Oct. 5 is remembered for a lot of firsts in NHL history. There were plenty of first goals by future hockey legends, first games by franchises playing in new cities and even the first-ever shootout. Plus, a pair of Hockey Hall of Famers were born on the same day.
History Made in ‘83
The second night of the 1983-84 season, Oct. 5, 1983, turned out to be a pretty historic evening.
Wayne Gretzky scored a goal and picked up an assist in the Edmonton Oilers’ 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. This began his record-setting 51-game point streak. He went on to score at least one point in every game until Jan. 28, 1984.
The Detroit Red Wings and Winnipeg Jets opened their seasons with a crazy 6-6 tie at the old Winnipeg Arena. Steve Yzerman scored his first career NHL goal, late in the first period, to give the Red Wings a 3-1 lead. Eddie Johnstone and Bob Manno had the assists on the play. Yzerman scored another 691 goals, all in a Red Wings uniform, before retiring in 2006.
Marcel Dionne scored a pair of goals in the Los Angeles Kings’ 3-3 with the Minnesota North Stars. His second tally of the night gave him 545 goals in his career, passing Montreal Canadiens legend Maurice Richard for fifth all-time in league history.
Latest News & Highlight
Finally, goaltender Tom Barrasso made his first NHL start for the Buffalo Sabres at the Memorial Auditorium. He made 21 saves in a 5-3 win over the Hartford Whalers. Gilbert Perreault and Dave Andreychuk each scored with Phil Housley picking up two assists. This was the first of 369 wins during Barrasso’s 19-season career.
A Night of Firsts in ‘89
The 1989-90 season started with a bang on Oct. 5, 1989. Starting at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, where the Sabres beat the Quebec Nordiques 4-3. Rookie Alexander Mogilny scored his first career goal, on his first shot just 20 seconds into his very first shift. A handful of Hockey Hall of Famers scored goals that night too as Andreychuk, Guy Lafleur, Michel Goulet and Joe Sakic all found the back of the net.
Mike Modano made his NHL debut for the North Stars on this night. He scored the first of his 561 career goals in a 6-5 win over the visiting New York Islanders.
Veteran Russian defenseman Viacheslav Fetisov played in his first NHL game for the New Jersey Devils. He had an assist in a 6-2 win at the Philadelphia Flyers. Sylvain Turgeon was the hero for the Devils as he scored his fourth career hat trick and first with New Jersey.
Another star from the Soviet Union made his NHL debut on this date when Sergei Makarov took the ice for the Calgary Flames. He scored a goal and added two assists in a big 10-7 win over the Red Wings.
More Firsts in ‘05
The NHL returned to action on Oct. 5, 2005, after an owners’ lockout forced the cancellation of the 2004-05 season. For the first time in league history, all 30 teams play on the same night.
The first overall pick of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Alex Ovechkin, finally made his league debut. He gave us a sneak peek of what was to come over the next 15 seasons by scoring two goals in a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. He became the first player in Washington Capitals franchise history to score two goals in his first game.
Also, the Ottawa Senators and Maple Leafs made history by playing the first game to ever be decided by a shootout. Senators’ captain Daniel Alfredsson scored twice in the third period before beating goaltender Ed Belfour to win the game in the shootout.
Odds & Ends
On Oct. 5, 1932, the Detroit Falcons, formerly the Cougars, changed their name to the Red Wings. They also unveiled their new winged wheel logo and red uniforms which they still wear to this day.
Blackhawks owner James D. Norris believed he had a deal on Oct. 5, 1962, to purchase the contract of Maple Leafs star Frank Mahovlich for $1 million. He paid a $1,000 deposit to Leafs’ co-owner Harold Ballard with the balance to be delivered the next morning. However, the following day, the Maple Leafs gave Mahovlich the contract he was looking for and returned the deposit to Norris.
The Colorado Rockies played their first game on Oct. 5, 1976, after relocating from Kansas City. They beat the Maple Leafs 4-2, with Larry Skinner scoring the first Rockies goal. Exactly six years later, on Oct. 4, 1982, the franchise was on the move again and played their first as the Devils, in New Jersey. They tied 3-3 with the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.
Kevin Stevens set an NHL record for the most points in a season-opening game on Oct. 5, 1990. He scored two goals and added four assists during the Penguins’ 7-4 victory at the Capitals.
The Dallas Stars played their very first game after relocating from Minnesota on Oct. 5, 1993. Neil Broten had a pair of goals in their 6-4 win over the Red Wings at Reunion Arena.
Jarome Iginla scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 5, 1996, for the Flames as they lost 3-1 to the Vancouver Canucks. He went on to score 525 goals in a Calgary sweater, the most in franchise history.
Defenseman Lyle Odelein was named the first captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 5, 2000, just two days before their league debut. He wore the “C” on his sweater for nearly two seasons before he was traded to the Blackhawks in 2002.
On Oct. 5, 2001, the Canadiens signed veteran free-agent forward Doug Gilmour after he spent the previous season with the Sabres. He scored 10 goals and 41 points, in 70 games, during the 2001-02 season. He was dealt to the Maple Leafs at the 2003 trade deadline for a sixth-round draft pick.
The Islanders claimed Michael Grabner off waivers on Oct. 5, 2010, from the Florida Panthers. He scored 34 goals in his first season with the team.
Defenseman Dan Boyle announced his retirement on Oct. 5, 2016, after 17 seasons in the NHL. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Panthers in 1998. He was part of the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup championship. In total, he played in 1,093 games for the Panthers, Lightning, San Jose Sharks and Rangers.
The Red Wings opened their new home, the state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena, on Oct. 5, 2017. Opening night was a success as Henrik Zetterberg scored late in the third period to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Goaltender Jimmy Howard made 37 saves to earn the 200th victory of his career.
On Oct. 5, 2018, three-time Norris Trophy winner, Erik Karlsson, made his debut with the Sharks. He picked up an assist on Kevin Labanc’s overtime goal to beat the Kings at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Happy Birthday to You
An impressive group of 23 current and former NHL players were born on Oct. 5. Goaltender Lorne Chabot was the first, who was born on this date in 1900. He won 200 games for six different teams between 1927 and 1937. The most recent birthday boy to play in the league was Vladimir Tkachev, turning 28 today, who debuted with the Los Angeles Kings in 2021.
Roy Conacher was the first of three Hockey Hall of Famers to be born on this date, back in 1916. He scored 226 goals and 427 points, in 490 games, for the Boston Bruins, Red Wings and Blackhawks. He was the last of the three Conacher brothers to be inducted into the Hall, but he finally joined Charlie and Lionel in 1998.
It is amazing to think that legends Patrick Roy and Mario Lemieux were born on the same day, Oct. 5, 1965. Roy was one of the greatest goaltenders of all time with 551 wins, 66 shutouts and four Stanley Cup wins.
Lemieux scored 690 goals and is eighth all-time in scoring with 1,723 points. He won back-to-back championships in 1991 and 1992.
Other notable players born on this date include Fredrik Olausson (57), Nate Thompson (39), Grabner (36), Logan Shaw (32), Oar Lindholm (32), and Sven Baertschi (31).
*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen
Sign up for our NHL History Substack newsletter