Hockey fans in Bean Town have enjoyed what they have seen on this date. Fans in the Windy City can’t complain either. This date has also seen numerous players join the National Hockey League via the draft and a whole new franchise was added to the mix, as well.
The Unbeatable Bruins
The Boston Bruins have enjoyed playing on June 15 as they are undefeated in a pair of Stanley Cup Final games. On this date in 2011, the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0, in Game 7 of the Final, to win their first Stanley Cup since 1972.
Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron both scored a pair of goals while goaltender Tim Thomas stopped all 37 shots that he faced. Marchand became the first rookie to ever score two goals in Game 7 of the Final. The Bruins became just the third team in the history of the league to win Game 7 of the Final on the road.
The Canucks were dejected after the game as they held series leads of both 2-0 and 3-2 before losing the series on home ice.
Thomas was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player of the playoffs. He went 16-9 with a .940 save percentage, 1.98 goals-against average and four shutouts in 25 postseason games. He held the Canucks to just eight goals during the Final, the fewest ever in a series that went to all seven games.
Two years later, on June 15, 2013, the Bruins were back in the Final and were taking on the Chicago Blackhawks in the second game of the series. After losing Game 1 in triple overtime, Daniel Paille scored at 13:48 of overtime to give the Bruins a 2-1 win to tie the series.
The Blackhawks came out firing with 19 shots in the first period. Goaltender Tuukka Rask kept his team in the game by only giving up a goal to Patrick Sharp during the onslaught. The Bruins held the Blackhawks to just 16 shots on goal the rest of the night. Chris Kelly’s first goal of the postseason tied the game late in the second period to set up Paille’s overtime winner.
Blackhawks Celebrate at Home
It wasn’t all bad news on the date for the Blackhawks. On June 15, 2015, they won their third championship in six seasons by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0, in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Defenseman Duncan Keith scored the series-winning goal late in the second period before Patrick Kane doubled the lead with just over five minutes to play in the third period. Corey Crawford stopped all 25 shots he saw from the Lightning to become just the fifth goalie since 1976 to earn a shutout in a Cup-clinching victory.
The core of the Blackhawks finally got to celebrate a Stanley Cup win on home ice after the championship-clinching wins in 2010 and 2013 were both on the road. This was the first championship won in Chicago since 1938.
Keith joined his teammates Jonathan Toews and Kane as Conn Smythe Trophy winners. He scored three goals and tied with Ryan Getzlaf for the most assists in the playoffs with 18. He finished the postseason with a plus-16 rating while averaging over 31 minutes per game.
A Pair of Drafts
The 18 teams of the NHL got together in Montreal, on June 15, 1978, for the annual Amateur Draft. The Minnesota North Stars used the first overall pick to select center Bobby Smith. In two stints with the North Stars, Smith scored 185 goals and 554 points in 572 games.
Other well-known players drafted on this date include Brad Marsh (11th, Atlanta Flames), Al Secord (16th, Bruins), Joel Quenneville (21st, Toronto Maple Leafs), Curt Fraser (22nd, Canucks), Curt Giles (54th, North Stars), Jim Nill (89th, St. Louis Blues), Keith Action (103rd, Montreal Canadiens), Paul MacLean (109th, Blues), Craig MacTavish (153rd, Bruins), Darryl Sutter (179th, Blackhawks) and Viacheslav Fetisov (201st, Canadiens).
The NHL Entry Draft took place in Toronto, on June 15, 1985, and the hometown Maple Leafs used the first overall pick to take Wendel Clark. He became one of the most beloved players in franchise history, scoring 260 goals and 441 points in 608 games over three different stints with the team.
The 1985 draft also welcomed in such players as Craig Simpson (2nd, Pittsburgh Penguins), Ulf Dahlen (7th, New York Rangers), Dave Manson (11th, Blackhawks), Sean Burke (24th, New Jersey Devils), Joe Nieuwendyk (27th, Calgary Flames), Mike Richter (28th, Rangers), Eric Weinrich (32nd, Devils), Nelson Emerson (44th, Blues), Bill Ranford (52nd, Bruins), Fredrik Olausson (81st, Winnipeg Jets), Randy McKay (113th, Detroit Red Wings), Kelly Buchberger (188th, Edmonton Oilers), Gord Murphy (189th, Philadelphia Flyers) and Igor Larionov (214th, Canucks).
Odds & Ends
June 15, 1966, was a very busy day for veteran defenseman Al MacNeil. He started the day as a member of the Blackhawks but ended the day being part of half of the teams in the league. He was selected by the Canadiens during the NHL’s annual Intra-League Draft. Shortly after that, he was then claimed by the Rangers, who he played the 1966-67 season with.
The Oilers promoted added general manager to the duties for head coach Glen Sather on June 15, 1980. He held the job for 20 years and the team won five Stanley Cups in six Final appearances, had six division championships and 16 trips to the playoffs under his reign. Sather drafted such stars as Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr, Steve Smith and Andy Moog who all played a role in the success of the 1980s.
On June 15, 1987, the Hockey Hall of Fame named its newest members: Bobby Clarke, Jacques Laperriere, Ed Giacomin and builders John Ziegler (NHL President) and Matt Pavelich (supervisor of officials).
Even though they were Norris Division rivals, the Red Wings and Blues completed a big trade on June 15, 1989. The Blues traded their franchise’s all-time leading scorer Bernie Federko, along with Tony McKegney, to Detroit for Adam Oates and Paul MacLean.
Oates scored a career-high 102 points in his first season with the Blues and followed that up with 115 points in 1990-91. He was traded to the Bruins for Craig Janney and Stephane Quintal during the 1991-92 season. Federko scored 17 goals and 57 points in his lone season with the Red Wings before announcing his retirement.
Rick Bowness was hired as the first coach of the expansion Ottawa Senators on June 15, 1992. He would coach the first 235 games in franchise history, going 38-178-19. He was fired 19 games into the 1995-96 and replaced by Dave Allison.
On that same date, Paul Holmgren was hired as the new head coach of the Hartford Whalers, replacing Jim Roberts. He went 54-93-14 before being let go 12 games into the 1995-96 season and being replaced by Paul Maurice.
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were officially granted membership into the NHL on June 15, 1993. This announcement came just one day after the Florida Panthers joined the league. They made their debut on Oct. 10, 1993, with a 7-2 home loss to the Red Wings.
Speaking of the Red Wings, on this same day, they hired Scotty Bowman as their new head coach, replacing Bryan Murray, who remained on as the general manager. He led one of the most successful eras of hockey in Detroit, the final coaching job of his Hall of Fame career. In his nine seasons behind the Red Wings’ bench, Bowman went 410-193-88 and won three Stanley Cups.
Back to the ice, on June 15, 1999, the Buffalo Sabres beat the Dallas Stars 2-1, in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. Dixon Ward’s second-period goal stood as the game-winner as the Sabres evened the series at 2-2. Goaltender Dominick Hasek made 30 saves to secure the victory.
Happy Birthday to You
June 15 is the birth date of 24 current and former NHL players. The most notable players among the group are Sandy McCarthy (48), Dean McAmmond (47), Zac Rinaldo (30), Boone Jenner (27) and the late Hall of Famer Marcel Pronovost, who played 20 seasons with the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.