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This Date in NHL History

Aug. 21: Blake born in Ontario

Plus: Hockey Hall of Fame announces 1969 class; Kings set date for Robitaille's jersey retirement

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Aug. 21

1912: Toe Blake, who plays or coaches 11 Stanley Cup-winning teams on the way to earning induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, is born in Victoria Mines, Ontario.

Blake, whose real name is Hector, signs with the Montreal Maroons in February 1935, then plays eight regular-season games and one in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and gets his name on the Cup when the Maroons defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Final.

The Maroons send Blake to the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 13, 1936, and he spends the rest of his hockey career helping the Canadiens win championships.

Two come as a player; he combines with Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard to form the "Punch Line," one of the great three-man units in NHL history. The line helps the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup in 1944 and 1946. It stays intact until Jan. 11, 1948, when Blake breaks his leg in a game against the New York Rangers, ending his playing career after 13 seasons. He's elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player in 1966 and is named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian in 2017.

Blake turns to coaching and gets the job with the Canadiens in 1955. Montreal wins the Cup in each of his first five seasons and finishes with eight championships in Blake's 13 seasons as coach. He steps down after the Canadiens sweep the St. Louis Blues in the 1968 Cup Final.

Video: Toe Blake was one of toughest players, best coaches

 

MORE MOMENTS

1969: The Hockey Hall of Fame unveils its newest members. Red Kelly, Sid Abel, Roy Worters and Bryan Hextall are elected from the Players category, and longtime Detroit Red Wings owner Bruce Norris is elected as a Builder.

 

2006: The Los Angeles Kings announce they will retire Luc Robitaille's No. 20 in a ceremony on Jan. 20, 2007. The announcement comes four months after Robitaille plays his final game, ending a career that sees him score 557 of his 668 NHL goals with Los Angeles.

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