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This Date in NHL History

Dec. 2: Jean Beliveau dies at 83

Plus: NHL Board of Governors awards franchises to Vancouver, Buffalo; Red Wings score 11 goals against Canadiens

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


2014: The NHL loses one of its icons when Hockey Hall of Fame center Jean Beliveau dies. The longtime Montreal Canadiens star was 83.

Beliveau's career scoring totals (507 goals, 1,219 points in 1,125 NHL games) are a small part of what makes him one of hockey's most revered players. His grace on the ice makes hockey look easy, but his size and strength command respect from opponents. He's cherished by Canadians for his character as well as his performance on the ice.

Beliveau plays with two generations of stars in Montreal. In the 1950s, he's part of a team that includes Maurice Richard, Doug Harvey and Jacques Plante; in the 1960s, his teammates include Hall of Famers Serge Savard, Yvan Cournoyer and Rogie Vachon. Beliveau is part of Montreal's late-1950s team that wins the Stanley Cup five consecutive times, then serves as captain when the Canadiens won in 1965, '66, '68, '69 and 1971. 

Beliveau's final appearance is Game 7 of the Final against Chicago, when Montreal rallies from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 victory that gives him his 10th championship. The Hall of Fame waives its usual three-year waiting period and inducted him in 1972.

Beliveau's success continues after he hangs up his skates. He is part of seven more championship teams while serving in Montreal's front office. 

Video: 1965 Cup Final, Gm7: Beliveau wins Conn Smythe


1909: The National Hockey Association, the predecessor of the NHL, is formed in Montreal. Charter members include the Montreal Wanderers, Renfrew Creamery Kings and the Montreal Canadiens.


1925: The NHL's newest team makes its debut when the New York Americans play their first NHL game, a 2-1 overtime road win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Billy Burch scores the first goal in franchise history, and Charlie Langlois gets the winner at 3:10 of overtime.


1967: Johnny Bucyk scores two goals in a 4-4 tie against the Chicago Blackhawks to become the Boston Bruins all-time leading goal scorer. It's his 230th in a Boston uniform, passing the old record of 229 goals held by Milt Schmidt. He finishes his career in 1978 having scored 545 of his 556 NHL goals with the Bruins.


1969: The NHL Board of Governors announces in New York that expansion franchises have been awarded to Buffalo and Vancouver. The new teams, the 13th and 14th members of the League, are to begin play in 1970-71.

Video: Buffalo and Vancouver have a home in the NHL


1995: The Detroit Red Wings match the most goals ever scored against the Canadiens when they won 11-1 at the Forum. Vyacheslav Kozlov scores four goals, Sergei Fedorov has a goal and four assists, and Igor Larionov finishes with a goal and three assists in Detroit's most lopsided victory ever against Montreal. Canadiens goaltender Patrick Roy allows nine goals before being lifted midway through the second period. Four days later, he's traded to the Colorado Avalanche.

Video: Patrick Roy reaches the end of the line in Montreal

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