Hockey is finally 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 August 26th featuring Bobby Orr.
Today in Hockey History
Bobby Orr First to Sign Million-Dollar Deal
1971: The Boston Bruins defenceman is the first million-dollar man in NHL history. Orr signs a five-year contract that pays $200,000 per season. He’s coming off a record-setting season of 139 points for the already highest-paid player.
The Parry Sound, Ontario native is worth every penny as he leads Boston to the Stanley Cup in 1972. Orr also records at least 101 points in the first four seasons. However, injuries limit him to only 10 games in 1975-76.
Other Notable Events
1961: The Hockey Hall of Fame officially opens in Toronto at the Canadian National Exhibition. Prime Minster John Diefenbaker and U.S. Ambassador Livingston Merchant preside over the opening. A star-studded class of nine highlights the building’s opening. Maurice Richard, Syl Apps, Charlie Conacher, Hap Day, George Hainsworth, Joe Hall, Percy LeSueur, Milt Schmidt and Oliver Seibert are all inducted. The Hall moves to BCE Place in June 1993.
1994: The Hartford Whalers trade three first-round picks to acquire Glen Wesley from the Bruins. Kyle McLaren, Johnathan Aitken and Sergei Samsonov are the three players Boston drafts with those picks.
1998: Mike Gartner retires after 19 seasons in the NHL. He finishes as the league’s fifth all-time leading scorer with 708 goals. The Ottawa native debuts with the Washington Capitals in 1979. He also plays with the Minnesota North Stars, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Phoenix Coyotes. He owns the record for the most 30-goal seasons and wins two Canada Cups.
Happy Birthday to You
1939: Bill White
1949: Ron Stackhouse
1952: Bryon Baltimore
1955: Steve Carlson
1988: Wayne Simmonds
1990: Zach Trotman
1995: Anthony Duclair