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 12th, featuring Mark Messier.
Today in Hockey History
Mark Messier Retires
2005: The New York Rangers centre calls it a career after 25 seasons in the league. He finishes with five Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and one with the Rangers. The St. Albert, Alberta native famously guaranteed a Game 6 win over the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern final. Messier compiles 1,887 points (694 goals, 1,193 assists) in 1,756 games. Only former teammate Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe have more points than Messier.
The Rangers retire his No. 11 jersey in January 2006 before the start of a game against the Oilers. The two-time Hart Trophy-winner enters the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Other Notable Events
1940: The NHL Board of Governors allow for jersey numbers to go into the 20s. Previous rules only allowed numbers 1-19 to before the new rule was made.
1941: The New York Americans officially change their name to the Brooklyn Americans. However, the team still plays its home games at Madison Square Garden. The club practices and plays in Brooklyn and plans to build a new arena there. However, World War II postpones those plans. The Americans go 16-29-3 and finish last in their lone season in Brooklyn. Brooklyn suspends operations and later folds leaving the Original Six until the league expands in the late 1960s.
1979: Bobby Orr becomes the youngest member of the Hockey Hall of Fame at age 31. The Hall waives the mandatory three-year waiting period for the former Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks defenceman. Orr is forced to retire after the 1978 season due to chronic knee injuries. Harry Howell, Henri Richard and Gordon Juckes also reach the Hall.
1983: The Rangers sign two-time 50-goal scorer Pierre Larouche to a contract. He scores 48 goals in the 1983-84 season and 28 in the 1986-87 season.
Happy Birthday to You
1932: Marcel Bonin
1950: Mike Murphy
1973: Martin Lapointe
1980: Josef Vasicek
1984: Paul Ranger