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 December 16th, featuring Jean Beliveau.
Today in Hockey History
Jean Beliveau Plays First NHL Game
1950: The Montreal Canadiens debut a pair of future Hall of Famers in Beliveau and Bernie Geoffrion. They play their first NHL game in a 1-1 tie with the New York Rangers at the Forum. It’s the first of a two-game amateur tryout for Beliveau, who wears the No. 17.
Beliveau doesn’t show much interest in turning pro and the Canadiens buy an entire amateur league to get him on the team. He starts playing full-time with the Habs in 1953-54.
Other Notable Events
1929: The offside rule is born in which “No attacking player shall be allowed to precede the play when entering the opposing defensive zone.”
2002: Montreal centre Doug Gilmour becomes the 14th player to get 1,400 points. He gets the mark on a first-period goal against the Senators in a 3-2 win.
2014: The Florida Panthers win a 20-round shootout with 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Nick Bjugstad beats Braden Holtby to end the marathon session that saw each team go through every skater. Washington had five chances to end the game, but couldn’t close the game.
2017: Ottawa native Jean-Gabriel Pageau scores the game-winner and Craig Anderson stops all 28 shots in the Senators 3-0 win over the Canadiens. It was the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, which saw 33,959 show up.
Happy Birthday to You
1939: Wayne Connelly
1977: Eric Belanger
1989: Mikkel Boedker