Today in hockey history, Gretzky does pretty cool things on three separate dates, a rookie records an impressive feat, a team finally scores a lot of goals against another specific team, an exciting moment in women’s hockey history, and a defenseman hits a remarkable milestone.
Here’s what Gretzky did on this day:
December 13, 1983 – Scored his 300th career goal…in his 350th game (in an 8-5 Oilers loss to the Islanders). That’s almost an average of a point per game.
December 13, 1985 – Scored two goals and added two assists, giving him 1,200 career points. Guess how many games he had played to that point. Well, it’s 504. That’s 2.38 points per game for his entire career up to that point. The Oilers beat the Jets 6-3.
December 13, 1989 – Recorded an assist to extend his team-record assist streak to 17 games. He had 35 total in the streak, good for two per game. Not bad (his Kings beat the Whalers 5-2).
December 13, 1987 – Calgary’s Joe Nieuwendyk became the first NHL rookie in the modern NHL to score four goals twice in his first season! (His Flames won 7-1 in Buffalo.) Not even Gretzky could do that! Cully Wilson recorded that feat with the Leafs, but that was back in the 1919-20 season, so that doesn’t really count.
December 13, 1992 – For the first time in matchup history, the Rangers put up double digits against Original-Six rival Canadiens. New York took the game 10-5. It was the first time in 535 games the Rangers scored at least 10 against them, a feat that took 67 years to accomplish.
December 13, 1992 – Manon Rheaume became the first woman to appear in a pro hockey game! She played in net in an IHL game for the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, although she played for just five minutes and 49 seconds, in the second period. She stopped three of four shots. The Golden Eagles beat the Atlanta Knights 4-1 (so, yes, the only goal against her team came in that six-minute span in which she was in net). She actually played a couple preseason games for the Lightning, and also won a silver medal in the 1998 Olympics.
December 13, 1995 – Detroit’s Paul Coffey became the first NHL defenseman to get 1,000 career assists, as the Red Wings beat the Blackhawks 3-1. And he was actually just the fourth player overall to record 1,000 assist: Gretzky, Gordie Howe, and Marcel Dionne had done it before. Coffey ended his career with the most points at 1,531, but was soon topped by Ray Bourque 1,579.
Source: Hockey Hall of Fame