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This Day in Hockey History – October 15

Today in hockey history, the NHL buys a team, an important person is born, a team plays its first home game, a ridiculously high-scoring game is played (complete with records), lots of hat tricks, a crazy individual effort, and the most notable record of all time is officially set.

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October 15, 1935 – The NHL Board of Governors purchased the St. Louis Eagles franchise, including the players, for $35,000. The league then sold off the players to seven of the remaining eight NHL clubs (Chicago didn’t make any purchases).

October 15, 1935 – Former NHL left winger Willie O’Ree was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick. O’Ree, as many of you know, was the first African American player to play in an NHL game, making his debut with the Bruins in 1957. He lived a short career but broke a huge and important barrier.

October 15, 1974 – The Washington Capitals played their first home game, at the Capital Center, in Landover, Maryland. The Caps tied the Kings 1-1. It wouldn’t get much better than that…the Caps finished with one of the worst records of all time: 8-67-5, and an absurd -265 goal differential.

October 15, 1983 – Chicago and Toronto combined to establish the record for the fastest five goals (by two teams): 1:24, or 84 seconds (the Black Hawks scored three). Try keeping score of that game, or being the arena announcer running off all those goals. It wasn’t just that, either; the Leafs won the game 10-8. Yes, 18 goals were scored, and a team that scored eight lost.

October 15, 1987 – Dan Quinn and Mario Lemieux each scored hat tricks for the Penguins…but Pittsburgh ended up tying the Rangers 6-6 (Mario also had two assists). That’s kind of ridiculous.

October 15, 1988 – Oh, more Super Mario? Lemieux, clearly upset from a year ago that his hat trick came in a tying effort, scored a total of eight points: two goals and six assists. Yes, that was one game. The Pens did manage to win this one though: 9-2 against the Blues was the final.

October 15, 1989 – The other great player of that time, Wayne Gretzky, picked up an assist in the third period for his 1,850th career NHL point, to tie Gordie Howe for the most all time. He then scored again late in regulation to tie the game and officially become the NHL’s all-time leading scorer, a title he has yet to (and probably never will) relinquish. Oh, he also scored the OT winner for the Kings just to make sure he secured the record in case a point was revoked. AND, the points came against his former team, the Oilers, in Edmonton. That’s some storybook stuff right there.

October 15, 1991 – Derek King scored the fastest hat trick in New York Islanders’ history, taking just one minute and 18 seconds to score three times. Unfortunately, his efforts were in vain, as the Islanders lost 7-6 in OT, partially thanks to a hat trick on the other side scored by – yep, Mario Lemieux. The Pens came back from a 6-2 deficit in the third.


Source: Hockey Hall of Fame

Scott Finger
Scott is the former managing editor at Hooked on Hockey Magazine. He loves hockey, writing, and writing about hockey. He graduated from Roger Williams University in 2011 with a useless degree in Media Communications (concentrating in Journalism). Being a New York Rangers fan (and NY Giants and Mets fan) living in Boston is very uncomfortable for him, and it'll be awkward trying to celebrate a Rangers Cup win in the streets when they inevitably win sometime in the next 100 years. He also likes long walks on the beach.
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