Today in Hockey History: Sept. 6

Sept. 6 has been a pretty big date for the NHL in the state of California. Also, the legendary Summit Series continued in Winnipeg, and a pair of Hockey Hall of Famers were traded. So, let’s take our daily trip back in time to relive all the memories this date has given us over the years.

Game 3 Ends in a Draw

The infamous Summit Series continued on Sept. 6, 1972, with Winnipeg hosting the third series of the game. The Soviet Union won the first game of the series, 11-3, in Montreal before Team Canada evened things up with a 4-2 victory in Toronto.

Nearly 10,000 fans filled the Winnipeg Arena including star forward Bobby Hull, who was not allowed to play in the series because he left the NHL to play in the upstart World Hockey Association. Canadian fans saw a team that was dominated in Game 1, followed by a team that dictated Game 2. The faithful in Winnipeg saw both of those teams on this night in a 4-4 tie.

For the third straight game, Canada scored the opening goal with J.P. Parise lightning the lamp less than two minutes into the contest. Vladimir Petrov had a quick answer with a shorthanded goal just over a minute later. Jean Ratelle tapped in a beautiful setup pass from Yvan Cournoyer to give the Canadians a 2-1 lead just before the end of the opening frame.

In the second period, Phil Esposito scored for the third straight game to give Canada a 3-1 advantage. Valeri Kharlamov answered with the Soviet’s second shorthanded goal of the game, but Paul Henderson scored 51 seconds later to restore Canada’s two-goal lead.

Just over a minute later, Yuri Lebedev deflected a shot from the point to cut the deficit to 4-3. Alexander Bodunov tied the game with about a minute left in the middle period. Viacheslav Anisin had the primary assist on both of the late second-period games. The game remained deadlocked through the third period and the two teams had to settle for a tie.

Flames Pull Off Huge Trade

Changing addresses happened often during the Hall of Fame career of Doug Gilmour, but he was traded for the first time on Sept. 6, 1988. After scoring 78 goals and 191 points over the previous two seasons for the St. Louis Blues, he was traded to the Calgary Flames.

The Flames sent forwards Mike Bullard and Craig Coxe and defenseman Tim Corkery to the Blues for Gilmour, forwards Mark Hunter and Steve Bozek, and defenseman Michael Dark. Calgary was the big winner of this deal. Gilmour and Hunter were part of the Flames’ 1989 Stanley Cup championship.

Flames Doug Gilmour
Gilmour joined the Flames on this date in 1988. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Gilmour spent four and a half seasons with the Flames before he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1992. He scored 81 goals and 295 points during his 266 games in Calgary. Hunter played in 133 games for the Flames and scored 34 goals and 60 points before being traded to the Hartford Whalers. Bozek was immediately flipped to the Vancouver Canucks for a third-round draft pick. Dark never played for the Flames.

The Blues did not get much out of their return for Gilmour. Bullard scored four goals and 16 points in his 20 games before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 29, 1988, for Peter Zezel. Coxe had seven assists in 41 games. He was sent to the Chicago Blackhawks the following offseason as compensation for the Blues signing of free agent Rik Wilson. Corkery never played in the NHL.

A Big Day in California Hockey

The Los Angeles Kings took the ice for their first practice in franchise history on Sept. 6, 1967. Guelph, Ontario, was the training camp home for the Kings in their first two seasons of existence before moving to Victoria, British Columbia, where they trained until 1974. Future Hall of Famers Terry Sawchuk and Brian Kilrea (builder) were part of the inaugural roster, as well as Eddie Joval, Bill White, and Ted Irvine.

Sawchuk was part of the Kings first season in the NHL. (THW Archives)

This is also a big day in the history of the San Jose Sharks. On Sept. 6, 1990, the expansion franchise officially became the Sharks as the team announces their name. The colors, logo and uniform designs were revealed on a later date.

One year later, on Sept. 6, 1991, the Sharks held their first practice and also pulled off a big trade. They traded defenseman Kerry Toporowski and a second-round draft pick to the Blackhawks for blueliner and future Hall of Famer Doug Wilson.

Wilson, winner of the 1982 Norris Trophy for being the best defenseman in the league, was named the first team captain in franchise history. He played 86 games over the next two seasons for the Sharks, scoring 12 goals and 48 points. This trade started a long relationship between Wilson and the Sharks. He was eventually hired as their general manager in 2003, a job he held until April 7, 2022, when he stepped down to focus on his health.

Odds & Ends

The New Jersey Devils and Winnipeg Jets swapped veteran centers on Sept. 6, 1990. The Devils sent Bob Brooke north of the border in exchange for Laurie Boschman. Brooke retired from the league the following day, so the Devils had to give the Jets their fifth-round pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft as compensation. Boschman scored 19 goals and 48 points in his two seasons with the Devils.

Defenseman Dan McGillis signed with the Edmonton Oilers on Sept. 6, 1996. He was originally drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 10th round (238th overall) in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. However, his rights were traded to Edmonton, following his collegiate career at Northeastern University, for Kirk Maltby. He played in 134 games for the Oilers before being traded to the Flyers. He finished his career in 2006 with 634 NHL games played for five different teams.

Goaltender Ron Hextall announced his retirement, on Sept. 6, 1999, after a 13-season career with the Flyers, Quebec Nordiques and New York Islanders. Hextall won 296 games in his career with a .895 save percentage (SV%) and 2.98 goals-against average (GAA).

Ron Hextall Philadelphia Flyers
Hextall hung up his goalie pads for good on this date in 1999. Photo by John Giamundo/Getty Images)

His best season was also his first in the NHL. He went 31-21-6, during the 1986-87 season, with a .902 SV% and 3.01 GAA. He helped lead the Flyers to the 1987 Stanley Cup Final where they lost in seven games to the Oilers. Despite not winning the Cup, Hextall won the Conn Smythe Trophy, for being the most valuable player of the postseason, for posting a .908 SV% and 2.76 GAA.

The Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights dropped the puck on the Western Conference Final on Sept. 6, 2020, in Edmonton. Defenseman John Klingberg’s goal at 2:36 of the first period was the tally in a 1-0 Dallas win. Anton Khudobin made 25 saves to win a goaltending duel over Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 24 saves in the losing effort.

Happy Birthday to You

A total of 15 current and former NHL players have been born on this date. The first was Rolly Huard, born on Sept. 6, 1902. He appeared in one game for the Maple Leafs in 1931 and scored a goal in his lone game. The most recent is Kings’ defenseman Paul Ladue, who is celebrating his 30th birthday today.

Igor Korolev, born in Moscow, Russia, on Sept. 6, 1970, had the best career out of this group. He leads all players born on this date with 795 games played, 119 goals, 227 assists and 346 points. He played 12 seasons in the NHL with the Blues, Jets, Phoenix Coyotes, Maple Leafs and Blackhawks.

Other notable players born on this date are Wayne Bianchin (69), Glen Sharpley (66), Bill Root (63), and Brian Dumoulin (31).

*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen

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