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 September 11th, featuring the NHL expansion to 14 teams.
Today in Hockey History
NHL Expansion Adds Sabres, Canucks
1969: The league approves the NHL expansion of the league from 12 to 14 teams. Buffalo and Vancouver join the league for the 1970-71 season. The Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks are chosen out of a group that includes Atlanta, Baltimore, Kansas City, Cleveland and Washington D.C.
Both teams enter the East Division while the Chicago Blackhawks go out West. The two teams have yet to win the Stanley Cup.
Other Notable Events
1943: The NHL approves its proposal for a Hall of Fame. A total of 12 charter members are honoured despite having no physical location. The Hall of Fame finds a home at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1961.
1967: The St. Louis Blues open their first training camp at the St. Louis Arena. A total of 29 pros and 28 amateurs attend the camp.
1995: Larry Robinson headlines this year’s Hockey Hall of Fame class. Fred “Bun” Cook, Bill Torrey, and Gunther Sabetzki also enter the Hall.
1999: The Atlanta Thrashers defeat the Nashville Predators, 3-1, in their first exhibition game. Atlanta struggles in its opening season in the league with a 14-57-7-4 record to finish last in their division.
2001: The Los Angeles Kings and the hockey world are rocked by tragedy. Scouts Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis die in the 9/11 terrorist attack that struck the World Trade Center. Bob Sweeney‘s sister-in-law Amy Sweeney is a flight attendant that also dies in the attack. Sweeney is a former player and director of the Boston Bruins Foundation.
Happy Birthday to You
1943: Butch Paul
1951: Miroslav Dvořák
1966: Craig Billington
1980: Mike Comrie
1986: Ben Scrivens
1994: Teuvo Teravainen