A pair of games were played on June 22 and both of them saw the winner move two within one win of the National Hockey League’s ultimate prize. This date has also seen a very memorable first-overall draft pick, the sale of an “Original Six” franchise and plenty of moves off the ice.
One Win Away
The New Jersey Devils hosted their first-ever Stanley Cup Final game on June 22, 1995. They beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2, in Game 3 of the Final, to take a commanding 3-0 series lead after winning the first two games on the road.
Bruce Driver’s first goal of the playoffs, on the power play, gave the Devils a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Claude Lemieux doubled the lead before the end of the frame. Neal Broten and Randy McKay scored in the middle frame to build up a 4-0 lead before Bobby Holik gave the Devils a five-goal advantage with a third-period power-play tally.
Things got rather feisty during the final frame as the two teams combined for 32 penalty minutes, including eight roughing minors. Sergei Federov and Steve Yzerman scored late power-play goals for the Red Wings, but they were not able to mount a serious comeback.
The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 3-1, on June 22, 2013, in Game 5 of the Final, to take a 3-2 series lead. Patrick Kane was the hero with a pair of goals, his eighth and ninth of the postseason. The first came late in the opening period, with the eventual game-winning being scored early in the second frame.
Zdeno Chara made things interesting with a goal less than four minutes into the third period, but the Bruins were unable to get any closer. Dave Bolland iced the game with an empty-net goal in the final seconds of the game. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, who gave up five goals to his glove side in the previous game, rebounded with a big 24-save performance to get his team to within one win of the Stanley Cup.
Power Forwards Go First
On June 22, 1991, the 22 teams of the NHL got together in Buffalo, NY for the annual NHL Entry Draft. The Quebec Nordiques used the first overall pick to select Eric Lindros, despite him saying he doesn’t want to play for them. Lindros lives up to his word and sits out the entire 1991-92 season before he is traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Other notable members of the 1991 draft class are Scott Niedermayer (3rd, Devils), Peter Forsberg (6th, Flyers), Brian Rolston (11th, Devils), Alex Kovalev (15th, Rangers), Markus Naslund (16th, Pittsburgh Penguins), Glen Murray (18th, Bruins), Ray Whitney (23rd, San Jose Sharks), Ziggy Palffy (26th, New York Islanders), Sandis Ozolinsh (30th, Sharks), Jozef Stumpel (40th, Bruins), Chris Osgood (54th, Red Wings), Michael Nylander (59th, Hartford Whalers), Mike Knuble (76th, Red Wings), Alexei Zhitnik (81st, Los Angeles Kings) and Sean O’Donnell (123rd, Buffalo Sabres).
Toronto hosted the NHL Entry Draft on June 22, 2002, with the league’s 30 teams making nine rounds worth of draft picks. The Columbus Blue Jackets had the first pick overall and they used it to select Rick Nash. He went on to score 289 goals and 547 points, both franchise records, in 674 games for the Blue Jackets before he was traded to the Rangers in 2012.
Some of the other big picks made over that weekend were Kari Lehtonen (2nd, Atlanta Thrashers), Jay Bouwmeester (3rd, Florida Panthers), Joffrey Lupul (7th, Anaheim Ducks), Alexander Semin (13th, Washington Capitals), Alex Steen (24th, Toronto Maple Leafs), Cam Ward (25th, Cam Ward), Trevor Daley (43rd, Dallas Stars), Duncan Keith (54th, Blackhawks), Johnny Boychuk (61st, Colorado Avalanche), Frans Nielsen (87th, Islanders), Valtteri Filppula (95th, Red Wings), James Wisniewski (156th, Blackhawks), Maxime Talbot (234th, Penguins), Dennis Wideman (241st, Sabres) and Jonathan Ericsson (291st, Red Wings).
Red Wings Sold
Mike Ilitch purchased the Red Wings, on June 22, 1982, and took them from the “Dead Wings” era to becoming a model franchise for long-term success. Ilitch, the founder of Little Caesar’s pizza, bought the team from Bruce Norris, whose family had owned the team since 1932.
The Red Wings won four Stanley Cups and were able to build a brand-new, state-of-the-art arena with Ilitch at the helm. He also purchased the Detroit Tigers in 1992 and not only got them back to respectability but got a new ballpark built for them as well.
A Busy Day in Vancouver
The Canucks named Bob McCammon as their new head coach on June 22, 1987. He was the 10th head coach in franchise history, replacing Tom Watt. He went 102-156-36, with one playoff appearance with the Canucks, before being let go 54 games into the 1990-91 season.
On June 22, 1991, the Canucks acquired Dave Babych from the Minnesota North Stars in exchange for Tom Kurvers. The veteran defenseman played in seven seasons with the Canucks and was a big part of their run to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final.
Kurvers, a Minnesota native was immediately traded to the Islanders for Craig Ludwig. He currently serves as the general manager of the Iowa Wild, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Minnesota Wild.
They made more news on this date in 1998 when they named Brian Burke as their new general manager. He helped the franchise get back to winning and becoming a draw at the box office during his six years in charge. He drafted Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Kevin Biesksa and Ryan Kesler who became a big part of sustained success in Vancouver.
Odds & Ends
The Montreal Maroons withdrew from the NHL, on June 22, 1938, leaving just seven teams left in the league. Financial difficulties led to the two-time Stanley Cup-winning franchise to suspend play. Despite efforts to revive the franchise, the Maroons officially called it quits in 1947.
On June 22, 1977, John Ziegler is named the fourth president of the NHL, taking over for Clarence Campbell. He held the role for 15 years and helped the league expand by absorbing four teams from the defunct World Hockey Association in 1979. He also helped put the wheels in motion for the major expansion the league saw during the 1990s.
The Penguins named Eddie Johnston as their new head coach, on June 22, 1993, replacing Scotty Bowman. This was his second stint as Penguins’ head coach, having spent three seasons behind the bench in Pittsburgh a decade earlier. He won 153 games over the next four seasons and took the Penguins to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1996.
Mike Gartner was traded, on June 22, 1996, for the fourth time in his career as the Maple Leafs sent him to the Phoenix Coyotes for a fourth-round draft pick. Gartner scored 44 goals and 90 points in 142 games with the Coyotes, the final two seasons of his Hall of Fame career. The Maple Leafs used the draft pick to select Vladimir Antipov, who never played in the NHL.
On that same day, the Stars traded defenseman Kevin Hatcher to the Penguins for fellow blueliner Sergei Zubov. He would go on to play 839 games over the next 12 seasons in Dallas and played a key role in their 1999 Stanley Cup Championship. Zubov was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019.
On June 22, 2000, the Edmonton Oilers named Craig MacTavish as their new head coach, the eighth in team history. He succeeded Kevin Lowe, who was promoted to general manager after the departure of Glen Sather. MacTavish spent the next eight seasons behind the bench in Edmonton, going 301-252-103 and taking them to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.
Happy Birthday to You
A group of 20 current and former NHL players were born on June 22. The most notable players of this lot are Paul Stanton (53), Ilya Bryzgalov (40), Patrick Dwyer (37), Darroll Powe (35), Brendan Mikkelson (33) and Adam Johnson (26).