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 17th, featuring Wayne Gretzky.
Today in Hockey History
Wayne Gretzky Gets 800th Point, 500th Assist
1983: The Edmonton Oilers star gets a pair of milestones in an 8-1 rout of the Quebec Nordiques. Gretzky gets a goal and five assists to get his 500th assist and 800th point. He does this in his 352nd game, which is the fastest its been done.
The Great one gets his 41st hat trick exactly three years later against Quebec. His four goals come in a 5-3 victory over the Nordiques.
Other Notable Events
1924: The NHL has its first scoreless tie in league history as the Hamilton Tigers and Ottawa Senators go without a goal. Both teams fail to score in a three regulation periods and a 20-minute overtime.
1935: The five original New York Rangers each play their 500th game in a 1-1 tie with the Montreal Canadiens. Fred Cook (better known as Bun), Frank Boucher, Ivan Johnson and Murray Murdoch each reach that milestone.
1957: In the largest trade in NHL history at the time, the Chicago Blackhawks send Nick Mickoski, Jack McIntyre, Bob Bailey and Hec Lalande to the Detroit Red Wings for Dutch Reibel, Billy Dea, Bill Dineen and Lorne Ferguson.
1977: Colorado Rockies defenceman Barry Beck gets a hat trick in a 5-1 win over the Minnesota North Stars. Beck is also the first rookie blueliner to score in six straight games to finish with a then-record 22 goals for a defender.
2008: Rangers defenceman Michal Rozsival scores on a penalty shot and gets the overtime-winner in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. He’s the second player to score on a penalty shot before getting an OT-winner. Steve Thomas of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim is the other (April 1, 2003).
Happy Birthday to You
1938: Gilles Tremblay
1948: Valery Belousov
1951: Ken Hitchcock
1964: Frantisek Musil
1965: Craig Berube
1967: Vincent Damphousse
1977: Samuel Pahlsson