Today in Hockey History: Las Vegas Hosts First NHL Outdoor Game

NHL Outdoor Game

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 27, featuring the first NHL Outdoor Game.

Today in Hockey History

Kings, Rangers Play in NHL Outdoor Game

1991: The New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings play the first outdoor game at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Los Angeles beats New York, 5-2, at a rink built over top of the casino parking lot. The ice quality holds up despite temperatures in the mid-80s (Fahrenheit).

A sellout crowd of 13,007 fans attend the event that saw Wayne Gretzky score the final goal. Los Angeles rallied from two goals down to score the final five of the game.

Other Notable Events

1930: The modern offsides rule is born at the league’s Board of Governors meeting. A puck “must be propelled into the attacking zone before any player of the attacking side can enter that zone.”

1972: The New York Islanders play their first exhibition game in team history against the rival Rangers at Nassau Coliseum. It would be a 6-4 victory for the Blueshirts against the Isles. The regular season isn’t any better for the Islanders, who set League records for fewest wins (12) and points (30) in a season.

1982: Jim Rutherford signs a contract with the Detroit Red Wings for his third stint with the team. He appeared in just one game in his final NHL career. The goalie never lived up to the expectations of being a top-10 pick with a 157-227-59 record, .879 save percentage and 3.66 goals-against-average.

1986: The Montreal Canadiens sign undrafted free agent forward Stephan Lebeau to a deal. He scores 104 goals and 243 points in 313 games with the Habs. Lebeau was part of the 1993 Stanley Cup-winning team, but was traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1994 for Ron Tugnutt.

2001: The Edmonton Oilers name Jason Smith as the team’s new captain. He replaces Doug Weight as the 11th captain in team history. Smith serves in the role for the next five seasons and is part of the 2005-06 Stanley Cup finalists.

2003: The Toronto Maple Leafs sign veteran defenceman Ken Klee to a contract. He got four goals and a career-high 25 assists for 29 points during the 2003-04 season.

2018: The Carolina Hurricanes announce they’ll wear the old Hartford Whalers jerseys for two games next season. Carolina played in Hartford for 18 seasons before moving in 1997.

Happy Birthday to You

1886: Tommy Smith

1935: Al MacNeil

1937: Wally Boyer

1945: Dennis Kearns

1958: Merlin Malinowski

1959: Miroslav Frycer

1976: Daymond Langkow

1983: Jay Bouwmeester

1993: Ryan Murray


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