This date in hockey history saw some big moments in not only the National Hockey League but also on the international stage. Sept. 9 has been full of Hall of Fame players with induction ceremonies, trades, retirements and even a death.
Super Mario Enters the Hall of Fame
Sept. 9 has been an active date in the history of the Hockey Hall of Fame. On this date in 1960, they announced their new induction class of six members. Georges Boucher, Sylvio Mantha and Jack Walker were voted in as players. Charles Adams, John Kilpatrick and Frank Selke were added as builders.
Boucher and Mantha, both defensemen, won a combined six Stanley Cups during their careers. Walker only played in 84 NHL games, but he also won three Stanley Cups in the pre-NHL days. His career lasted from 1907 until 1932 and he played in all the major professional hockey leagues of his era.
Adams was the first owner of the Boston Bruins and was responsible for bringing the NHL to the United States. Kilpatrick ran Madison Square Garden and oversaw the operations of the New York Rangers between 1935 and 1960. Selke was a longtime NHL executive and won nine total Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.
Fast forward 37 years and the Hall of Fame inducted one of the all-time greats on Sept. 9, 1997. Just like with Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr, the mandatory three-year waiting period is waived to induct Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Mario Lemieux.
Upon his retirement at the end of the 1996-97 season, Lemieux had amassed 613 goals and 1,494 points in 745 games. He won the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year), three Hart Trophies (league MVP) and six Art Ross Trophies (leading scorer). He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the postseason’s most valuable player in both Penguins’ Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. In 2000, Lemieux returned to the game, joining Howe and Guy Lafleur as the only other Hall of Famers to play in the NHL after their induction.
Six-time Stanley Cup winner Bryan Trottier was also part of this induction ceremony. He won four straight championships with the New York Islanders between 1980 and 1983, before joining Lemieux for back-to-back titles in Pittsburgh. Longtime Edmonton Oilers and Rangers head coach and executive Glen Sather rounded out the Stanley Cup packed induction class.
A Big Move for the Capitals
Just 10 days after becoming general manager of the Washington Capitals, David Poile pulled off a huge trade on Sept. 9, 1982. He sent forward Ryan Walter and defenseman Rick Green to the Canadiens for defensemen Rod Langway and Brian Engblom, as well as forwards Doug Jarvis and Craig Laughlin.
Langway was the centerpiece of the deal, where he won a Stanley Cup in 1979. He was overshadowed in Montreal playing on a blue line behind Guy Lapointe, Larry Robinson and Serge Savard. He gets to become the top guy in Washington and wins the Norris Trophy, for being the best defenseman in the league, in each of his first two seasons with the Capitals.
Entering the 1982-83 season, the Capitals had never made the Stanley Cup playoffs. Langway helped Washington to a 94-point season and their first postseason berth. This started a streak of 14 straight Stanley Cup playoff appearances for the Capitals.
On this same day, head coach Bryan Murray hired his younger brother Terry to be one of his assistants. This marked the first time in NHL history where a pair of brothers were on the same coaching staff.
A Pair of Captains on Long Island
The Islanders added the “C” on two players’ sweaters on this date, 16 years apart. On Sept. 9, 1997, defenseman Bryan McCabe was named the sixth captain in franchise history. McCabe was captain for just 56 games of the 1997-98 season, as he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks, along with Todd Bertuzzi, for Trevor Linden, who took over the captaincy.
On Sept. 9, 2013, John Tavares was named the 14th captain in Islanders’ history.
He remained captain through the 2017-18 season when he left New York to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs. His fives seasons as captain tied him Brent Sutter and Ed Westfall for the second-longest in team history. Denis Potvin was the longest-serving team captain, wearing the “C” for eight straight seasons.
Odds & Ends
On Sep. 9, 1976, the St. Louis Blues signed free-agent defenseman Rod Seiling, who had spent the previous two seasons in Toronto. As compensation, the Maple Leafs received cash and the Blues’ second-round pick in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. They used that pick to select defenseman and future Hall of Fame head coach Joel Quenneville.
Canada defeated the Soviet Union, 7-3, on Sept. 9, 1981, in the final round-robin game of the Canada Cup tournament. 16,000 fans jammed the old Montreal Forum to see Canada get goals from Wayne Gretzky, Guy Lafleur, Rick Middleton, Marcel Dionne, Potvin, Mike Bossy and Butch Goring. Don Edwards made 20 saves in goal for Team Canada.
The Penguins traded forward Anders Hakansson to the Los Angeles Kings, on Sept. 9, 1983, for the rights to Kevin Stevens, who they drafted in the sixth-round (108th overall) in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.
Stevens made his NHL debut during the 1987-88 and spent eight seasons in Pittsburgh. He scored 54 and 55 goals in 1991-92 and 1992-93 respectively. He eventually played 89 games for the Kings between 1996 and 1997. Hakansson scored 31 goals and 61 points in three seasons with the Kings.
Joe Nieuwendyk signed with the Maple Leafs on Sept. 9, 2003, after spending the previous season with the New Jersey Devils. The three-time Stanley Cup winner spent just one season in Toronto, scoring 22 goals and 50 points.
Veteran defender Lyle Odelein signed with the Florida Panthers on this same date. The 35-year-old blueliner played in all 82 games of the 2003-04 seasons for the Panthers and scored four goals and 16 points.
Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff announced his retirement on Sept. 9, 2013. He was originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the fifth round (116th overall) of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. After 47 games over three seasons, the Sharks traded him to the Calgary Flames, in 2003, for a second-round draft pick that turned into defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Kiprusoff played in 576 for the Flames over nine seasons. He went 305-192-67 with a .913 save percentage (SV%), 2.46 goals-against average (GAA) and 41 shutouts. He helped the Flames reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2004, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games. He won the Vezina Trophy for being the top goaltender of the 2005-06 season. He posted 42 wins with a .923 SV%, 2.07 GAA and 10 shutouts during that terrific season. He is the franchise leader in games played (by a goaltender), wins and shutouts.
Hall of Fame defenseman Pierre Pilote died at the age of 85 on Sept. 9, 2017. Pilote was a mainstay on the Chicago Blackhawks’ defense for 13 seasons. He was a member of the 1961 Stanley Cup Championship team. He was a three-time Norris Trophy winner and served as team captain for seven seasons. Pilote is one of just seven players to have his number retired by the Blackhawks.
On Sept. 9, 2018, the Canadiens traded captain Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights for forwards Tomas Tatar and Nick Suzuki and a second-round draft pick.
Pacioretty signed a four-contract extension with the Golden Knights and has 54 goals and 106 points in his first two seasons with the team.
Happy Birthday to You
A total of 13 current and former NHL players were on this date. The first player to make it was Hickey Nicholson, born on Sept. 9, 1911, who played in two games for the Blackhawks in 1938. The most recent is former Bruins center Alexander Khokhlachev, who is turning 27 today. He made his NHL debut during 2013-14 and played in nine total games for the Bruins over three seasons.
Kevin Hatcher, born on Sept. 9, 1966, played in 1,157 games, the most of this group, over 17 seasons. His 227 goals and 667 points are the most of anyone born on this date. Keith Yandle, turning 34 today, has the most assists with 474 and counting.
Other notable players born on this date are Bob Baun (84), Nelson Pyatt (67) and Mattias Ohlund (44).