Today in Hockey History: Montreal Canadiens Jean Beliveau Born

Jean Beliveau
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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 31st featuring Jean Beliveau.

Today in Hockey History

Jean Beliveau is Born

1931: The Montreal Canadiens great is born in Trois Rivieres, Quebec. Beliveau rebuffs the Canadiens several times to stay with the Quebec Aces. Montreal simply buys the amateur Quebec Senior Hockey League in 1953. The Habs make it a professional league and get Beliveau’s rights.

He is a member of 17 Stanley Cup winners as a player and executive. Beliveau finishes with 1,219 points (507 goals, 712 assists) in 1,125 NHL games and is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 after the Hall waives its mandatory three-year waiting period. He passes away at age 83 on December 2, 2014.

Other Notable Events

1973: Hall of Fame defenceman Scott Niedermayer is born in Edmonton. He is the third pick of the 1991 NHL Draft and wins four Stanley Cups. Niedermayer wins three titles with the New Jersey Devils and one with the Anaheim Ducks. He also wins the IIHF World Championship, World Junior Championship, Olympic gold and a Memorial Cup. Niedermayer finishes his career with 740 points (172 goals, 568 assists) in 1,263 NHL games.

1992: The Minnesota North Stars trade Brian Bellows to Montreal. Russ Courtnall comes to the Twin Cities in return.

1995: The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins pull off a blockbuster trade. New York gets Luc Robitaille and Ulf Samuelsson while Pittsburgh receives Petr Nedved and Sergei Zubov. Robitaille scores 23 and 24 goals in two seasons with the Blueshirts before he’s traded back to the Los Angeles Kings.

2001: The Dallas Stars bring back forward Pat Verbeek after signing him to a free agent contract. Verbeek had spent the last two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. “The Little Ball of Hate” scores seven goals in his final season in the league.

2005: The Washington Capitals sign Alex Ovechkin to a three-year, entry-level contract. Ovechkin makes an instant impact with two goals in his NHL debut. The Moscow native scores 52 goals and wins the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. He’s the league’s top-scoring Russian of all-time and wins his the Stanley Cup in 2018. Ovechkin also wins the Conn Smythe Trophy for post-season MVP.

Happy Birthday to You

1931: Jean Beliveau

1950: Gerry O’Flaherty

1956: Kent Nilsson; Ron Zanussi

1959: Ralph Krueger

1966: Jamie Baker

1973: Scott Niedermayer

1976: Radek Martinek

1984: Ryan Kesler

1986: Blake Wheeler

1987: Ondrej Pavelec