Today in Hockey History: Conn Smythe Buys Toronto Franchise

Conn Smythe

Hockey is back! Normally we’d be closing in on the NHL trade deadline for the final push of the season. However, 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 February 15th, featuring Conn Smythe.

Today in Hockey History

Conn Smythe Purchases Toronto Team

1927: Smythe buys the St. Patricks and turns them into the Toronto Maple Leafs. The franchise was struggling and threatening a move to Philadelphia, but Smythe’s purchase prevents that.

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Smythe was hired as part of the New York Rangers front office in 1926, but was fired before the first game. He raises enough money to buy the Toronto team and oversees nine of the team’s Stanley Cup victories.

Other Notable Events

1922: Ottawa Senators forward Punch Broadent extends his goal-scoring streak to 16 games. He nets a pair of goals in a 6-6 tie with the Montreal Canadiens.

1945: The Rangers win despite arriving two hours and 20 minutes late for their game with the Chicago Blackhawks. New York wins a penalty-free game, 6-2, that starts at 10:50 p.m.

1953: Detroit Red Wings forward Gordie Howe becomes the youngest player to 200 career goals. He scores twice to reach 200 in a 4-1 win at Chicago.

1973: Bep Guidolin became the first rookie coach in NHL history to start 5-0-0 as the Boston Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1.

1992: Ron Finn works his record-setting 1,745th game as a linesman in the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 win at the Maple Leafs.

1999: The Rangers Wayne Gretzky makes his only appearance in the Music City a memorable one. He gets five assists in the Blueshirts 7-4 win over the Nashville Predators. He moves exactly 1,000 points of Howe on the all-time scoring list.

2000: New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur is credited with a goal in a 4-2 win over the Flyers. He’s the last to touch the puck when the Flyers put it into their own net midway through the third period.

2017: Florida Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr celebrates his 45th birthday by reaching 1,900 points. The milestone comes when he sets up Aleksander Barkov in the third period. Jonathan Huberdeau scores at 1:38 of overtime to give Florida a 6-5 win over the San Jose Sharks.

2018: Alex Ovechkin scores his NHL-leading 34th goal and has three assists in the Washington Capitals5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Ovechkin eclipses the 1,100 point mark in the win.

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Happy Birthday to You

1914: Mel Hill

1958: Tony McKegney; Brent Peterson

1959: Brian Propp

1967: Craig Simpson

1972: Jaromir Jagr

1975: Serge Aubin

1979: Adam Mair

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