Some of the greatest players in National Hockey League history have had plenty of reasons to celebrate on Jan. 10. In addition, fans in Montreal, Boston and Buffalo were treated to multiple big moments throughout the decades. It is time to fire up our hockey time machine to take a look at all the best this date has had to offer us.
A Great Date for the Great 8
Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin can say that Jan. 10 is one of his favorite dates of his great career. Back in 2008, he signed a 13-year contract worth an unbelievable total of $124 million. This type of contact could not be signed under the rules of the current Collection Bargaining Agreement. The 2020-21 season is the final one of this contract and the Capitals got an excellent return on their investment. During the deal’s duration, he has 543 goals and 968 points in 907 games and was a huge part of the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship in 2018.
Eight years later, on Jan. 10, 2016, Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal in Washington’s 7-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Goal No. 500 came in his 801st career game, making him the fifth-fastest player to hit this plateau in NHL history. He wasted very little time going after his next big milestone by scoring his 501st goal midway through the third period.
The Great One Passes Mr. Hockey
On Jan. 10, 1989, Wayne Gretzky picked up four assists in the Los Angeles Kings’ 5-4 win over his former team, the Edmonton Oilers. This gave him 2,011 combined NHL points, both regular season and playoffs, putting ahead of Gordie Howe for the most all-time. Gretzky’s old teammate, Glenn Anderson, scored his 350th career goal in the losing effort.
Howe established his record in 26 total NHL seasons. Gretzky shattered midway through his 11th season in the league. He scored the first 1,669 regular-season points and 242 in the postseason with the Oilers.
Big Moments in Montreal
Early NHL great Newsy Lalonde scored six goals, on Jan. 10, 1920, to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 14-7 win over the Toronto St. Pats. The 21 total goals would remain as the most scored in an NHL game until 1985.
Maurice Richard provided all the offense with his 16th career hat trick, on Jan. 10, 1951, to give him 274 career goals and surpass Howie Morenz as the NHL’s second all-time leading goal scorer. Rookie goaltender Gerry McNeil earned his sixth career shutout in the 3-0 win over the New York Rangers.
Henri Richard, Maurice’s younger brother, broke out of a 52-game goal-less streak, on Jan. 10, 1973, with two goals and two assists. Netminder Ken Dryden recorded his 13th career shutout as the Canadiens won 6-0 at the Minnesota North Stars.
On Jan. 10, 1996, the Canadiens became the first team in NHL history to play 5,000 regular-season games. Their milestone game ended in a 2-2 tie with the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
Sheldon Souray had a goal and five assists, on Jan. 10, 2004, in the Habs’ 8-0 beating of the Pittsburgh Penguins. His six points set a new team record for points by a defenseman in a single game. The previous record of five points was shared by Doug Harvey and Lyle Odelein.
A Busy Day in Boston
The Boston Bruins ended their team-record 11-game losing streak, on Jan. 10, 1925, with a 3-2 win against the Canadiens. This was the Bruins’ first overtime win in team history.
Don Simmons became the second NHL goaltender to wear a mask, on Jan. 10, 1960, less than three months after Montreal legend Jacques Plante was the first to do so. The mask did not hinder him as he stopped all 37 shots he faced in a 4-0 shutout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Johnny Bucyk became the first member of the Bruins to score 500 goals, on Jan. 10, 1976, in a 3-2 win the visiting Oakland Seals.
On Jan. 10, 1980, Jean Ratelle picked up two assists to give him 1,200 career NHL points as the Bruins lost 7-4 to the St. Louis Blues. He became the eighth player in NHL history to hit this milestone. The first 817 of those points came during his 16 seasons with the Rangers.
Winging it in Buffalo
Joe Crozier was named head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, on Jan. 10, 1972, after general manager and head coach Punch Imlach suffered a heart attack. He held onto the job through the end of the 1973-74 season and went 77-80-35.
Tom Barrasso made 20 saves for his fifth career shutout, on Jan. 10, 1985, to beat the Bruins 3-0. This was the first time the Bruins were held off the scoreboard at Boston Garden since they lost to Montreal 2-0 on Oct. 16, 1977.
Dave Andreychuk scored twice to give him 100 career goals, on Jan. 10, 1986, and added an assist as the Sabres beat the Maple Leafs 9-7.
One year later, defenseman Mike Ramsey scored a goal and added three assists to give him 200 NHL points in the Sabres’ 8-5 victory over the Kings.
Pat LaFontaine scored his 12th career hat trick, on Jan. 10, 1993, in a 5-3 win versus the visiting Calgary Flames. He also added an assist to lead the Sabres to their sixth consecutive victory.
A decade later, on Jan. 10, 2003, Lindy Ruff became the second head coach to get 200 victories with the Sabres with a 4-2 win over the Bruins. Rookie Ales Kotalik became the first player in franchise history to score two goals in three straight games.
Drama in St. Louis
The Ralston Purina Company announced the sale of the Blues, on Jan. 10. 1983 to a group in Saskatoon led by Oilers founder Bill Hunter. However, the NHL Board of Governors rejected the deal by a 15–3 vote on May 18, 1983, feeling that Saskatoon was not big enough or financially stable enough to support an NHL team.
This led to both sides taking each other to court and the Blues boycotting the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Ralston Purina threatened to resolve the team and sell their existing player contracts to other teams. Eventually, a deal is worked out to allow Harry Ornest to buy the team.
Odds & Ends
On Jan. 10, 1931, the Philadelphia Quakers ended their 15-game losing streak by beating the Montreal Maroons 4-3 in overtime. This was the longest losing streak in NHL history until the Capitals lost 17 straight games during their inaugural 1974-75 season.
Camille Henry became the second player in Rangers’ franchise history to score 250 goals, on Jan. 10, 1968, in a 3-3 tie with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Paul Henderson scored twice for the 200th goal of his NHL career, on Jan. 10, 1973, in a Maple Leafs’ 4-2 win against the visiting New York Islanders.
Winnipeg Jets defenseman and future NHL head coach Randy Carlyle played in his 1,000th career game, on Jan. 10, 1992, a 6-2 win over the visiting Blackhawks.
A pair of Blackhawks set personal milestones one year later, on Jan. 10, 1993, during a 5-4 loss to the Kings. Hall of Famer Michel Goulet played in his 1,000th NHL game and Steve Larmer became the fourth player to score 900 points with the team.
On that same night, Bob Kudelski scores three goals for the first hat trick in Ottawa’s “modern” history in a 3-2 win against the visiting San Jose Sharks. The win ended an 11-game losing streak for the first-year Senators.
Felix Potvin’s shutout, on Jan. 10, 1994, led the Maple Leafs to a 3-0 win at the Bruins. This was the first Toronto shutout in Boston in almost 33 years, since Johnny Bower did it on March 12, 1961.
Speaking of shutouts, Chris Osgood recorded his fourth of the season as the Detroit Red Wings spoiled Ken Hitchcock’s NHL coaching debut with a 4-0 blanking of the Dallas Stars.
Mats Sundin scored two goals added an assist, on Jan. 10, 1998, for his 250th NHL goal and 600th career point as the Maple Leafs lost 4-3 to the visiting Blackhawks.
Later that evening, Mark Messier became the sixth player in NHL history to join the 1,000-assist club as the Vancouver Canucks skated to a 2-2 draw with Florida Panthers.
Alexander Mogilny scored a pair of goals, on Jan. 10, 2001, to give him 800 career points in the New Jersey Devil’s 5-1 win against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.
A pair of netminders made history, on Jan. 10, 2004. First, Tommy Salo picked up his 200th career win in his 500th career game by leading the Oilers to a 3-0 win at the Flyers. He was just the third European-born goaltender to amass 200 victories. In San Jose, Evgeni Nabokov became the first goaltender to win 100 games as a member of the Sharks with a 5-2 win over the visiting Atlanta Thrashers.
Finally, on Jan. 10, 2019, John Tortorella picked up his 600th career coaching victory when Artemi Panarin’s overtime goal gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. He is the first U.S.-born head coach in NHL history and 20th overall to hit the 600-win plateau.
Happy Birthday to You
A very talented group of 21 current and former NHL players were born on this date. The most successful players of the lot are Frank Mahovlich (83), Randy Manery (72), Henrik Tallinder (42), Tom Gilbert (38), Martin Jones (31), John Carlson (31), Tobias Rieder (28) and the late Hall of Famer George Hay.