Today in hockey history, an Original Six team gets its start, a unique event before a game’s start, Bobby Orr does more Bobby Orr things, two legends of different eras meet each other, a couple of record-setting shutouts, and the Hall of Fame inducts a new class.
November 17, 1926 – The Chicago Black Hawks (no typo here, that’s how their name was spelled until the 80s) officially joined the history books by recording their first NHL game AND their first NHL win. They beat the Toronto St. Pats 4-1 (not a typo either, that was their name before the Leafs, and before that they were the Arenas for one year and also the Blueshirts in the year prior; they’d change their name to the Leafs in the next season).
November 17, 1932 – Detroit showed up in Montreal to play the Canadiens, but there was one problem: Both teams were wearing the same color! Oh, em, gee, awkward. They both showed up to the game wearing nearly identical red jerseys. Well I can’t blame the Red Wings for wearing red jerseys (it was actually the first season they were named the Red Wings, previously the Falcons and before that, the Cougars). However, the game was in Montreal so the Habs got their way, and the Wings had to wear ridiculous white pullovers, which ultimately caused them to lose the game 1-0.
November 17, 1973 – Bobby Orr recorded four assists in an 8-0 Boston win against Detroit to give him 456 career assists, the most by any defenseman in NHL history. He broke the old mark of 452 held by Doug Harvey in just his 458th career game. In comparison, it took Harvey 1,113 games to reach that mark, more than twice the amount of time it took Orr!
November 17, 1979 – Rookie Wayne Gretzky played against Gordie Howe for the first (of four games, the only season they both played at the same time) time in their NHL careers in the battle of a new phenom vs. a 50-year-old seasoned veteran who had earned the nickname Mr. Hockey and set numerous NHL records, almost all of which Gretzky would shatter. The old man proved better in that game, picking up an assist in the Whalers 4-0 win over Edmonton. Still, it marked the end of the Gordie Howe/old-time hockey era but the beginning of the Gretzky era.
November 17, 1992 – Arturs Irbe made 39 saves to record his first NHL shutout, a 6-0 win over the Kings. It was actually the Sharks first franchise shutout as well…in their 99th game (second season). Yeah, the Sharks were not good when they joined the league…they let up 359 goals in 80 games in their inaugural year, good for just about 4.5 goals against per game (17-58-5).
November 17, 1993 – Speaking of shutouts, Chris Terreri became the New Jersey Devils’ all-time leader in shutouts in a 4-0 win over the Sabres. And that shutout brought his total to….five. Yep, it took all of five shutouts to set a team record (they had existed for 10 years in New Jersey). That would change soon, though, as 1993 was the year Marty Brodeur would get his start.
November 17, 1997 – The Hockey Hall of Fame inducted a new class: Mario Lemieux, Bryan Trottier, Glen Sather, Flyers’ announcer Gene Hart, and Hockey News founder Ken McKenzie. That’s not bad at all. Lemieux, who retired the previous season and had his standard three-year waiting period waved, actually un-retired in 2000 and became the third player in history to play an NHL game as a member of the Hall of Fame.
Source: Hockey Hall of Fame