Today in Hockey History: Oct. 9

The greatest player in the history of the National Hockey League had his fair share of memories on this date throughout his career. Also, on Oct. 9, we’ve seen new franchisees hit the ice for the first time, new players leave their mark on the game, and plenty of personal milestones by some of the all-time greats. So, let’s begin our daily trip back in time to revisit all the great memories from this date.

Gretzky’s Trifecta of Memories

There are very few dates on the calendar where you can’t find something memorable done by Wayne Gretzky. Oct. 9 was very kind to him over the years, starting way back in 1982 when he scored two goals and had an assist in the Edmonton Oilers’ 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The two goals gave him 200 in just 242 games, making him the fastest player to hit this milestone.

Wayne Gretzky #99 of the Edmonton Oilers
Gretzky skates with the puck during a game in 1982. He played for the Oilers from 1979 – 1988. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Fast forward to Oct. 9, 1993, and Gretzky is now a member of the Los Angeles Kings. On this night, he scored two goals and picked up four assists in a 10-3 beating of the Detroit Red Wings. Tomas Sandstrom had helpers on each of Gretzky’s goals on his way to setting a new franchise record with six assists. Defenseman Dominic Lavoie scored the only hat trick of his career, with Gretzky assisting on two of the three goals.

On Oct. 9, 2002, the Kings retired Gretzky’s No. 99 in a pregame ceremony before hosting the Phoenix Coyotes in their season opener. The festivities included the entire team wearing Gretzky jerseys during warmups and unveiling a bronze statue of the Great One outside of the Staples Center.

A Pair of Debuts

The Canucks played their first game in the league on this date in 1970. They hosted the Kings at the old Pacific Coliseum, but Los Angeles spoiled the party with a 3-1 win. Defenseman Barry Wilkins scored the lone Canucks goal and the first in team history.

The Washington Capitals made their NHL debut on Oct. 9, 1974, against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Rookie Jim Hrycuik gave the Capitals an early 1-0 lead with the first goal in franchise history. Hrycuik scored five goals in 21 career NHL games. The game was tied 2-2 heading into the final frame before the Rangers pulled away with a 6-3 victory.

Memories in Montreal

Longtime play-by-play announcer Danny Gallivan called his first Montreal Canadiens game on Oct. 9, 1952. He went on to call over 2,000 Habs games on radio and television. He was the voice of 16 Stanley Cup championships before he retired in 1984.

On Oct. 9, 1971, Guy Lafleur played in his first NHL game. He picked up an assist as the Canadiens tied the Rangers 4-4 at the Forum to extend their opening night unbeaten streak to nine games (6-0-3).

Guy Lafleur #10 of the Montreal Canadiens
Lafleur collected a lot of hardware in Montreal. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

Exactly 11 years later, on Oct. 9, 1982, Lafleur netted the 15th hat trick of his career and added two assists, as the Canadiens lost 8-7 to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

Pete Mahovlich scored his second career hat trick on Oct. 9, 1974, to lead the Canadiens to a 5-5 tie with the New York Islanders. The draw extended the team’s opening night unbeaten streak to 12 straight games (8-0-4).

A Date Full of Firsts

On Oct. 9, 1974, Dave Keon scored a goal and added a pair of assists in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 6-2 win over the Kansas City Scouts. He became the first player ever to score 350 goals in Maple Leafs uniform. He still sits third on the team’s all-time goals list with 365.

Related – Toronto Maple Leafs’ Top-20 Goal Scorers All-Time

Mark Howe became the first defenseman to score two shorthanded goals in the same game on Oct. 9, 1980. The two second-period shorties completed his first-ever hat trick, but his Hartford Whalers lost to the St. Louis Blues, 8-6.

Dale Hawerchuk scored his first career NHL goal on Oct. 9, 1981, just 54 seconds into the game. He added a second goal and a pair of assists in the Winnipeg Jets’ big 8-3 win over the Rangers.

Dale Hawerchuk Winnipeg Jets
Hawerchuk scored his first NHL goal on this date in 1981. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

On Oct. 9, 1983, Tim Kerr and Bill Barber each score just seconds into the game to set the tone in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 7-1 win over the rival Pittsburgh Penguins. Barber became the first player in team history and 19th in league history to score 400 career goals.

Rookie Patrik Stefan scored the first two goals of his NHL career and added an assist on Oct. 9, 1999, as his Atlanta Thrashers tied the visiting Buffalo Sabres 5-5. With the tie, the expansion Thrashers earned their first-ever point in their third game.

A Big Night in 1986

Oct. 9, 1986, was quite an eventful evening as a new NHL season got underway. Before the action started, Ron Greschner was named the captain of the Rangers, replacing Barry Beck. Greschner and Kelly Kisio alternated the captaincy over the next four seasons.

Jacques Martin coached his first game for the Blues and led them to a 4-3 victory at the Kings. This was St. Louis’ ninth straight win on opening night, tying the all-time mark set by the Canadiens between 1954 and 1962.

In this game, Kings’ center Marcel Dionne had two assists to become just the second player in league history to score 1,600 points. Also, Luc Robitaille played in his first NHL game and lit the lamp for the first time.

Marcel Dionne Los Angeles Kings
Dionne made history on Oct. 9, 1986. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

The New York Islanders started their new season with a 3-2 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks. In the loss, Bryan Trottier picked up his 700th career assist.

Eventful Date for Shanahan

Future Hockey Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan made his NHL debut on Oct. 9, 1987, in the New Jersey Devils’ 6-3 win over the Penguins. He picked up his first career point with an assist on Pat Verbeek’s third-period goal.

Exactly nine years later, on Oct. 9, 1996, Shanahan packed his bags for Detroit. The Hartford Whalers traded him, along with Brian Glynn, to the Red Wings for Keith Primeau, Paul Coffey, and a first-round draft pick in 1997.

Brendan Shanahan #14 of the Detroit Red Wings
Shanahan was traded to Detroit on this date in 1996. (Tom Pidgeon /NHLI/Getty Images)

Shanahan spent the next nine seasons in Detroit, where he scored 309 goals and 633 points in 716 games and won three Stanley Cups. Coffey only played 20 games in Hartford before being traded to Philadelphia, while Primeau stuck around for three seasons. The Whalers used the draft pick on Nikos Tselios, who played in just two NHL games.

Odds & Ends

Goaltender Gump Worsley made his NHL debut for the Rangers on Oct. 9, 1952, replacing the injured Chuck Rayner. This was the first of 860 games he played during his Hall of Fame career.

Speaking of Hall of Fame goaltenders who have played for the Rangers, Jacques Plante made his debut on the team on Oct. 9, 1963. He suffered a 3-1 loss to the Blackhawks at the old Chicago Stadium.

Jacques Plante
It was a strange sight to see Plante in a Rangers sweater. (THW Archives)

On Oct. 9, 1978, the Kings sent a first-round pick to the Boston Bruins for goaltender Ron Grahame, who played in 66 games over the next three seasons for Los Angeles. The Bruins used that draft pick to select Ray Bourque. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. Exactly 15 years later, on Oct. 9, 1993, Bourque became just the second defenseman to ever score 1,100 points with an assist against the Quebec Nordiques.

Related – The Best NHL Defensemen Ever

The Kings had some better news on Oct. 9, 1990, when they won their 700th game in franchise history. Rookie defenseman Rob Blake scored his first career goal in a 6-2 win over the Canucks.

The Rangers tied the Calgary Flames 1-1 on Oct. 9, 1997, to begin their season with their fourth consecutive draw, setting a new NHL record.

The Penguins named Jaromir Jagr the 12th team captain in franchise history, on Oct. 9, 1998, replacing Ron Francis. He remained captain for the next three seasons until he was traded to the Capitals in 2001.

Jaromir Jagr Pittsburgh Penguins
Jagr became the Penguins’ captain on this date in 1998. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)

Brett Hull became the highest-scoring member of his family on this date in 2000. He scored his 611th career goal to move ahead of his father, Blackhawks Hall of Famer Bobby Hull. He had two assists to go along with his goal as he led the Dallas Stars to a 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs.

Happy Birthday to You

A total of 24 players who have skated at least one game in the NHL were born on Oct. 9. The most notable players of this group are Wayne Thomas (74), Rem Murray (49), Jason Krog (46), Henrik Zetterberg (41), Stephen Gionta (38), Trevor Daley (38), Cameron Hughes (25), Nicolas Beaudin (22), and the late Hall of Famer Bill Cook and Al Rollins.


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