Today in Hockey History: June 13

This date in National Hockey League history has seen a lot of memorable moments throughout the decades. The greatest coach in the history of the game went out in style, the youngest first overall pick was made, and the Hockey Hall of Fame welcomed in a whole slew of new names. Let’s begin our daily trip back in time to relive all the best moments June 13 has given us.

Scotty Bowman Takes a Final Lap

June 13 is a big date for Bowman and the Detroit Red Wings. On June 13, 1998, the Red Wings beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Tomas Holmstrom scored in the first period before Sergei Fedorov broke a 1-1 tie with less than five minutes to play. Steve Yzerman picked up his 24th point of the playoffs with an assist on the Holmstrom goal, tying a franchise record. The victory was the seventh straight in the Final for the Red Wings and brought them to within one win of their second straight championship.

Four years later, on June 13, 2002, the Red Wings beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 in Game 5 of the Final to win their third Stanley Cup in six seasons, all under Bowman. Holmstrom scored for the Red Wings to go along with a pair of goals from Brendan Shanahan. The Red Wings held the Hurricanes to just five shots on goal during the third period.

Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player of the playoffs. He scored five goals and 11 points while averaging over 31 minutes of ice time, per game, in the postseason.

During the postgame celebration, Bowman put on a pair of skates to carry the Stanley Cup around the ice at the Joe Louis Arena. This was his ninth and final championship as a head coach in the NHL. Shortly after putting the Cup down, he announced his retirement from coaching.

Worth the Wait in Hollywood

The Los Angeles Kings played the longest game in their franchise history on June 13, 2014, and it ended with the greatest possible result. The Kings beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in double overtime of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to win their second championship in three seasons.

Even though it wasn’t a Game 7, Justin Williams opened the scoring six minutes into the game. The Rangers took a 2-1 lead into the third period after Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle scored in the middle frame. Marian Gaborik’s 14th goal of the playoffs tied the game eight minutes into the third period.

Late in the second overtime, Alec Martinez got to a rebound off a Tyler Toffoli shot and roofed the puck over Henrik Lundqvist to start the celebration. This was the second straight series Martinez ended in overtime after he scored the game-winning goal of Game 7 of the Western Conference Final in extra time.

Williams, who celebrated the third Stanley Cup win of his career, won the Conn Smythe. He scored nine goals and 25 points in 26 playoff games.

A Busy Day at the Hall

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced four separate classes for induction on this date over the years. On June 13, 1961, Syl Apps, Charlie Conacher, Hap Day, George Hainsworth, Joe Hall, Percy LeSueur, Maurice Richard, Milt Schmidt, and Oliver Seibert all received their calls to the hall.

Five years later, on June 13, 1966, Ted Lindsay, Max Bentley, Frank Brimsek, Ted Kennedy, Toe Blake, Elmer Lach, Ken Reardon, Butch Bouchard, Babe Pratt, and NHL President Clarence Campbell were announced as the Hall of Fame’s newest class.

Lindsay got the call to the Hall on this date in 1966. (THW Archives)

On June 13, 1974, they announced that Tommy Ivan, Dickie Moore, Art Coulter, Billy Burch, Tomas Dunderdale, Charles Hay, and former NHL referee-in-chief Carl Voss would all be joining the Hall of Fame.

Finally, on June 13, 1988, an impressive group of Brad Park, Tony Esposito, Guy Lafleur, and Buddy O’Connor were elected to the Hall of Fame along with builder Ed Snider and official George Hayes.

Odds & Ends

In addition to the Hall of Fame class being announced on June 13, 1961, a pair of other notable moves were also made. First, the Montreal Canadiens traded Doug Harvey to the Rangers for Lou Fontinato. Although some had felt the 14-year veteran was on the downside of his career, Harvey won the Norris Trophy, for being the NHL’s top defenseman, in his first season with the Rangers. It was the 37-year-olds third straight Norris Trophy win and seventh of his career. Fontinato, also a defenseman, played two seasons with the Canadiens before retiring.

Also, on this day, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired defenseman Al Arbour from the Chicago Blackhawks during the NHL’s annual Intra-League Draft. While Arbour is mostly remembered for being one of the greatest head coaches in league history, he had a very long career as a player. He played in 626 games, over 14 seasons, with the Red Wings, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, and St. Louis Blues.

On June 13, 1974, Don Cherry was named the new head coach of the Boston Bruins, replacing Bep Guidolin. He went 231-105-64 in his five seasons with the Bruins, taking them to back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals in 1977 and 1978. He also won the Jack Adams Award, following the 1975-76 season, for being voted the best coach in the league.

In more coaching history, the Pittsburgh Penguins hired Johnny Wilson on June 13, 1977, to be their new head coach. He became the first person to be the head coach of four different NHL teams after stints with the Kings, Red Wings, and Colorado Rockies. He spent three seasons behind the bench in Pittsburgh.

One year later, The NHL’s Board of Governors unanimously agreed to a merger of the Cleveland Barons and the Minnesota North Stars. The team kept the North Stars’ name, colors, and history, while the Gund family, the owners of the Barons, became the principal owners of the team. A dispersal draft took place two days later.

Heading into the NHL-World Hockey Association merger of 1979, NHL teams were allowed to reclaim WHA players that they still held the rights to. To help the four WHA teams coming into the league from losing all their best players, they were allowed to protect two goaltenders and two skaters from being claimed. The most notable of these “priority selections” was Wayne Gretzky by the Edmonton Oilers.

Wayne Gretzky
Protecting Gretzky was an easy move for the Oilers. (Photo by B Bennett/Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

On June 13, 1986, the Red Wings named Jacques Demers as their new head coach, replacing Park, who had been fired 10 days earlier. Demers spent four seasons in Detroit and won back-to-back Jack Adams Awards in 1987 and 1988. He is still the only coach ever to win the award in consecutive seasons.

The Buffalo Sabres used the first pick of the NHL Entry Draft on June 13, 1987, to select Pierre Turgeon. At 17 years and 269 days, he became the youngest player ever to be drafted first overall. The impressive draft class also included Shanahan (2nd, New Jersey Devils), Glen Wesley (3rd, Bruins), Joe Sakic (15th, Quebec Nordiques), John LeClair (33rd, Canadiens), Eric Desjardins (38th, Canadiens), Mathieu Schneider (44th, Canadiens) and the steal of the draft, Theoren Fleury (166th, Calgary Flames).

The Devils advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final on June 13, 1995, by beating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. After the Flyers open the scoring early in the first period, the Devils scored four straight goals, including the game-winner by Randy McKay in the second period. Stephane Richer scored a goal and added an assist, while Scott Niedermayer assisted on two goals.

The Bruins avoided elimination on June 13, 2011, by beating the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. They roared out to a 4-0 lead with goals from Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Andrew Ference, and Michael Ryder in a span of 4:14 of the first period. 43-year-old forward Mark Recchi picked up three assists to become the oldest player to ever have a three-point in the Final.

The Blackhawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on June 13, 2015, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Antoine Vermette scored the game-winning goal off a rebound early in the third period to give Chicago a 3-2 series lead. It was his fourth goal of the playoffs and third game-winner.

Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin joined Eddie Johnston and Gerry Cheevers as goaltenders who have won four starts in a row in the playoffs when Varlamov made 30 saves in the Islanders’ 2-1 win over the Lightning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on June 13, 2021.

Happy Birthday to You

A total of 22 players who have made it to the NHL ice were born on this date. Among the June 13 birthdays are Doug Crossman (62), Valeri Bure (48), Matt Bradley (46), Radim Vrbata (41), Jason Spezza (39), Ryan McDonagh (33), Andreas Martinsen (32), Oliver Wahlstrom (22), and Bowen Byram (21).

*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen and updated by Matthew Zator

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