Aug. 4: Hockey Hall of Famer Maurice Richard born
Plus: Kings acquire Roenick in trade with Flyersby John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor
THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Aug. 4
1921: Maurice Richard, the first NHL player to score 50 goals in a season and 500 in a career, is born in Montreal.
Richard signs with the hometown Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 29, 1942, though he misses most of the season with a leg injury. He scores 32 goals in a 50-game season in 1943-44, then becomes the first player to score 50 goals in a season in 1944-45, when he does it in 50 games. Richard remains one of the NHL's consistent goal scorers for more than a decade, scoring at least 20 goals in 14 consecutive seasons and leading the League in goals five times. He also becomes an icon in Montreal, earning the nickname "Rocket" for his speed when going to the net.
He wins the Hart Trophy as MVP in 1946-47, is a First- or Second-Team NHL All-Star in 14 consecutive seasons and helps the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup eight times, including a record five in a row from 1956-60. He retires in September 1960 as the NHL's all-time leader in goals (544), and his record of six overtime goals in Stanley Cup play lasts until Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche breaks it on April 24, 2006.
Video: Maurice Richard remains cultural icon in Montreal
Richard eventually works for the Canadiens as an ambassador and remains beloved by fans in Montreal. Before the final game at the Forum on March 11, 1996, he receives a 16-minute standing ovation that moves him to tears. The NHL awards the first Maurice Richard Trophy, given to the player who scores the most goals during the regular season, in 1999, one year before his death. He is named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017.
1977: Ron Stewart is hired as coach by the Los Angeles Kings, replacing Bob Pulford. Stewart, a longtime NHL forward, lasts one season; he's replaced by Bob Berry after the Kings go 31-34-15 and are swept by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Preliminary Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
1982: Nick Polano is hired as coach by the Detroit Red Wings. He replaces Billy Dea, who finishes out the 1981-82 season after Wayne Maxner is fired. The Red Wings go 79-127-34 in three seasons before Polano is replaced by Harry Neale and becomes an assistant general manager.
2005: The Kings acquire center Jeremy Roenick, one of three U.S.-born players to score 500 NHL goals, in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. Roenick plays one season in Los Angeles, finishing with 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in 58 games before signing with the Phoenix Coyotes as a free agent on July 4, 2006.