Aug. 7 saw one of the greatest goaltenders of all-time change addresses and finally get his chance to be a full-time starter. Also, this was a busy date for former number one overall picks, with one being traded and another being born.
Hasek Traded to Buffalo
Back in 1992, the Chicago Blackhawks had a problem that every NHL general manager wish they had; two outstanding young goaltenders on the roster. They had both Ed Belfour and Dominik Hasek under contract, but only one net to start them in. This led them to trade one of the future Hockey Hall of Famers.
On Aug. 7, 1992, the Blackhawks shipped Hasek to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for goaltender Stephane Beauregard and a fourth-round pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Hasek eventually became the starter in Buffalo and had great success.
He appeared in 491 games, over nine seasons with the Sabers, posting a record of 234-170-70 with a .926 save percentage (SV%), 2.22 goals-against average (GAA) and 55 shutouts. He won five Vezina Trophies, for being voted the best goaltender in the league. In 1999, he won 13 postseason games helping the Sabres reach the Stanley Cup Final. He was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in 2001.
Belfour remained the Blackhawks’ starting goaltender until 1997. Beauregard never played in Chicago. Three days after the Hasek trade, he was moved to the Winnipeg Jets for Christian Ruuttu, who put up 90 points in three seasons with the Blackhawks. The fourth-round pick was used to select Eric Daze. He scored 226 goals and 398 points in 601 career games for the Blackhawks.
Busy Date for Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins made a bevy moves on this date over the years. On Aug. 7, 1976, they signed free-agent goaltender Denis Herron. This was his second of three stints with the Penguins in his 14-season NHL career. Herron went 88-133-44 with a .886 SV% and 3.88 GAA over his 290 games in a Penguins sweater.
On Aug. 7, 1997, they re-signed center Martin Straka. The Penguins originally drafted Straka with the 19th overall pick of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. He scored 30 goals during the 1993-94 season before being traded to the Ottawa Senators for Troy Murray and Norm Maciver.
He scored a career-high 35 goals during the 1998-99 season. He remained with the team until he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, in 2003, for Martin Strbak.
Five years later, on Aug. 7, 2002, they signed defenseman Dick Tarnstrom, who spent the previous season with the New York Islanders. In 2003-04, he scored 16 goals and 52 points to become the first blueliner to ever lead the Penguins in scoring.
Odds & Ends
While most hockey fans today may only now Joe Micheletti as a color commentator, he had a six-season professional career, as a defenseman, in the World Hockey Association (WHA) and NHL. Long before he started broadcasting New York Rangers games, on Aug. 7, 1979, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues, by the Edmonton Oilers, for Tom Roulston and Risto Siltanen. He played 137 games before the Blues before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche.
The Minnesota North Stars re-acquired Bobby Smith from the Montreal Canadiens, on Aug. 7, 1990, in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick. Smith was originally selected by the North Stars with the first overall pick of the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft.
Smith scored 30 goals and 74 points in 1978-79 and won the Calder Trophy for being the top rookie that season. He scored at least 24 goals in each of his first five seasons with Minnesota, including a career-high 43 n 1981-92. On Oct. 28, 1983, he was traded to the Canadiens for Keith Acton, Mark Napier and a third-round draft pick. Smith had two seasons of at least 30 goals in Montreal and won the Stanley Cup in 1986.
Happy Birthday to You
There are nine current and former NHL players who were born on Aug. 7. The first was Hazen McAndrew in 1917, who played in seven games for the Brooklyn Americans in 1942. The most recent was Sheldon Rampal in 1995, who dressed in seven games for the Kings in 2019.
By far, the best player celebrating a birthday today is Sidney Crosby, who was born on Aug. 7. 1987, in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. He was drafted by the Penguins with the first overall pick of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He made an immediate impact with 39 goals and 102 points in his rookie season, winning the Calder Trophy. The following season, he became the youngest player to ever win a scoring title with 120 points.
Crosby has served as the Penguins captain since 2007. He played a huge role in Stanley Cup championships in 2009, 2016 and 2017. He has won the Hart Trophy (regular-season MVP) and Conn Smythe Trophy (postseason MVP) twice in his career.
Other notable players born on this date include Jonathan Bernier (32), Jake Allen (30) and Damon Severson (26).