New Captains, New Teams (and/or names)… and a nod to the goaltenders.
1997 – The Toronto Maple Leafs named Mats Sundin as their new Team Captain. — Note: Sundin, born in 1971 in Bromma, Sweden, had a remarkable career with the Quebec Nordiques and the Leafs, scoring 1349 points (564 goals, 785 assists) in 1346 regular season games. Although he never achieved his ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup, he did receive recognition as an outstanding player by being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
2000 – The Chicago Blackhawks named Tony Amonte as their team captain, the 31st in franchise history.
2001 – The Los Angeles Kings named Mattias Norstrom as their new Team Captain, the 13th in franchise history.
1999 – The Ottawa Senators named Daniel Alfredsson as their new team captain. —- Note: “Alfie”, as he is affectionately known to (heartbroken) Senators’ fans, made the decision to leave the team and continue his career as a Detroit Red Wing beginning with the 2013-14 season.
1997 – The Vancouver Canucks named Mark Messier as their new Team Captain. The announcement was made from Tokyo on the eve of the Canucks’ season opener against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. —- Note: More on Messier and his career when he celebrates his birthday next January.
1999 – The Atlanta Thrashers played their first game in franchise history, a 4-1 loss to the visiting New Jersey Devils, before a crowd of 18,545 fans. Kelly Buchberger scored the first goal in Thrashers’ history.
1999 – After starting his career with a record of 0-13-2, Vancouver goaltender Kevin Weekes recorded his first NHL victory in a 2-1 win over the visiting New York Rangers. —- Note: Yes, THAT Kevin Weekes, the one on NHL Network… and now selling his “IHaveNo5Hole” t-shirts via Twitter.
1989 – Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretiak was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the first non-NHL player ever inducted. —- Note: More on the world-famous goaltender (and current President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia) on his birthday next April.
1997 – The New York Rangers named defenseman Brian Leetch as their new Team Captain on the night he played his 650th career game with the team, a 2-2 tie against the Islanders.
1998 – The Carolina Hurricanes named Keith Primeau as the new team captain. Primeau became the 11th captain in franchise history.
1991 – The San Jose Sharks played their first NHL game …. but lost 4-3 at Vancouver. Native Californian Craig Coxe scored the first goal in Sharks’ history while Jeff Hackett made 48 saves for the Sharks.
1993 – The Philadelphia Flyers named Kevin Dineen as the 10th captain in their team’s 27 year history. —-Note: Dineen is currently the head coach of the Florida Panthers.
1995 – Paul Ysebaert was named the first Captain in Tampa Bay Lightning history, just prior to the start of the 1995-96 season. The Lightning had used alternate captains during the team’s first three seasons in the NHL.
1932 – The new name “Red Wings”, along with new all red uniforms with the Winged Wheel, was introduced to Detroit hockey fans. The franchise, previously called the “Cougars” and then “Falcons”, had played in the city for six seasons.
1965 – Former NHL goaltender Patrick Roy, born in Quebec City, Que. Roy played in the NHL 1985 through 2003 with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. — Note: Roy, now head coach of the Avalanche, still hold numerous NHL records for goaltending, one of the most notable being for playoff wins (151). He is also the only goaltender to win the Conn Smythe Trophy 3 times. Much has been written about “St. Patrick” but perhaps the best account of his playing career is the book “Patrick Roy. Winning. Nothing Else” written by his father Michel Roy.
1993 – The Dallas Stars (formerly the Minnesota North Stars) played their first NHL game, a 6-4 win over the Red Wings, in Dallas.
1955 – Detroit goaltender Glenn Hall began an NHL-record 502 complete game streak when he was in net in a 3-2 Red Wings loss to Chicago. The streak ended seven years later when Hall was playing for the Black Hawks. — Note: At the time, teams carried only one goaltender on their roster. If theirs was injured and couldn’t finish the game, the opposing team could substitute one of their own members.
1995 – Valeri Kamensky scored twice, including the first goal in Colorado Avalanche (formerly the Quebec Nordiques) history. The Avalanche won 3-2 over the visiting Detroit Red Wings. — Note: The Avalanche went on to win the Stanley Cup in their first season in Colorado.
October 06: Trivia:
2001 – Michigan State tied Michigan 3-3 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, before 74,554 fans, breaking a hockey attendance record that had stood for 41 years. The crowd braved temperatures hovering just above freezing with wind gusts reaching 30 mph.