On this date, the most storied franchise in the history of the National Hockey League signed one of its future legends. Also, three different team captains where named and a whole slew of moves were made prior to the start of regular-season action.
Morenz Moves to Montreal
The Montreal Canadiens signed one of the NHL’s earliest stars when they landed Howie Morenz on Sept. 30, 1923. Nicknamed the “Stratford Streak” for his speed during his junior career in Ontario, Morenz had plenty of teams after his services before he decided to play for the Canadiens.
In total, he scored 257 goals and 421 points in 460 games in Montreal. He had seven seasons of at least 23 goals and scored 40 goals in 44 games during the 1930-31 season. Morenz won three Hart Trophies for being the league’s most valuable player and was part of three Stanley Cup championship teams.
After brief stints with the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, he returned to Montreal for the 1936-37 season. He suffered a severely broken leg during a game versus the Blackhawks, on Jan. 28, 1937, when he was hit while his skate was caught in the boards. Morenz never left the hospital as he died six weeks later from a coronary embolism caused by blood clots in his injured leg.
Morenz’s daughter, Marlene, married Bernie Geoffrion, who later starred for the Canadiens too and eventually joined his late father-in-law in the Hockey Hall of Fame. His grandson Danny Geoffrion and great-grandson Blake Geoffrion both played in the NHL and for the Canadiens.
A Trio of Captains Named
On Sept. 30, 1997, the Toronto Maple Leafs named Mats Sundin the 16th captain in franchise history, replacing Doug Gilmour, who was traded during the previous season. He became the first Maple Leafs captain not born in Canada and the first European-born captain in NHL history.
Sundin wore the “C” on his sweater for the next 11 seasons, until he signed with the Vancouver Canucks in 2008. He retired exactly a dozen years later, on Sept. 30, 2009. He is still the Maple Leafs’ all-time leader with 420 goals and 987 points. His 567 assists are second behind fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Borje Salming.
The New York Islanders named Kenny Jonsson the eighth team captain in franchise history, on Sept. 30, 1999. He replaced Trevor Lindon, who was traded to the Canadiens earlier in the offseason. The veteran defenseman served as captain for the next two seasons until the honor was given to Michael Peca in 2001.
Tony Amonte was named the 31st team captain in Blackhawks history, on Sept. 30, 2000. He, just like Sundin three years earlier, replaced Gilmour, who served as captain during the 1999-00 season until he was dealt to the Buffalo Sabres. Amonte wore the “C” for the next two seasons until he left the team via free agency, in 2002, signing with the Phoenix Coyotes.
A Busy Day in 1990
There were quite a few moves made on Sept. 30, 1990, which was just a couple of days before the puck dropped on the 1990-91 season.
Long before he started a successful coaching career that currently has him behind the bend of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Tippet skated in 721 NHL games as a left winger. On this date, he was traded to the Washington Capitals, by the Hartford Whalers, for a sixth-round pick in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 91 games over the next two seasons for the Capitals.
Also, the Los Angeles Kings acquired forward Mike Donnelly from the Sabres for Mikko Makela. He played in 307 games for the Kings, scoring 87 goals and 170 points. He had back-to-back seasons with 29 goals in 1991-92 and 1992-93. Makela, a right wing, had 15 goals and 22 points in his lone season in Buffalo.
Finally, the Sabres also traded defenseman Shawn Anderson to the Capitals for fellow bluelinder Bill Houlder. Anderson was originally drafted with the fifth overall pick of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft. On the very next day, he was claimed by the Quebec Nordiques in the NHL Waiver Draft. He eventually makes it to Washington, via trade, in October of 1991.
Odds & Ends
At the NHL Board of Governors meeting, on Sept. 30, 1933, it was mandated that two referees would work each game. Prior to this, there was just one referee and one linesman on the ice. This system lasted for five seasons before the league went back to just one referee per game.
The New York Rangers signed free agent and future Hockey Hall of Famer Vaclav Nedomansky, on Sept. 30, 1982. However, he was claimed off of waivers by the St. Louis Blues a week later. He eventually made his way to the Big Apple when the Blues traded him to the Rangers, on Jan. 4, 1983, for Andre Dore. He scored a combined 14 goals and 31 points with both teams during the 1982-82 season, his final in the NHL.
The Pittsburgh Penguins traded Greg Malone, on Sept. 30, 1983, to the Whalers for a third-round pick in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. He scored 45 goals and 128 points in 176 games for Hartford. Malone’s son, Ryan, was drafted by the Penguins in 1999 and eventually played four seasons with the team.
The Nordiques traded John Ogrodnick and David Shaw to the Rangers, on Sept. 30, 1987, in exchange for Jeff Jackson and Terry Carkner. Ogrodnick spent the next five seasons in New York. He scored 43 goals during the 1989-90 season and followed that up with 31 in 1990-91. Jackson scored 24 goals over his four seasons in Quebec.
The New Jersey Devils signed free-agent center Bob Carpenter, on Sept. 30, 1993, after he spent the previous season with the Capitals.
He played the final six seasons of his 18-season NHL career in a Devils uniform. He was part of the 1995 Stanley Cup championship team, playing 17 postseason games during that run.
Happy Birthday to You
Sept. 30 has not been a busy day for birthdays, as just 10 NHL players have been on this date over the years.
Those celebrating birthdays to are Per-Olov Brasar (70), Kirk Bowman (68), Yves Berlanger (68), Yan Stastny (38), Ryane Clowe (38), Colin McDonald (36), Cedrick Desjardins (35), Cal O’Reilly (34), Mathieu Carle (33) and Anthony Greco (27).
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.