Training camps are back, but we at Last Word on Hockey are still 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 July 20th, featuring Pavel Datsyuk.
Today in Hockey History
Pavel Datsyuk is Born
1978: The Detroit Red Wings “Magic Man” is born in Sverdlovsk. USSR. Detroit takes him in the sixth round, 171st overall of the 1998 NHL Draft. However, he doesn’t come to North America until 2001-02. Datsyuk is worth the wait as helps the Red Wings win their third Stanley Cup in six seasons.
He finishes his NHL career with 918 points (314 goals, 604 assists) in 953 games during 14 seasons. The Russian playmaker has back-to-back 97-point seasons in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Detroit adds another championship in 2007-08 and becomes a shootout master. His “Datsyuk Deke” is a feared move in showdowns with opposing goalies.
Other Notable Events
1953: The New York Rangers acquire goalie Johnny Bower from Cleveland of the AHL. New York sends goalie Emile Francis, forward Neil Strain and cash to the AHL club. Bower plays every minute of the 1953-54 season, but the Rangers miss the post-season. He loses his job to Gump Worsley before the 1954-55 season and is stuck in the minors the next four years.
However, Bower revives his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs after joining them in 1958. He plays for the Leafs for 12 seasons and helps them win four titles. Bower is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976.
1973: Peter Forsberg is born in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden and becomes one of the best players of the 1990s and early 200s. He was drafted sixth overall in the 1991 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. However, he’s traded to the Quebec Nordiques as part of the Eric Lindros swap.
He helps Sweden win the 1994 Winter Olympics with an iconic shootout goal. Forsberg wins the Calder Trophy with 50 points (15 goals, 35 assists) in 47 games in 1994-95. The team moves to Denver and he posts 116 points (30 goals, 86 assists) as the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup.
Forsberg retires in 2010 with 885 points (249 goals, 636 assists) and is elected to the Hall of Fame in 2014.
1992: The San Jose Sharks hire Deborah Wright as a part-time scout. She’s the first female scout in NHL history.
2016: Brad Richards retires after winning Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks. Richards ends his career with 932 points (298 goals, 634 assists) in 1,126 regular-season games. He also has a Conn Smythe from the 2004 post-season.
Happy Birthday to You
1964: Murray Craven
1968: Jimmy Carson
1972: Jozef Stumpel
1973: Peter Forsberg
1978: Pavel Datsyuk
1982: Antoine Vermette
1991: Andrew Shaw
1993: Oscar Klefbom