Hockey is going strong, 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 26, featuring the Boston Garden.
Today in Hockey History
Last Game Played at Boston Garden
1995: The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens clash for the final time at the old arena. It’s the final game at the vaunted arena as the B’s move into the Fleet Center, which is now TD Garden. Hall of Famers Milt Schmidt, John Bucyk, Bobby Orr, and Phil Esposito lower their retired numbers from the rafters.
Orr gets the loudest cheers and the final skate in the arena. Normand Leveille appears after a cerebral hemorrhage forces him to retire 13 years earlier. Rene Rancourt sings “Auld Lang Syne” as Ray Bourque and Terry O’Reilly help Leveille onto the ice.
Other Notable Events
1925: The New York Americans expansion team is allowed to join the league. They purchase the roster of the cash-strapped Hamilton Tigers after they dropped out of the league.
1926: The NHL decides that blue lines will be measured 60 feet from each goal line, instead of 20 feet from the center of the rink. This decision widens the neutral zone and cuts down on the number of offside calls.
1958: The New York Rangers sign Eddie Shack to his first professional contract and assign him to Providence of the AHL. Shack was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in November 1960 and became a cult hero with the club. He passed away at age 83 in July 2020.
1972: Paul Henderson breaks a tie late in the third period to help Team Canada even the Summit Series with the USSR. Canada beats the Soviets by a 4-3 score in Game 7 of the series. Henderson takes a pass from Serge Savard and he splits two defencemen to beat goaltender Vladislav Tretiak. Both teams are 3-3-1 going into the deciding Game 8.
1988: The Rangers sign Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur less than three weeks after his induction. He and Gordie Howe are the only players to return to the league after gaining entry to the Hall. Lafleur gets 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points in 67 games. He retires for good after playing two more seasons with the Quebec Nordiques.
Happy Birthday to You
1892: Clint Benedict
1913: Frank Brimsek
1952: Garry Howatt
1967: Craig Janney
1979: Chris Kunitz
1982: John Scott
1992: Nick Shore