June 1 has been a hectic day through the course of National Hockey League history. It has seen champions crowned, eras end, legendary arenas built, and coaching changes to go along with the games on the ice. Let’s begin our daily trip back in time to enjoy all the top moments this date has had to offer.
Championship Memories in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Penguins won their second straight championship on June 1, 1992, by beating the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. The win was the Penguins’ 11th straight of the postseason, tying a record the Blackhawks had set heading into the series with Pittsburgh.
The Penguins held three separate one-goal leads in the first period thanks to goals by Jaromir Jagr, Kevin Stevens, and Mario Lemieux, but all three of those goals were answered by Dirk Graham’s first-period hat trick. Rick Tocchet and Jeremey Roenick added goals in the second period. Larry Murphy and Ron Francis gave the Penguins a two-goal lead early in the third period. Roenick scored again with just under nine minutes left to play, but the Blackhawks could not score the equalizer.
Lemieux, who added two assists to go along with his goal, wins this second straight Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player of the postseason. He had 16 goals and 34 points in 15 games during the championship run.
The Penguins also beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on June 1, 2016, in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Phil Kessel opened the scoring in the second period before Justin Braun forced overtime in the late stages of regulation. Just 2:35 into overtime, Conor Sheary scored from the left circle to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead in the series. He became the first rookie since Brian Skrudland in 1986 to score an overtime goal in the Final.
More Misery for the Blackhawks
Losing the 1992 Stanley Cup Final was not the only heartbreak the Blackhawks suffered on this date. On June 1, 1995, they lost 2-1 in overtime at the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. Joe Murphy gave the Blackhawks 1-0 lead with a power-play goal in the first period. After Keith Primeau tied the game in the middle frame, Nicklas Lidstrom scored a minute into overtime. This was the Red Wings’ first overtime playoff win at home since 1960, ending a 10-game losing streak.
The misery in Chicago continued on June 1, 2014, when their reign as Stanley Cup champions came to an end. The Los Angeles Kings came into the United Center and beat them 5-4, in overtime, in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final.
The Blackhawks could not hold multiple leads as Marian Gaborik forced overtime with seven minutes to play. Alec Martinez sent the Kings to the Stanley Cup Final when his shot hit off the kneepad of Blackhawks’ defenseman Nick Leddy and got in behind goaltender Corey Crawford. Justin “Mr. Game 7” Williams scored the seventh Game 7 goal of his career, tying him Glenn Anderson for the most in league history.
Two Eras Come to an End
On June 1, 1979, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Bernie Parent announced his retirement from the NHL due to an eye injury. Parent played in 608 career games, 486 of those with the Flyers. He is second all-time in franchise history with 231 wins, and his 50 shutouts are more than any other Flyers netminder. He won the Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophies in both 1974 and 1975 while leading the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup wins.
Al Arbour announced his resignation as head coach of the New York Islanders, on June 1, 1994, after coaching 1,606 career NHL games, most of anyone in league history, at the time. Arbour became the new Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Islanders. He came back to coach one game during the 2007-08 season and earned his 740th career victory in New York. His 782 career coaching wins are the fifth-most in NHL history.
Odds & Ends
On June 1, 1931, construction began on Toronto’s new arena, the Maple Leaf Gardens. The building opened just 165 days later, on Nov. 12, 1931. It served as home for the Toronto Maple Leafs until Feb. 13, 1999.
The NHL announced an increase in its regular-season schedule from 60 to 70 games on June 1, 1949.
Calgary Flames fired head coach Al MacNeil on June 1, 1982, and named Bob Johnson as his replacement. The was Johnson’s first NHL job after a 15-year stint as head coach of the University of Wisconsin. He eventually led the Flames to the 1986 Stanley Cup Final.
On June 1, 1988, Jean Perron resigned as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, citing major differences with general manager Serge Savard. In Perron’s three years as coach, the Canadiens were 126-84-30 during the regular season and 30-18 in the playoffs. He was replaced by Pat Burns, who became the 21st head coach in franchise history.
On that same day, the Flyers named Paul Holmgren as their new head coach, the seventh in the team’s 22-year history. Holmgren replaced Mike Keenan to become the first former player to come back and coach the team.
Wayne Gretzky worked his magic on June 1, 1993, as the Kings beat the Canadiens 4-1 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Gretzky assisted on the Kings’ first three goals before adding an empty-netter for good measure. This was the Kings’ first-ever win in the Stanley Cup Final, but it would be their last one until 2012, as the Canadiens won the next four games.
The Florida Panthers advanced to their one and only Stanley Cup Final in franchise history on June 1, 1996. Tom Fitzgerald scored the deciding goal in the 3-1 win over the Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck came up big with 39 saves.
The Dallas Stars beat the New Jersey Devils, on June 1, 2000, in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Brett Hull scored both goals for the Stars as Scott Stevens earned his 100th career playoff point with an assist on Alexander Mogilny’s first-period goal.
On June 1, 2011, the Vancouver Canucks beat the Boston Bruins 1-0 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Raffi Torres scored the only goal of the night with just 19 seconds left in the third period. Roberto Luongo made 36 saves to become just the sixth goaltender in NHL history to earn a shutout in his first Final start.
Happy Birthday to You
A total of 33 current and former NHL players were born on this date. Morris Lukowich (65), Paul Coffey (60, Hall of Fame), Dan Quinn (56), Murray Baron (54), Jeff Hackett (53), Mike Dunham (49), Michal Grosek (46), Mark Fistric (35), Roman Josi (31), Dylan Sikura (26), Tanner Laczynski (24), Kristian Vesalainen (22) and Emil Bernstrom (22) are among the June 1 birthday boys.
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.