May 28 has given us a lot of National Hockey League memories through the decades. Among them are two Hall of Famers calling it a career, numerous Stanley Cup Final victories, and a huge swing and miss in the draft. Let’s all hop aboard the THW time machine and go back through the years to relive all the best moments from this date.
Patrick Roy Hangs Them Up
Whether you loved or hated Roy during his playing days, you have to respect what he accomplished in the NHL. Many argue that he is the greatest goaltender ever to put on a pair of skates, and it is hard to disagree with that line of thinking.
Roy officially announced his retirement on May 28, 2003, after 19 seasons in the league with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. He qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in all but two of those seasons. He won four Stanley Cups, two with both franchises, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the playoff’s most valuable player in three of those championship runs. He won three Vezina Trophies for being voted the league’s top goaltender and was a six-time All-Star.
The NHL record book is full of Roy’s achievements. In the regular season, he is third in games played (1,029), second in wins (551), 15th in shutouts (66), and he had the second-most seasons of at least 30 wins (13). The postseason is where Roy really showed his brilliance. He is first all-time in playoff games played (247) and wins (151), and is second in shutouts (23).
His numbers were matched by an incredible competitive spirit and fiery attitude. He was never afraid to speak his mind, on or off the ice. Something his teams fed off of that, and other times it got him in hot water. Regardless, it was part of what put him on the Mount Rushmore of NHL goaltenders.
More May Memories in Pittsburgh
Mario Lemieux continued his monstrous postseason on May 28, 1992, in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Lemieux scored a pair of goals in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The goals were his 15th and 16th of the 1992 postseason, and they gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead in the series.
On May 28, 1996, goaltender Tom Barrasso recorded his fifth career playoff shutout as the Penguins won 3-0 over the visiting Florida Panthers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. J.J. Daigneault, Petr Nedved, and Tomas Sandstrom score to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead in the series. This was their final win of the season.
It was Sidney Crosby’s turn to lead the Penguins to a playoff win 12 years later. On May 28, 2008, Crosby scored a pair of goals in a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. This was the Penguins’ first win in the series.
Oilers vs Flyers
The Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers played a pair of the Stanley Cup Final games on this date, exactly two years apart. On May 28, 1985, Paul Coffey and Charlie Huddy each scored a goal and two assists to lead the Oilers to a 5-3 win over the Flyers in Game 4 of the Final.
Two years later, the Flyers get revenge as they forced a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final on May 28, 1987. The Flyers, trailing 2-0 after the first period, get goals from Lindsay Carson, Brian Propp, and Daigneault to keep their season alive. Goaltender Ron Hextall made 30 saves and was named the game’s First Star.
Odds & Ends
The 1974 NHL Amateur Draft was held on his date in Montreal. The expansion Washington Capitals had the first overall pick, and they used it to select defenseman Greg Joly, who played just 98 games for the team before being traded. The New York Islanders used the second pick to take Bryan Trottier, who was a huge part of four straight Stanley Cup wins on Long Island. That’s one the Capitals probably wish they could have back.
On May 28, 1981, Jean Ratelle announced his retirement from the NHL. He scored 491 goals and 1267 points in 1280 career games with the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. He was part of the 1975 trade, along with Brad Park and Joe Zanussi, that sent Phil Esposito to the Big Apple. Ratelle was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985.
Two separate coin-toss ceremonies were held in Pittsburgh on May 28, 1992. The Ottawa Senators won the right to choose first in the upcoming expansion draft, while the Tampa Bay Lightning won the right to choose first in the upcoming entry draft.
The Senators drafted goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz from the Hartford Whalers with their first expansion draft pick. He started and won the first-ever game in Senators’ history, a 5-3 victory over the Canadiens in October of 1992. The Lightning selected defenseman Roman Hamrlik with the first pick of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. The Senators grabbed Russian forward Alexei Yashin at number two.
Claude Lemieux scored twice on May 28, 1995, as the New Jersey Devils beat the Penguins 4 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal. The Devils advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, where they had a memorable series against the rival Flyers.
On May 28, 1999, rookie Chris Drury scored in overtime to give the Avalanche a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final. Colorado stormed out to a 2-0 lead with early goals from Joe Sakic and Shjon Podein. The Stars got a second-period power-play goal from Jamie Langenbrunner before Brett Hull ties the game with less than four minutes to play in regulation. Drury’s goal evened the series at 2-2.
The Anaheim Ducks and Senators opened the Stanley Cup Final on May 28, 2007. Ottawa took a 2-1 lead into the third period behind goals from Mike Fisher and Wade Redden. Ryan Getzlaf tied the game early in the third frame before Travis Moen scores the game-winning goal with less than three minutes to play.
Justin Williams lived up to his “Mr. Game 7” nickname on May 28, 2013. He scored both goals in the Los Angeles Kings’ 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals. It was Williams’ fourth career Game 7, and he scored at least one goal in all of them, becoming the first player in NHL history to do so.
A year later, Williams and Kings had no answer for Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks superstar has four assists, including on Michal Handzus’ double-overtime goal, in a 5-4 victory in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. Kane became the first player since Henrik Sedin in 2011 to have four assists in a conference final game.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural dream season continued on May 28, 2018. They beat the Capitals 6-4 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Tomas Nosek scored the eventual game-winning goal to break the 4-4 tie midway through the final frame and then added an empty-net goal for good measure. This was the last victory of the season for the Golden Knights as the Capitals went on to win the next four games.
Happy Birthday to You
There are 32 men who left their mark on the ice and behind the bench born on this date. The biggest names among them include Terry Crisp (78), Errol Thompson (71), Ron Wilson (66), Mark Howe (66), Doug Hicks (66), Damian Rhodes (52), Todd Simpson (48), David Perron (33), Ben Thomas (25), and Erik Cernak (24). The late Hall of Fame defenseman Reginald “Red” Horner was also born on this date in 1909. He led the NHL in penalty minutes for eight straight seasons (1933-1940), a record that still stands.
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.