1991 – Mark Messier was named as the 22nd captain in NY Rangers history.
1992 – In the Tampa Bay Lightning’s first NHL game, Chris Kontos scored four goals (for his first career hat trick), and defenseman Joe Reekie added four assists, to help the Lightning to a 7-3 win over The Blackhawks. The game was played at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
2000 – Ron Tugnutt became just the third goaltender in NHL history to play for seven different teams, when he appeared for the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
1946 – 17-year-old Gordie Howe signed his first contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
1991 – The San Jose Sharks won their first NHL game, 4-3 over Calgary, at the Cow Palace. Kelly Kisio scored the winning goal with 3:15 remaining in regulation.
1995 – The “Rat Craze” was born in Miami after Scott Mellanby shot a rodent off the dressing room wall before the home opener, then went out and scored twice in the Panthers’ 4-3 win over Calgary. Teammates said he had the NHL’s first “rat trick”.
1970 – The Vancouver Canucks played their first NHL game, losing 3-1 to the Los Angeles Kings, before a crowd of 15,062 in the first game played at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum.
1980 – The Flames made their debut in Calgary following their move from Atlanta. They tied the Quebec Nordiques 5-5 at the Stampede Corral in their home opener. Kent Nilsson led the scoring with two goals and two assists.
1986 – In Ron Hextall’s NHL debut, the Philadelphia Flyers got a 2-1 victory over Edmonton. Hextall allowed a goal by Jari Kurri on the Oilers’ first shot, then stopped the next 20 by the Oilers for the victory at the Spectrum.
1970 – In the Sabres first NHL game, Jim Watson scored the first Sabres goal, in a 2-1 win at Pittsburgh.
1989 – NHL history was made as Russian players faced each other for the first time in a game. New Jersey’s Viacheslav Fetisov and Sergei Starikov went against Calgary’s rookie Sergei Makarov and Sergei Priakin. The Flames won 4-2 over the Devils at New Jersey.
1998 – The Nashville Predators played their first NHL game, losing to the Panthers 1-0, in Nashville. Panthers’ goaltender Kirk McLean recorded his 21st career shutout against the new expansion team.
1924 – Art Ross was named first manager of the Boston Bruins, on the day the team was granted their NHL franchise.
1924 – Cecil Hart was named first manager of the Montreal Maroons, on the day the team received their NHL franchise.
1979 – Boston rookie Ray Bourque scored a goal and added an assist in his first NHL game, a 4-0 shutout over the Winnipeg Jets. Bourque went on the win the Calder Trophy that season for posting 65 points (17 goals, 48 assists) in 80 games. Gilles Gilbert recorded his 18th and final career shutout.
1972 – Germain Gagnon scored with 69 seconds left and the New York Islanders recorded their first victory in team history, 3-2, over Los Angeles. Rookie Billy Harris scored twice to lead the way.
1996 – Washington’s Dale Hunter became the first player in NHL history to record 300 goals and 3,000 penalty minutes in his career, when he scored in a 4-3 Caps’ loss to the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
2000 – Kevyn Adams scored two goals to lead the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets to their first NHL victory, 3-2, against the Flames at Calgary.
1979 – Hartford’s Gordie Howe scored his first NHL goal since 1971. Goal number 787 of his NHL career helped the Hartford Whalers to a 3-3 tie at Pittsburgh, for their first ever point in the NHL standings.
1993 – The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim picked up their first victory in team history with a 4-3 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Ron Tugnutt was in goal for the milestone.
1998 – Mike Dunham made 34 saves as the Nashville Predators recorded their first win in franchise history, 3-2, against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.