Today in Hockey History: Nov. 30

This date in 2005 saw a major trade that forever changed two franchises. Also, one of the greatest players in National League Hockey history hit a significant milestone. In addition, Nov. 30 was a very busy date on Long Island and for some of the biggest names in the game

A Huge Date in 2005

Nov. 30, 2005, is a date that makes Boston Bruins fans cringe and San Jose Sharks fans give high fives. This is when the Bruins traded team captain Joe Thornton to the Sharks for forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau and defenseman Brad Stuart.

Joe Thornton
Thronton was captain of the Bruins when he was traded. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Thornton had nine goals and 33 in the first 23 games of the season before the trade. He had taken a ton of criticism after going pointless during the Bruins’ seven-game loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the previous postseason. The team got off to a rough start and decided to make a jumbo change.

The move west did not affect Thornton in the least. He scored 20 goals and picked up 72 assists in 58 games with his new team. He finished the 2005-06 season with 29 goals and a league-leading 125 points, to earn him the Art Ross Trophy. He was also the only player to ever win the Hart Trophy, for being voted as the league’s MVP, after switching teams during the season.

Thornton’s time with the Sharks just came to an end in October when he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played in 1,104 games in San Jose, scoring 251 goals and 1,055 points. Meanwhile, the trio of players that shipped out to Boston combined for 136 goals and 260 points in 506 total games.

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
The Sharks were big winners of the Thornton trade. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

On this same date. Sergei Fedorov made history during the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 3-2 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild. He became the first Russia-born player to ever play in 1,000 NHL games. He played in the third-most games of all Russian NHL players with 1,248 games, trailing only Alexei Kovalev and Sergei Gonchar. Alex Ovechkin is the only Russian-born player to have scored more than Fedorov’s 1,179 points.

Mario Has a Super Day

Mario Lemieux had big performances on this date in back-to-back years. First, on Nov. 30, 1995, scored four goals for his 34th career hat trick. Markus Naslund added four assists for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they beat the Bruins 9-6 in Boston.

Exactly one year later, Lemieux became just the ninth player in league history to score 1,400 points. He hit this major milestone by scoring and goal and adding three assists in a 6-2 win over the Bruins. His teammate, Ron Francis, picked up two helpers during the second period to become the ninth player to ever record 900 career assists.

Hall of Fame Moments

On Nov. 30, 1977, Phil Esposito scored a hat trick to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-0 road win at the St. Louis Blues. The three-goal night gave him 605 in his career and moved him ahead of Bobby Hull for the second-most in league history, behind only Gordie Howe. He retired with 717 goals, which still has him in sixth place on the all-time goals list.

Peter Stastny made history, on Nov. 30, 1980, in the Quebec Nordiques’ 7-3 loss to the New York Islanders. With his assist in the defeat, he became the first rookie ever to have at least one point in each of his first 16 NHL games.

Peter Stastny of the Quebec Nordiques
Stastny had a great start to his NHL career. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Bryan Trottier played in his 1,200th career NHL game, on Nov. 30, 1991, as the Penguins won 5-1 at the Philadelphia Flyers to extend their undefeated streak to six games (5-0-1).

Grant Fuhr became the 11th goaltender in league history to win 300 games, on Nov. 30, 1995, when he led the Blues to a 4-1 win at the Winnipeg Jets. He finished his career with 403 total wins, the 12th most on the all-time list.

One year later, on Nov. 30, 1996, Ed Belfour became the third goaltender in Chicago Blackhawks team history to win 200 games with a 5-3 win at the Los Angeles Kings. Tony Amonte was the difference-maker on offense with the third hat trick of his career.

Mats Sundin became the 13th player to score 200 goals as a member of the Maple Leafs, on Nov. 30, 2000, when he scored in a 6-4 win against the Islanders.

Good Times on Long Island

The Islanders were a very busy team on this date. Starting on Nov. 30, 1979, when Duane Sutter made his NHL debut, becoming the second of five Sutter brothers to play in the league. He scored the first two goals of his career. He was inserted into the lineup after Billy Harris was scratched after playing in all 576 games in franchise history.

Billy Smith became the first goaltender to earn 200 victories as a member of the Islanders, on Nov. 30, 1982, in a 3-2 win at St. Louis.

Billy Smith
Smith is the greatest goalie in Islanders history. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Two years later, on Nov. 30, 1984, John Tonelli scored a goal and added three assists to lead the Islanders to a 5-2 win at the Jets.

Rookie goaltender Mark Fitzpatrick recorded the first shutout of his NHL career, on Nov. 30, 1989, with a 2-0 win in Chicago. Alan Kerr had a goal and an assist to lead the offense.

Pierre Turgeon scored his third career hat trick, and first with the Islanders, on Nov. 30, 1991, in a 6-1 blow out of the Capitals. Steve Thomas chipped in with four assists. Five years later, on Nov. 30, 1996, Thomas scored his 300th career goal as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

Finally, on Nov. 30, 1993, current Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green scored the only hat trick of his playing career to lead the Islanders to a 6-4 win over the Capitals.

Odds & Ends

The Blackhawks and the Canadiens skated to a 3-3 tie, on Nov. 30, 1954, in a game played in Omaha, Nebraska. The Blackhawks played six “home” games in different sites during this season with two games in Omaha, St. Louis and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Val Fonteyne played in his 185th straight game without a penalty, on Nov. 30, 1968, in the Penguins 4-2 to win at the Kings. His NHL-record streak ended the following evening when he was called for a minor penalty during a game at the Oakland Seals.

The Buffalo Sabres snapped the Bruins 31-game unbeaten streak, on Nov. 30, 1976, with a 6-2 victory. Andre Savard scored a goal and added two assists to lead the offense.

Former first-overall pick Bobby Smith scored his 1,000th NHL point, on Nov. 30, 1991, with an assist. He later added a goal in the Minnesota North Stars’ 4-3 road win at the Maple Leafs.

Later that night, the Sharks won their first road game in franchise history with a 2-1 victory at the Calgary Flames. Steve Bozek and David Bruce scored while goaltender Jeff Hackett made 26 saves.

Rick Tocchet scored a goal for his 700th career NHL point, on Nov. 30, 1995, in the Kings; 3-2 win over the Capitals.

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist led the Rangers to 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, on Nov. 30, 2015, by making 33 saves. This was his 352nd career victory, which moved him ahead of Terry Sawchuk for the third-most wins with one franchise.

Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers
Lundqvist was a legend on Broadway. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Daniel Sedin had a goal and two assists, on Nov. 30, 2017, to lead the Canucks to the 5-3 road win at the Nashville Predators. He became the 87th player in league history to score 1,000 points, less than a year after his brother, Henrik, accomplished this same feat. The are the only brothers to both score 1,000 NHL points.

Happy Birthday to You

A total of 19 current and former NHL players have been born on this date. The best of this group are Curt Giles (62), Dave Barr (60), Jason Pominville (38) and the late Sweeney Schriner and Tod Sloan.


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