Today in hockey history, a few players that had a couple of crazy seasons, a famous coach that never really settled down with a single team, a captain that wasn’t, a goalie scoring, and one of the most famous hockey icons makes its first appearance in an NHL game.
March 10, 1955 – NHL history was made when the Zamboni made its NHL debut! It was used for the first time in an NHL game when Toronto visited Montreal. Before the machine was created, ice surfaces were cleaned a team of people that would have to meticulously squeegee the ice. The Zamboni, invented by Frank J. Zamboni in 1949, had to spend some time in the minors before being called up to the NHL, and it remains one of the biggest icons in sports to this day.
March 10, 1978 – The Boston Bruins acquired veteran Dennis O’Brien on waivers from the Cleveland Barons, making him the first player in NHL history to be with four different NHL teams in one season; he began the year with the North Stars and was traded to the Colorado Rockies after 13 games, then was traded to the Barons after 16 games with the Rockies before being traded to the Bruins after 23 games. And in an unbelievable coincidence, Dave McLlwain became the second player in history to play on four NHL teams in a single season when he, too, was traded on March 10, 14 years later in 1992 to the Leafs. McLlwain played with the Jets and the Sabres before being traded by the Islanders to Toronto. How crazy is that! I hope neither of these poor guys bought any homes in their new cities.
March 10, 1998 – Roger Neilson coached the Flyers to a 2-2 tie against the Devils to become the first man in history to coach seven different NHL teams. He coached the Leafs, Sabres, Canucks, Kings, Rangers, Panthers, Flyers, and then the Senators, making him the coach of eight NHL teams. If you read the segment from about a month ago, you might recall that Neilson was known for being an innovator and a bit of an interesting guy, including being indirectly responsible for starting the playoff tradition of waving the white towels.
March 10, 2000 – Vincent Lecavalier became the youngest captain in NHL history when he got the “C” at age 19 (and 314 days). He beat out Steve Yzerman, who became Detroit’s captain at age 21. But unlike Yzerman, who wore the “C” from that day until he retired, Lecavalier was stripped of his captaincy at the end of that season and was not named captain again until the beginning of the 2007-08 season (he remains the captain). His record has since been broken by Sidney Crosby and Gabriel Landeskog.
March 10, 2002 – Evgeni Nabokov became the seventh goaltender in NHL history to score a goal, and the first to get a power play goal, when he hit an empty-net with 47.2 seconds left in the Sharks’ 7-4 win over the Canucks. Just how you draw up that PP.
Source: Hockey Hall of Fame