Today in Hockey History: New York Rangers Wayne Gretzky Named to Hall of Fame

Wayne Gretzky

During the NHL’s hiatus, we at the Last Word on Hockey are going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for June 23rd, featuring Wayne Gretzky.

Today in Hockey History

Wayne Gretzky Selected for Hall of Fame

1999: The Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers great is named to the Hall of Fame. Gretzky has the three-year waiting period waived to be part of the Class of 99. He joins referee Andy van Hellemond and longtime NHL referee and hockey executive Ian “Scotty” Morrison.

The Great One retired only two months earlier after his third season in New York. Some of his records include career marks in goals (894), assists (1,963) and points (2,857). He also holds the single-season records in all three categories.

Other Notable Events

1975: The Kings sign free agent Marcel Dionne after obtaining him and Bart Crashley from the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit gets Dan Maloney and Terry Harper as compensation. Dionne plays a dozen years for Los Angeles and gets 100 points in seven seasons.

1998: The Toronto Maple Leafs fire head coach Mike Murphy and replace him with Pat Quinn three days later.

Don Waddell is named the first general manger of the Atlanta Thrashers. He served as an assistant general manger with the Red Wings.

2000: The Minnesota Wild trade Mike Vernon to the Calgary Flames in exchange for the rights to Dan Cavanaugh and an eighth-round pick in either 2000 or 2001.

The Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets also hold their expansion drafts in Calgary.

2001: The Thrashers take Ilya Kovalchuk with the top pick of the 2001 NHL Draft. He’s the first Russian to be drafted with the top overall pick. Kovalchuk scores 29 goals in his first season and has two 52-goal seasons with the team. The Ottawa Senators take Jason Spezza with the second choice as part of the Alexei Yashin deal with the New York Islanders.

2003: The Boston Bruins name Mike Sullivan as their new head coach. He replaces Robbie Ftorek, who was fired during the season.

2017: The New Jersey Devils select Nico Hischier with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 NHL Draft. He becomes the first Swiss player to be taken with the first overall selection. The forward gets 20 goals and 52 points in his rookie season with New Jersey. Nolan Patrick goes second to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Happy Birthday to You

1896: Reg Noble

1900:John Ross Roach

1923: Gaye Stewart

1958: Larry Playfair

1971: Felix Potvin

1982: Derek Boogaard

1983: Brooks Laich

1994: Charles Hudon

1997: Lawson Crouse; Austin Wagner

Main Photo

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