Today in Hockey History: The NHL is Founded

NHL

Normally we’d be in the midst of starting up another hockey season now, but we’re in a different world. Last Word on Hockey is 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 November 26th, featuring the foundation of the NHL.

Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers.

Today in Hockey History

NHL is Born

1917: The National Hockey League is born and Frank Calder is elected the first president. The League’s charter members are the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Arenas and Quebec Bulldogs. League officials form the league from the ashes of the National Hockey Association.

Quebec doesn’t enter the league until 1919-20 and the other four teams form a 24-game schedule. The league begins play next month and plays the Pacific Coast Hockey Association champion for the Stanley Cup.

Other Notable Events

1925: The NHL adds teams in Pittsburgh and New York. Pittsburgh’s team is made up mostly of the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets of the USHL. New York buys the roster of the Hamilton Tigers to start play for the 1925-26 season. The League also increases the number of regular-season games from 30 to 36 for the 1925-26 season.

1961: Detroit Red Wings great Gordie Howe is the first player to play in 1,000 NHL games. The Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1, despite Howe not logging a point.

1975: Bobby Orr plays his final game for the Boston Bruins in a 6-4 win over the New York Rangers. Orr gets a goal and an assist but is sidelined due to knee surgery. He signs with Chicago in the off-season.

1983: Edmonton Oilers centre Wayne Gretzky starts a 17-game assist streak in an 8-6 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Gretzky’s assist streak comes in the middle of a record 51-game point streak.

1984: Montreal forward Guy Lafleur retires after scoring 518 goals for 1,246 points. The Flower doesn’t stay retired as he returns to play for the Rangers after being inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1988.

1999: Detroit captain Steve Yzerman scores his 600th career goal in a 4-2 victory over Edmonton.

2003: New Jersey Devils defenceman Scott Stevens sets a record for most games played by a blueliner with 1,616 in a 3-3 tie with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

2005: The Rangers Marek Malik scores a beautiful shootout goal when he beats Washington Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig with a between-the-legs shot. Malik’s winner comes in the 15th round of the shootout in the Blueshirts 3-2 win.

Happy Birthday to You

1954: Bob Murray

1960: Steve Bozek

1961: Dave Hannan

1972: Chris Osgood

1981: Gina Kingsbury

1982: Keith Ballard

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