Today in Hockey History: NHL Debuts in 1917

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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 19th, featuring the NHL and its first game.

Today in Hockey History

NHL Plays First Game in 1919

1917: The NHL debuts with a pair of games, including the Montreal Canadiens beating the Ottawa Senators, 7-4. The other game has the Montreal Wanderers beating the Toronto Arenas, 10-9. Wanderers defenceman Dave Ritchie scores the league’s first goal one minute into the game.

The Wanderers Harry Hyland scores five goals as does the Canadiens Joe Malone. Reg Noble gets four goals for the Arenas. Malone finishes the season as the NHL leader with 44 goals and 48 points in 20 games.

Other Notable Events

1943: Detroit Red Wings goalie Harry Lumley becomes the youngest goalie in league history at 17 years and 38 days. Lumley plays in a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers and finishes with a career mark of 330-329-142. He joins the Hall of Fame in 1980.

1984: Edmonton Oilers star Wayne Gretzky reaches 1,000 points faster than any player in league history. He gets the milestone with two goals and four assists in a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky does it in 424 games while Guy Lafleur does it in 720.

1987: The Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues combine for the two fastest goals in league history. Boston’s Ken Linseman scores with 10 seconds remaining in the third period. However, St. Louis centre Doug Gilmour wins the draw and fires into an empty net to seal a 7-5 win.

1993: Bruins defenceman Ray Bourque becomes the third blueliner to score 300 goals. He scores late in a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers to join Paul Coffey and Denis Potvin on his way to 410.

1995: The Calgary Flames trade center Joe Nieuwendyk to the Dallas Stars for center Corey Millen and 1995 first-round draft pick Jarome Iginla. Nieuwendyk helps Dallas win the Stanley Cup in 1999 and Iginla becomes Calgary’s all-time leading scorer.

2015: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel plays in his 500th straight game in a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

2017: The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate their 100th anniversary in the league with an 8-1 rout of the Hurricanes. Eight players score and Frederik Andersen makes 32 saves, allowing only a first-period goal to Jeff Skinner.

Happy Birthday to You

1924: Doug Harvey

1943: Ron Schock

1948: Ken Brown

1958: Behn Wilson

1966: Eric Weinrich

1970: Robert Lang

1983: Matt Stajan

1985: Carter Hutton

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