Aug. 25 has been a very interesting date in National League history as it has provided a little bit of everything. One franchise suspended operations while another packed up and moved to a new city. A pair of old rivals went into the Hall of Fame together and two impressive careers ended on the same day.
Franchise Suspension & Relocation
This date has seen some huge changes in a pair of NHL franchises with one suspending operation and another relocating to a new city. On Aug. 25, 1938, the Montreal Maroons suspended operations due to financial troubles. The original announcement was that the team would be suspended for one season, but they never played another game in the league.
The Maroons were founded to appeal to the English-speaking population of Quebec, where the Montreal Canadiens drew the attention of the French-Canadian population. They began play in the 1924-25 season at the brand-new Montreal Forum.
Over their 14 seasons, the Maroons went 271-260-91. They made the playoffs 11 times and won the Stanley Cup in 1926 and 1935. There are 11 Maroons in the Hockey Hall of Fame and five out of their six head coaches have also been inducted.
On Aug. 25, 1976, after just two seasons, the Kansas City Scouts officially relocated to Denver and became the Colorado Rockies. The franchise spends just six seasons in Colorado, making the playoffs once. In 1982, they move again and find their permanent home and identity as the New Jersey Devils. Denver goes 13 years without the NHL before the Quebec Nordiques move there in 1995 and become the Colorado Avalanche.
Two Legends Enter the Hall
The rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs is one of the most storied in all of professional sports. Two key figures from that rivalry were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame together on Aug. 25, 1977. Alex Delvecchio and Tim Horton headlined the ceremony, along with three builders; Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard, former Canadiens co-owner Joseph Cattarinich and former IIHF president John “Bunny” Ahearne.
Delvecchio spent his entire 24-season career with the Red Wings, which spanned from 1951 until 1973. He scored 456 goals and 1,281 points in 1,550 games. He was part of three Stanley Cup championships in Detroit. He was a three-time winner of the Lady Bing Trophy for being the most gentlemanly player in the NHL. When Delvecchio retired 11 games into the 1973-74 season, he became the head coach of the team. He is still third all-time in Red Wings’ history in games played, goals and points.
Horton played in 1,445 NHL games and is remembered for being one of the greatest defensemen to ever lace up a pair of skates. He spent 20 of his 24 seasons with the Maple Leafs; debuting in 1950 and staying with the team until he was traded in 1970. He won four Stanley Cups with the Maple Leafs, including three in a row between 1962 and 1964. He had stints with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres before retiring in 1974.
A Busy Day in 1997
Aug. 25, 1997, was quite an eventful day with a pair of retirements as well as two trades. The first big announcement came from Dale Hawechuck. A hip injury forces the 16-season veteran to call it a career. The future Hall of Famer scored 518 goals and 1,409 points in 1,118 games with the Winnipeg Jets, Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers. Hawerchuk recently lost his courageous battle with stomach cancer on Aug. 18, 2020.
Neal Broten, the final member of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic team in the NHL, also announced his retirement. The Roseau, MN native was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in the second round (42nd overall) of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He remained with the Stars organization through their relocation to Dallas and was traded to the Devils in 1995. He had a brief stint with the Los Angeles Kings before returning to the Stars for the final 20 games of his career during the 1996-97 season. He scored 289 goals and 923 points in 1,099 career NHL games.
Also, on this date, the Calgary Flames traded veteran forward Gary Roberts and goaltender Trevor Kidd to the Carolina Hurricanes for center Andrew Cassels and netminder Jean-Sebastian Giguere. Cassels scored 29 goals and 81 points in his two seasons with the Flames. Giguere appeared in 22 games in Calgary before being traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, in 2000, where he won a Stanley Cup in 2007.
Roberts spent three seasons with the Hurricanes, scoring 57 goals and 144 points. Kidd won 28 games over his two seasons in Carolina before he was traded to the Florida Panthers in 1999.
Finally, the St. Louis reacquired defenseman Steve Duchesne from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for blueliner Igor Kravchuk. This move came just over two years after the Blues sent Duchesne to Ottawa in August of 1995. His second stint in St. Louis only lasted one season as he signed as a free agent with the Kings in 1998. Kravchuk went on to play 239 games with the Senators before he was claimed off of waivers by the Flames during the 2000-01 season.
Odds & Ends
The Red Wings signed free-agent winger Reggie Leach on Aug. 25, 1982. Leach had spent the previous eight seasons with the Flyers. He won the 1976 Conn Smythe Trophy, for being the most valuable player of the postseason, despite the Flyers losing the Stanley Cup to the Canadiens in four straight games. Leach scored 15 goals and 32 points during the 1982-83 season, the 13th and final of his career.
The Devils signed goaltender Chris Terreri, on Aug. 25, 1998, bringing him back for a second tenure with the team. He was originally drafted by the Devils in the fifth round (85th overall) in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He remained with the team until he was traded to the San Jose Sharks in 1995.
Terreri served as Martin Brodeur’s backup until he was traded to the New York Islanders for John Vanbiesbrouck during the 2000-01 season. He played in 302 total games for the Devils and when he retired in 2001, he was named an assistant coach for the Albany River Rats, New Jersey’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate.
Speaking of goaltenders, the Penguins traded netminder Johan Hedberg, on Aug. 25, 2003, to the Vancouver Canucks for a second-round draft pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Hedberg, known as “The Moose,” played in 21 games in his lone season with the Canucks. He signed with the Stars after the 2004-05 owners’ lockout concluded. The Penguins used the draft pick to select defenseman Alex Goligoski, who just concluded his 13th NHL season with the Arizona Coyotes.
On Aug. 25, 2016, the Panthers traded Lawson Crouse and the contract of Dave Bolland to the Coyotes for a pair of draft picks.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall by the Panthers at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut during the 2016-17 and has scored 32 goals and 63 points in 230 games, so far.
Happy Birthday to You
A total of 20 NHL players and one long-time coach were born on Aug. 25. The first was Harry Mummery in 1889. He played in 106 games for the Toronto Arenas, Quebec Bulldogs, Canadiens and Hamilton Tigers between 1917 and 1923. Although he was a defenseman by trade, he also made four appearances as a goaltender. The most recent was Tiro Pakarinen, born on Aug. 25, 1991, who played 134 games for the Edmonton Oilers between 2015 and 2018.
Defenseman Nick Schultz (38) played in the most games of this group. He dressed in 1,069 contests for the Minnesota Wild, Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Flyers. Pete Stemkowski (77) is the highest-scoring player with 206 goals, 349 assists and 555 points.
Although he never played a game in the NHL, Jacques Demers was born in Montreal, on Aug. 25, 1944. He coached 1,007 games in the NHL after spending 311 games behind the bench for three different teams in the World Hockey Association.
He went 409-468-130 in the NHL with the Nordiques, Blues, Red Wings, Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. He won back-to-back Jack Adams Awards, for being named the best coach in the league, with the Red Wings in 1987 and 1988, becoming the first coach to ever do so. The pinnacle of his career was winning the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1993.
Other notable players born on this date include Dean Talafous (67), Bob Lorimer (67), Bill Derlago (62), Dave Tippett (59) and Andy McDonald (43).