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NHL Centennial

Lightning made NHL history at Thunderdome

Drew biggest playoff crowd 21 years ago, had baseball stadium 'rocking'

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

Memories: NHL attendance record

Memories: Lightning set an NHL attendance record

On April 23, 1996 an arena originally built for baseball, The Thunderdome, set an NHL attendance record with 28,183 fans

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Before the NHL turned football and baseball stadiums into sites for its annual outdoor games, there was the Thunderdome.

When Expo Hall in Tampa proved too small for an NHL team, the second-year Tampa Bay Lightning decided to go big; in 1993, they moved to a domed stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida, that had been built in 1990 for the expected arrival of a Major League Baseball team. The Florida Suncoast Dome, renamed the Thunderdome for hockey, was their home for three seasons while the Lightning's new building (now Amalie Arena) was under construction.

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NHL Centennial

Bob Baun goal for Maple Leafs legendary

On fractured ankle, defenseman scored in OT in Game 6 of 1964 Stanley Cup Final

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

The list of injuries grows with each team's elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As players pack up for the offseason, you learn that many were skating with torn muscles, damaged or even separated joints, bodies held together with equal parts medical science and willpower.

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NHL Centennial

This Week in Centennial History

Wayne Gretzky plays final NHL game April 18, 1999

NHL.com @NHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins moved one step closer to becoming the NHL's first repeat champions since the Detroit Red Wings won in 1997 and '98. The Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games to win their Eastern Conference First Round series, becoming the first team from the East to advance to the second round. 

As part of the League's Centennial Celebration, NHL.com is taking a look back at memorable events each week.

 

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NHL Insider

Canadiens, Red Wings made history in Europe

Played first NHL games outside North America 79 years ago

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

MONTREAL -- The wire dispatch ran four paragraphs in the Montreal Gazette on March 28, 1938, and now, three years after the idea was floated, it seemed almost certain: Two NHL teams would steam across the Atlantic Ocean for an exhibition tour of England and France.

The Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings, each eliminated from the chase for the Stanley Cup, would play nine exhibition games -- the first NHL games outside North America -- barnstorming three small arenas in London and Brighton, England, with a detour to Paris to give fans a taste of professional hockey as served up by two famous teams.

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Catching Up With...

Catching up with Adam Graves

Rangers icon played big role in 1994 Stanley Cup championship, now works for team

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Every time Adam Graves gazes at the rafters in Madison Square Garden he realizes how lucky he was, and still is, to be able to spend his life setting standards of excellence on and off the ice.

A banner hangs there honoring the No. 9 Graves wore for 10 seasons playing for the New York Rangers. The number was retired Feb. 3, 2009, where it hangs alongside Brian Leetch, Mark Messier and Mike Richter, who he joined with in 1994 to bring the Rangers their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. It also sits alongside banners honoring Rangers greats Rod Gilbert, Harry Howell, Andy Bathgate and Eddie Giacomin.

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NHL Centennial

Punch Imlach got best out of Maple Leafs

Guided Toronto on unlikely run to playoffs in 1959, fourth Stanley Cup in six seasons in 1967

by Stan Fischler / Special to NHL.com

As part of the NHL's Centennial Celebration, longtime hockey reporter and analyst Stan Fischler, "The Hockey Maven," will write a biweekly scrapbook for NHL.com. The scrapbook will look at some of the strange-but-true moments from the NHL's first 100 years.

George "Punch" Imlach never made it big as a professional hockey player, but he sure did as a coach and general manager.

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NHL Centennial

Wayne Gretzky farewell one to remember

NHL.com's Tom Gulitti recalls Great One's final League game 18 years ago

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Every year on April 18, I can't help but remember that it's the anniversary of Wayne Gretzky's final NHL game. For some reason, the date is ingrained in my memory more than the birthdays of some friends and family members (sorry). 

On April 18, 1999, I was completing my first season as the New York Rangers beat writer for The Record in New Jersey and was at Madison Square Garden for one of the biggest stories I would ever cover. Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leading scorer and hockey's greatest ambassador (he still is), announced two days earlier that this game against the Pittsburgh Penguins would be his last.

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NHL Centennial

Pat LaFontaine, others recall 'Easter Epic'

Islanders defeated Capitals 30 years ago in historic Game 7

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Deep into what would be the longest game -- and longest night -- of his professional life, New York Islanders forward Pat LaFontaine was approached by referee Andy Van Hellemond moments before the fourth overtime of Game 7 of the 1987 Patrick Division Semifinals.

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Centennial Portraits

Borje Salming, Peter Forsberg portraits unveiled

Color paintings of 100 Greatest NHL Players will be revealed on NHL.com every Monday in 2017

NHL.com @NHL

As part of the NHL Centennial Celebration, renowned Canadian artist Tony Harris will paint original portraits of each of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian as chosen by a Blue Ribbon panel. NHL.com will reveal two portraits each Monday in 2017.

This week, the portraits of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Borje Salming, the first European star in the League, and Peter Forsberg, who won the Stanley Cup twice with the Colorado Avalanche, are unveiled in the 13th installment.

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NHL Centennial

Maple Leafs win third straight Cup in 1949

Achieve near impossible feat to become NHL's first modern dynasty

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

There's an axiom in sports that says teams "can't just flip the switch" and revert to championship form. On April 16, 1949, the Toronto Maple Leafs finished doing just that. In the process, they became the NHL's first modern dynasty by winning the Stanley Cup for the third year in a row.

But for most of the 1948-49 season, a third straight Cup looked impossible.

By winning in 1947 and 1948, the Maple Leafs became the third team to repeat as champion since the NHL took control of the Cup in 1926. Neither the Montreal Canadiens (1930 and '31) nor the Detroit Red Wings (1936 and '37) were able to win a third straight championship, and for much of the 1948-49 season, it looked like the Maple Leafs would have the same fate.

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