June 28 saw two huge trades go down that benefitted a pair of Original 6 franchises for years to come. Also, this date in 1994 was one of the busiest in recent memory with drafts, trades, and coaching moves. Finally, it saw the beginning of a Stanley Cup Final in 2021, a rarity in the history of the NHL’s postseason. So let’s hop aboard the THW time machine and journey back through the decades to relive it all.
Canadiens Change Their Future
The first step in the Montreal Canadiens dominating the 1970s occurred on June 28, 1964. This was the day they acquired the goaltender that would lead them to six Stanley Cup championships over the course of eight seasons.
The Canadiens traded Guy Allen and Paul Reid to the rival Boston Bruins in exchange for Alex Campbell and a 16-year-old goaltender named Ken Dryden. The Bruins used the 14th pick of the 1964 NHL Amateur Draft to select Dryden but traded him just a few weeks later.
Dryden opted to play for Cornell University before beginning his professional career, where he went 76-4-1. He finally signed with Montreal and made his NHL debut late in the 1970-71 season. After winning all six of his starts, he was named the starting goaltender for the playoffs. Not only did he win the first of his six Stanley Cups, but he also won the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the playoffs’ most valuable player.
He went on to win the Calder Trophy for being the best rookie of the 1971-72 season by going 39-8-15 with a .930 save percentage (SV%), 2.24 goals-against average (GAA), and eight shutouts. He won five Vezina Trophies during his career, which at the time was given to the goaltender who allowed the fewest goals during the regular season.
Dryden retired at age 31 with 258 wins, a 2.24 GAA, and his .922 SV% is still the best in franchise history. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. Meanwhile, Allen and Reid, who the Bruins got in return for Dryden, never played in the NHL.
A Crazy Day in 1994
June 2, 1994, went down as one of the busiest days in hockey history. In addition to the NHL Entry Draft taking place, there were some big trades made, a coaching change and the final Supplemental Draft to ever occur.
Maple Leafs Pull Off Huge Deal
Just prior to the start of the draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Wendel Clark, Sylvain Lefebvre, Landon Wilson, and their first-round pick (12th overall) to the Quebec Nordiques for Mats Sundin, Garth Butcher, Todd Warriner, and their first-round pick (16th overall).
Clark, who was beloved in Toronto, only played one season with the Nordiques, scoring 12 goals and 30 points in 37 games. He briefly became a member of the Colorado Avalanche but never suited up for them as he was traded to the New York Islanders for Claude Lemieux, just days before the 1995-96 season. The Islanders traded him back to the Maple Leafs, in March of 1996, with Mathieu Schneider and D.J. Smith for Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty, Kenny Jonsson, and Toronto’s first-round pick in the 1997 Entry Draft. That pick was used to select goaltender Roberto Luongo.
Meanwhile, Sundin went on to become the Maple Leafs’ all-time leader in scoring with 987 points. He eventually spent two and a half of his 13 seasons in Toronto playing with Clark.
Jovanovski Goes First
Later that day, the 1994 NHL Entry Draft kicked off in Hartford, CT. The Florida Panthers used the first overall pick to select defenseman Ed Jovanovski. He would go on to play seven seasons, over two separate stints, with the Panthers. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim took defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky with the second pick, and the Ottawa Senators rounded out the top three with forward Radek Bonk.
Some of the other notable members of the 1994 draft class include Ryan Smyth (6th, Edmonton Oilers), Jeff Friesen (11th, San Jose Sharks), Jose Theodore (44th, Canadiens), Patrik Elias (51st, New Jersey Devils), Sheldon Souray (71st, Devils), Chris Drury (72nd, Nordiques), Milan Hejduk (87th, Nordiques), Marty Turco (124th, Dallas Stars), Daniel Alfredsson (133rd, Senators), Tim Thomas (217th, Nordiques), Evgeni Nabokov (219th, Sharks), Tomas Vokoun (226th, Canadiens), Steve Sullivan (233rd, Devils) and Tomas Holmstrom (257th, Red Wings)
Other Notable Moves
In addition to hosting the Entry Draft, the Hartford Whalers made a coaching change on this date. They hired Paul Holmgren for the second time, replacing Pierre Maguire. He only made 12 games into the 1995-96 season before being replaced by Paul Maurice, who took the team, in Carolina, to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final.
Nordiques used the pick acquired in the Clark deal and traded it, along with Ron Sutter, to the Islanders for defenseman Uwe Krupp and their first-round pick. Krupp played four seasons for the franchise and scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Avalanche in 1996.
From 1986 until 1994, the NHL held an annual Supplemental Draft, which was used for teams to select college players who were not eligible for the Entry Draft. 10 players were selected in the final Supplemental Draft on this. The most successful player of those chosen was Steve Rucchin, who was picked by the Mighty Ducks. He went to score 153 goals and 432 points over the next 10 seasons in Anaheim.
Odds & Ends
On June 28, 1985, the Red Wings signed undrafted free agent Adam Oates after wrapping up his college career at RPI. He spent the first four seasons of his 19 in the NHL in Detroit, where he scored 54 goals and 199 points. Following the 1988-89 season, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues, along with Paul MacLean, for Bernie Federko and Tony McKegney. He finished his career with 341 goals and 1,079 assists and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
Greg Johnston had a very busy day on June 28, 1990, as he was a member of three different teams over the course of a couple of hours. First, he was traded by the Bruins to the New York Rangers for Chris Nilan. The Rangers then traded him to the Maple Leafs for Tie Domi and Mark LaForest. He played in just four NHL games over two seasons with Toronto.
The Devils hired Jacques Lemaire as their new head coach on June 28, 1993, replacing Herb Brooks. He took the Devils to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final in his first season, and they won the Stanley Cup in 1995. He held onto the job through the 1997-98 season. Lemaire returned to New Jersey for a second stint in 2009 after spending eight seasons as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild.
The Hockey Hall of Fame announced a very impressive induction class on June 28, 2007. Four players were voted on their first year of eligibility; Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, and Scott Stevens.
The 2021 Stanley Cup Final began on June 28, 2021, with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens facing off in a rare Eastern Conference showdown. The Lightning prevailed 5-1 to take a 1-0 series lead with Nikita Kucherov reaching 30 points in the postseason for the second-straight year. He joined Wayne Gretzky (six), Mark Messier (three), Jari Kurri (two) and Mario Lemieux (two) in the feat.
In that same game, Canadiens uber-rookie Cole Caufield became only the second player in NHL history to play in a Cup Final and win the Hobey Baker Award in the same season. Jesperi Kotkaniemi also had a point in the game to become the sixth player in franchise history to score a point in the Cup Final at age 20 or younger. Finally, with Carey Price and Andrei Vasilevskiy facing each other, it was the fourth time since 1981 for fans to see two Vezina Trophy winners meet in the Final and the first since 1999 (Ed Belfour with the Dallas Stars and Dominik Hasek with the Buffalo Sabres).
Happy Birthday to You
The late George Gee was born on this date, in Stratford, Ontario, in 1993. Gee scored 135 goals and 318 points in 551 career NHL games over the span of nine seasons with the Blackhawks and Red Wings. He scored a career-high 20 goals for Chicago during the 1946-47 season. He was traded to Detroit at the beginning of the 1948-47 season and was part of their 1950 Stanley Cup championship team.
Other current and former NHL players born on June 28 include Roland Melanson (62), Brad Larsen (45), Ric Jackman (44), Garret Sparks (29) and Joel Edmundson (29).
*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen and updated by Matthew Zator
Matthew Zator is the assistant managing editor at THW and a writer who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.