The Philadelphia Flyers said goodbye to the leading goal scorer in franchise history on this date. Also, the Los Angeles Kings have been very active on Aug. 22 through the years. Plus, the Hockey Hall of Fame welcomed some new members while one of the top snipers in NHL history found a new home. Finally, it was another sad day in 2021 when Hall-of-Famer Rod Gilbert passed away.
Barber Calls it a Career
On Aug. 22, 1985, chronic knee injuries forced Flyers forward Bill Barber to announce his retirement. The Flyers originally selected Barber with the seventh overall pick of the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft. He made his debut later that fall and scored 30 goals and 64 points during the 1972-73 season. He finished second to Calder Trophy voting, for being the league’s top rookie, to Steve Vickers of the New York Rangers, who also scored 30 goals.
He went on to score at least 30 goals in 10 of his 12 NHL seasons. He was a big part of the Flyers back-to-back Stanley Cup wins in 1974 and 1975. He scored nine goals and 24 points in the 34 combined playoff games of those championship runs. Barber scored a career-high 50 goals and 112 points during the 1975-76 season.
At the time of his retirement, Barber played 903 games, all with the Flyers, and scored 420 goals and 883 points. He is still the franchise’ all-time leader in goals and is second in games played and points only to Bobby Clarke. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990.
The Wheeling & Dealing Kings
The Kings have been very busy on this date over the years. On Aug. 22, 1972, they acquired veteran defenseman Terry Harper, from the Montreal Canadiens. They sent two first-round picks as well as a future second and third-round selection to Montreal. The Canadiens drafted Gary McGregor, Pierre Mondou, Paul Woods and Rod Schutt with those picks. Mondou had the best career of the bunch, scoring 194 goals and 456 points in 548 games for the Canadiens.
Harper, who won five Stanley Cups in Montreal, was named the fourth captain in Kings’ history prior to his second season with the club. He scored a career-high five goals and 26 points during the 1974-75 season, helping the Kings earn a franchise-best 105 points. Following that season, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in the deal that brought Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne to Los Angeles.
The Kings made another deal with the Red Wings on Aug. 22, 1979. This time they ended the Dale McCourt saga. McCourt was originally drafted by the Red Wings with the first overall pick of the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft. His rights were transferred to the Kings as compensation for Detroit signing free-agent goaltender Rogie Vachon.
After two weeks of litigation, his rights were traded back to the Red Wings for Andre St. Laurent and a first-round pick in both 1980 and 1981. McCourt scored 134 goals and 337 points, in 341 games, for the Red Wings before he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres. St. Laurent had 52 points over three seasons with the Kings. The Kings used the two draft picks to select future Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Murphy and center Doug Smith.
On Aug. 22, 1996, the Kings acquired veteran forward Petr Klima from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a conditional draft pick. The pick ended up being a fifth-rounder in 1997 and it was used on Jan Sulc, who never played in the NHL. Klima only played eight games for the Kings, picking four assists, before he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for another conditional draft pick.
Hockey World Loses Another Hall-of-Famer in Rod Gilbert
On Aug. 22, 2021, Hall-of-Famer Rod Gilbert passed away. The former long-time NHLer played his entire 18-year career with the Rangers where he scored 406 goals and 1,021 points in 1,065 regular-season games and 34 goals and 67 points in 79 playoff games. He still holds the franchise record for all-time goals and points and is second only to Camille Henry (116) in power play goals and Brian Leetch (741) in assists.
Gilbert also starred in the Summit Series in 1972 where he led Canada to an eight-game victory over the Soviet Union finishing with a goal and four points in six games. His jersey hangs in the rafters at Madison Square Garden after his No. 7 was retired on Oct. 14, 1979. In 1982, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The five-time 30-goal scorer played in eight All-Star Games and won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 1976. He also was named a First-Team All-Star twice.
Odds & Ends
The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its newest class of inductees on Aug. 22, 1974. Dickie Moore, Art Coulter and Billy Birch are the players voted in, along with pre-NHL star Thomas Dunderdale. Tommy Ivan and Charles Hay are inducted in the Builders category and former head referee Carl Voss gets the call as well.
The Rangers named Jean-Guy Talbot the 16th head coach in team history on Aug. 22, 1974. He replaced John Ferguson, who resigned his coaching duties to focus on being the team’s general manager. Talbot got the Rangers to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, but he and Ferguson were fired following the 1977-78 season. Former Flyers head coach Fred Shero replaced both of them.
On Aug. 22, 1996, the New Jersey Devils traded Stephane Richer to the Canadiens for defenseman Lyle Odelein. This deal came nearly five years after the Canadiens traded Richer to the Devils in 1991.
His second stint in Montreal lasted a season and a half as he was traded to the Lightning in January of 1998. Odelein played 285 games for the Devils over the next four seasons before he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes, in 2000, for Deron Quint.
Brett Hull signed with the Red Wings on Aug. 22, 2001. He played in all but one game for the Red Wings over the next three seasons, scoring 92 goals and 207 points. He scored 10 goals and 18 points during the 2002 postseason, which ended with the second Stanley Cup championship of his career.
Happy Birthday to You
A total of 15 current and former NHL players were born on this date. The first was Frank Daley, born on Aug. 22, 1909, who played in five games for the Detroit Cougars during the 1928-29 season. The most recent was Kings defenseman and two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Penguins, Olli Maatta, who turns 28 today.
St. Louis Blues forward Brayden Schenn (31) is the top-scoring birthday boy with 219 goals and 524 points. Minnesota Wild head coach Dean Evason (58) had the longest career of the group as he played in 803 games with the Washington Capitals, Hartford Whalers, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames.
Other notable players born on this date include Ray McKay (76), Ken Hammond (59), and the late George Ferguson.