1934 – Former NHL center Brian Kilrea born in Ottawa, Ont. Kilrea played briefly in the NHL in 1957-58 with Detroit, then returned in 1967-68 with Los Angeles. He scored the first goal in L.A. Kings’ history. —Note: If the name sounds familiar despite his limited NHL career, it’s because he is best known for being the winningest coach in major junior history. Kilrea was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 in the Builders category. From Wikipedia: “After ending his playing career, Kilrea started coaching minor hockey in Ottawa….. The owners of the OHL major junior Ottawa 67’s offered him a coaching job, replacing Leo Boivin. He began coaching the at the start of the 1974–75 season. He would continue coaching the 67’s until 1984, when he became an assistant coach with the defending Stanley Cup champions, New York Islanders of the NHL. However, after two seasons, he would return to coaching the 67’s.
Except for a brief retirement for the 1994–95 season, Kilrea coached the 67’s until the end of the 2008–09 season, and is also the General Manager of the club. He has won the Memorial Cup, emblematic of Canada’s major junior championship, twice with the 67’s (1984 and 1999) and is the winningest coach in junior hockey history – a task completed on January 17, 1997 with his 742nd win. On February 2, 2007, Brian Kilrea coached his 2000th game as head coach of the 67’s”. — Note: Active players who were coached by Kilrea include Bryan Bickell (Blackhawks), Brian Campbell (Panthers), Logan Couture (Sharks), Zenon Konopka (Wild), and Jamie McGinn (Avalanche). The list of retired NHL players who played for Kilrea includes such notable names as Michael Peca, Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, and Gary Roberts. — Personal note: Kilrea’s book “they call me KILLER”, written with James Duthie, is one of the funniest books written about hockey and the stories he tells of NHLers as young players learning the game is priceless.
1998 – Vincent Lecavalier (former captain of the Lightning and now with the Flyers), the #1 overall draft pick in 1998, recorded his first career NHL point (with an assist) as Tampa Bay won 5-0 against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.
2000 – The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings reached milestones by playing in their 5,000th games in franchise history, the 4th and 5th NHL teams to do so. The Hawks lost 1-0 at St. Louis, while the Red Wings beat the visiting Buffalo Sabres 4-1.
1971 – Rookie goaltender Ken Dryden recorded his first career NHL shutout as the Canadiens won 6-0 against the Canucks, in Vancouver.
1988 – Tom Barrasso tied his own NHL record for goalies with an assist in his 3rd straight game as the Penguins won 7-4 against the visiting Blackhawks.
1999 – Grant Fuhr became the 6th NHL goaltender to win 400 career NHL games as Calgary won 3-2 at Florida.
1966 – Boston rookie defenseman Bobby Orr fired a 50 foot shot past Canadiens’ Gump Worsley for his first NHL goal, during a 3-2 Bruins’ loss to Montreal.
1982 – Bobby Clarke became the first skater to appear in 1,000 games as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, in a 4-2 loss at Pittsburgh.
1993 – Toronto set an NHL record for most wins from start of season, with their ninth straight, a 2-0 win at Tampa Bay. Goaltender Felix Potvin recorded the shutout and Mark Osborne scored twice to lead the Maple Leafs.
1945 – The NHL made the earliest season schedule start in league history (going back to 1917).
1988 – A year and a half after playing in his final game, 31-year-old Mike Bossy announced his retirement, due to a bad back. Bossy scored 50+ goals 9 times, and ended his career with 573 goals and 553 assists in 752 games over 10 years.
2002 – Boston retired Terry O’Reilly’s #24 jersey in a pre-game ceremony before the Bruins’ home opener of the 2002-03 NHL season, a 2-2 tie against the visiting Ottawa Senators.
2003 – Detroit set a franchise record with their 15th consecutive home victory, and Dominik Hasek recorded his 62nd career shutout (his first since returning from a one-year retirement) as Detroit won 4-0 against the visiting Dallas Stars.
1969 – Chicago’s rookie goaltender Tony Esposito got the victory in the Black Hawks’ 5-0 win over the Canadiens at Montreal. It was the first of 15 shutouts for Esposito in 1969-70 — an NHL record for rookie goaltenders. — Note: The record still stands. Legend has it that that’s year he earned his nickname “Tony 0” ( the 0 = zero).
1990 – Brett Hull became the first player in St. Louis Blues history to get back-to-back hat tricks, in an 8-5 win over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. The night before, he scored three goals in a Blues’ game at Toronto.
2000 – Ray Bourque picked up two assists to become the highest scoring defenseman in NHL history. His 1,529th career point (in a 2-1 Colorado win over the visiting Nashville Predators) moved him ahead of Paul Coffey.
2002 – New Jersey Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko ended his NHL-record 256 game goal drought (dating back to February 1999) when he scored in a 2-1 win over the Sabres, in Buffalo.
1980 – Quebec’s 24-year-old rookie Peter Stastny scored his first NHL goal, in a 7-4 Nordiques’ loss at Chicago.
1995 – Mario Lemieux scored three times to become the first Penguin (and 20th NHL player) to score 500 career goals. The milestone came in his 605th game, faster than anyone except Gretzky. Pittsburgh won 7-5 at NY Islanders.
1997 – Wayne Gretzky picked up 2 assists in the Rangers 3-3 tie with Anaheim, in New York. The 2 assists, #1,850 and 1,851 of his career, gave Gretzky more assists than any other player in history had points…passing Gordie Howe’s point total of 1,850.
2002 – 20-year-old right wing Marian Gaborik (now with Columbus) scored two goals and added four assists as the Minnesota Wild won for the first time at Phoenix, 6-1 against the Coyotes.
1968 – Gordie Howe became the first player in NHL history to get 900 career assists and 600 career goals when he picked up three assists in the Red Wings 7-5 win over the visiting Bruins.
1971 – Vancouver Canucks had their first shutout in team history, a 0-0 tie in Toronto. Dunc Wilson recorded his first career shutout for the Canucks while Bernie Parent picked up his 12th career shutout (his first with Toronto).
1979 – The NY Islanders set a team record by scoring three goals in just 44 seconds in a 6-4 win over the Black Hawks, in Long Island. Bryan Trottier (who finished with three goals), Clark Gillies, and Mike Bossy scored the goals.
1976 – Rookie goaltender Mike Palmateer played in his first career NHL game as the Maple Leafs won 3-1 at Detroit.
1998 – The Penguins beat the Flames 5-2 with all five of their goals coming on the power play. It was just the 7th time in NHL history that a team scored 5 or more goals in a game, all coming on a power play.
2000 – Randy McKay and John Madden each scored four goals in the Devils 9-0 win at Pittsburgh. McKay and Madden became the first teammates to score four goals in a game since brothers Odie and Sprague Cleghorn did it for Montreal in January 1922.
2002 – Mike Richter became the first goaltender to win 300 games as a member of the New York Rangers when Petr Nedved got the winning goal at 2:20 of overtime in a 3-2 win against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.