July 10 saw a big trade between two “Original Six” franchises that saw one of them obtain the greatest goal scorer in their team’s history. Also, two current stars inked new contracts and one of the greatest goaltenders of all-time came out of retirement.
A Legendary Swap
On July 10, 1957, the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings made a one-for-one trade for two future Hall of Famers. The Bruins traded goaltender Terry Sawchuk back to the Red Wings, just over two years after acquiring him in a big nine-player trade. In return, they received Johnny Bucyk and cash.
Sawchuk was traded to Boston in 1955 because the Red Wings had a young goaltender named Glenn Hall looking to get more playing time. The trade did not go over well with Sawchuk and it affected his play. He posted a 2.60 goals-against average (GAA) during the 1955-56 season, by far, the highest of his career.
The 1956-57 season was a disaster. Sawchuk missed two weeks, early in the season, after coming down with mononucleosis. He announced his retirement in January of 1957 due to nervous exhaustion. When he was ready to return to the ice, the Bruins shipped him back to the Red Wings. He played the next seven seasons in Detroit before being claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1964 NHL Intra-League Draft. He won the fourth and final Stanley Cup of his career with them in 1967.
Meanwhile, Bucyk went on to become one of the greatest players in Bruins’ franchise history after scoring just 11 goals and 30 points in 104 games with the Red Wings. He was a fixture in the Boston lineup for the next 21 seasons. He scored 51 goals and 116 points during the 1970-71 season at 35-years-old before paying another seven seasons.
Bucyk was a big part of two Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972. He retired in 1978 and still owns numerous franchise records. He is the team’s all-time leader with 545 goals and is the only player to ever score 500 goals in a Bruins sweater. He is second to only Ray Bourque in games played (1,436), assists (794) and points (1,506).
Superstars Get Paid
The New York Rangers re-signed goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, on July 10, 2007. His new deal is for just one year, at $4.24 million, after he won a total of 67 games in his first two seasons in the league.
Lundqvist starts 72 games during the 2007-08 season and goes 37-24-10 with a 2.23 GAA, a .912 save percentage (SV%) and 10 shutouts. The following summer he signed a six-year contract worth a total of $41.25 million.
The Tampa Bay Lightning locked up Nikita Kucherov on July 10, 2018. They inked him to an eight-year contract extension worth a total of $76 million. The new deal kicked in at the start of the 2019-20 season and runs through the 2026-27 season.
In the final year of his second NHL contract, Kucherov scored 41 goals during the 2018-19 season and won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league with 128 points. He also took home both the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award for being recognized as the top player by both the writers and players’ association. He had 33 goals and 85 points, in 68 games when the 2019-20 season was paused in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Odds & Ends
On July 10, 1980, the Rangers signed free-agent defenseman Chris Kotsopoulos, after he spent the 1979-80 season with New Haven Nighthawks in the American Hockey League (AHL). He played just one season for the Rangers before being traded to the Hartford Whalers. He spent a decade in the NHL with additional stops in Toronto and Detroit before retiring in 1990.
Warren Young signed with the Red Wings on July 10, 1985, coming off a 40-goal season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored 22 goals and 46 points for the Red Wings before being traded back to the Penguins, for cash, just prior to the start of the 1986-87 season.
Scott Pellerin was a veteran of 536 games during his 11-season NHL career. On July 10, 1996, he signed with the St. Louis Blues. He had the only 20-goal season of his career with the Blues in 1998-99. Overall, he played in 296 games with the Blues before he was taken by the Minnesota Wild during the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft.
The New York Islanders signed free-agent forward Sergei Nemchinov on July 10, 1997. Nemchinov played the first six seasons of his career with the Rangers. He scored 30 goals in his rookie season of 1991-92 was a part of their 1994 Stanley Cup victory. He scored just 18 goals and 45 points in his 141 games with the Islanders before being traded to the New Jersey Devils in March of 1999. He played three more seasons with the Devils and scored three goals during their 2000 playoff run to a championship.
Shortly after Dominik Hasek won the 2002 Stanley Cup with the Red Wings, he announced his retirement so he could spend more time with his family. On July 10, 2003, the Hall of Fame goaltender officially returned to the NHL.
A groin injury limited him to just 14 games during the 2003-04 season. When the league returned from a season-long lockout in 2005, he signed with the Ottawa Senators before returning to Detroit for two more seasons.
Happy Birthday to You
There are a total of 18 players who have skated in the NHL born on July 9. The most notable among the group are Glenn Resch (72), Ilkka Sinisalo (62), Adam Foote (49), B.J. Crombeen (35), J.C. Lipon (27) and Egor Korshkov (24).