of the Flyers as he was kept from skating for six months, missed the entire 2001 season, and was ultimately traded to the New York Rangers.

New Jersey beat Philadelphia 2-1 and went on to defeat the defending Cup champion Dallas Stars 4-2 in the Finals, hoisting their first Stanley Cup in 5 years. Stevens took the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

That's today in NHL history

* See also Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Kozlov.
* See also Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Kariya.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Today In NHL History - Boston Blackout

On May 24th in 1988, a transformer blowout blackened a fog-filled Boston Garden with 3:27 remaining in the middle frame of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers.
Deemed an Act of God, NHL president John Ziegler canceled the 3-3 match rescheduling it two nights later at Northlands Coliseum.

The Oilers won Game 4-A by a score of 6-3sweeping the Bruins en route to their 5th Stanley Cup in 7 years and setting a modern record for the fewest games needed to hoist the hardware (18), in what would be Wayne Gretzky's final game as an Edmonton Oiler.
That's today in NHL history.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Today In NHL History - Bergeron Saves Goal

On May 22nd in 2010, Montreal Canadiens blueliner Marc-Andre Bergeron saved an empty net goal with 2 minutes remaining in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Flyers sophomore forward Claude Giroux found the Habs empty net 36 seconds later to secure a 3-0 win. Philadelphia won the series 4-1.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Today In NHL History - Buffalo Sabres Bat Attack

On May 20th in 1975, Buffalo Sabres center Jim Lorentz slayed a boisterous bat during a fog-filled Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at The Aud. The incident marks the only known animal killing by a player during a NHL game.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Rick MacLeish kindly collected the deceased bat from the faceoff circle, sparing the linesman of the indiscretion, disposing it in the visitors penalty box then occupied by his teammate.

While birds have famously found their way onto the field of play for several sports (baseball, tennis, football, golf, hockey) over the years, often with unfortunate outcomes, dive-bombing bats are rare.

Buffalo won 5-4 in overtime but lost the series 4-2 to Philadelphia.

That's today in NHL history.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Today In NHL History - Preakness Trumps Playoffs

On May 19th in 2007, NBC abandoned overtime in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals in favor of two hours of pre-race Preakness Stakes coverage, blacking out the Ottawa Senators 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, clinching their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 1927.

The Heidi Game moment resulted in a ratings boost from 1.5 during the final half-hour of hockey to 3.8, 4.8 and 7.5 for the next three increments of pre-race coverage. An hour after Alfredsson's winner, Curlin won by a head at Pimlico running a 1:53.46.

That's today in NHL history.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Today In NHL History - Canucks Fan Flashes Eager

On May 18th in 2011, a proud Vancouver Canucks fan hoisted her Henrik Sedin jersey to flash her breasts for San Jose Sharks penalized enforcer Ben Eager in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.


Though worthy of honorable mention, Tits McGee's pierced twins were ultimately upstaged by Daniel and Henrik who combined for 5 points in a 7-3 win, giving the Canucks a 2-0 series lead largely owing to Eager's cheapshots and chatter which earned him 20 minutes in penalties.

Eager was ejected from the match 24 seconds after this penalty expired and subsequently scratched from the remainder of the series, never again skating in a NHL playoff game.

That's today in NHL history.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Today In NHL History - Gino Odjick Fights Blues

On May 17th in 1995, Gino Odjick of the Vancouver Canucks attacked all five St. Louis Blues skaters in the third period of Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in response to Glenn Anderson spearing Pavel Bure in the eye earlier in the previous game.

The Canucks lost the game that night 8-2 but won the series 4-3.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Gino Odjick.
* See also Today In NHL History - Gino Odjick Runs Hasek.
* See also Today In NHL History - Odjick's Penalty Shot.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Today In NHL History - Pronger Elbows Holmstrom

On May 15th in 2007, Anaheim Ducks notorious blueliner Chris Pronger delivered a vicious elbow to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom midway through Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.

Pronger escaped penalty on the play but was subsequently suspended one game for the infraction. Defensive partner Rob Niedermayer collected a five minute boarding major for his role in the Norris sandwich.

Holmstrom returned after receiving 13 stitches, finishing the game with three points in a 5-0 win over the Ducks. Anaheim eventually dispatched Detroit 4-2 and went on to claim their first Stanley Cup.

That's today in NHL history.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Today In NHL History - Montreal Pregame Brawl

On May 14th in 1987, heavyweight Ed Hospodar of the Philadelphia Flyers incited a pregame brawl at the Forum attacking Montreal Canadiens sophomore Claude Lemieux prior to Game 6 of the Wales Conference Final.

Tiring of Lemieux and Shayne Corson's superstitious ritual of firing a puck into the opponent's empty net at the end of the warmup skate, Hospodar and Chico Resch returned to the ice to send a message.

Resch recalls: "I threw my stick to try and knock the puck away from him [Lemieux]. I was still in the mood that this was just fooling around. Hospodar took a different approach and he charged at Lemieux and he jumped him. I skated over and yelled at him, 'Ed, what are you doing?' And Lemieux looked up and said, 'Yeah Ed, what are you doing?'"

Et l'affaire en fran├žais.

The 11 minutes of ref-less mayhem delayed the faceoff by 17 minutes and drew $24,500 in fines. No penalties were assessed though Hospodar was suspended for the remainder of the playoffs. The Flyers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals that night winning the game 4-3 and series 4-2.

That's today in NHL history.