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This Date in NHL History

Feb. 15: Conn Smythe purchases Toronto NHL franchise

Plus: Howe youngest to 200 goals; Gretzky has five assists in only NHL visit to Nashville

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1927: Conn Smythe buys the struggling Toronto St. Patricks, preventing the franchise from moving to Philadelphia. He quickly renames them the Toronto Maple Leafs and soon changes the team colors to blue and white from green and white.

Smythe is originally hired to recruit and manage the New York Rangers after the NHL awards Madison Square Garden a franchise to start play in 1926. But he's fired before the Rangers play their first game, and a few months later he raises enough money to buy the NHL's Toronto franchise.

He goes on to oversee one of hockey's greatest dynasties; the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup six times in 10 seasons from 1942-51, including three in a row from 1947-49.



1922: Punch Broadbent of the Ottawa Senators extends his NHL-record goal-scoring streak to 16 games. He scores two goals, giving him 28 for the season, in the Senators' 6-6 tie at the Montreal Canadiens.


1945: A late train from Detroit makes the Rangers two hours and 20 minutes late for their game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden. Despite the delay and the long trip, the Rangers win 6-2 in a penalty-free game that begins at 10:50 p.m. and ends at 12:50 a.m.


1953: Gordie Howe, age 24, scores twice to become the youngest player in NHL history with 200 goals. He helps the visiting Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 victory against the Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium.

Video: Gordie Howe, 'Mr. Hockey,' enjoyed five-decade career


1973: Bep Guidolin became the first rookie coach in NHL history to start 5-0-0 when the Boston Bruins defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 at the Spectrum.


1992: Ron Finn sets an NHL record when he works his 1,745th game as a linesman, passing the previous mark held by Neil Armstrong. It comes in the Winnipeg Jets' 3-1 road win against the Maple Leafs.


1999: Wayne Gretzky makes his only NHL appearance in Nashville one to remember, setting up five goals in the Rangers' 7-4 win against the Nashville Predators. The five-assist night moves him 1,000 points ahead of runner-up Howe in the all-time NHL scoring race, and it comes exactly 19 years after he ties an NHL single-game record by getting seven assists for the Edmonton Oilers in an 8-2 win against the Washington Capitals.

Video: Wayne Gretzky all-time leader in goals, points


2000: Martin Brodeur becomes the first goalie in NHL history to get credit for a game-winning goal. He's the last player on the New Jersey Devils to touch the puck before the visiting Flyers put it into their own net midway through the third period. The goal gives New Jersey a 3-1 lead and becomes the game-winner when Mark Recchi scores at 11:59. A goal by Scott Niedermayer with 4:29 remaining wraps up the Devils' 4-2 win. It's the second NHL goal for Brodeur and his first in the regular season.

Video: Martin Brodeur credited for his second career goal


2017: Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers celebrates his 45th birthday by becoming the second player in NHL history with 1,900 points. It comes when he assists on a goal by Aleksander Barkov at 12:41 of the third period, giving Florida a 5-3 lead against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center. The Sharks rally to tie the game before Jonathan Huberdeau scores at 1:38 of overtime for a 6-5 win. Only Gretzky (2,857) has more points than Jagr.

Video: FLA@SJS: Jagr gets 1,900th NHL point on 45th birthday


2018: Alex Ovechkin scores his NHL-leading 34th goal and has three assists in the Washington Capitals' 5-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center, becoming the 61st player in League history to have 1,100 points. He gets point No. 1,100 in his 978th NHL game; just 23 players need fewer games to reach the milestone.

Video: WSH@MIN: Ovechkin gets 1,100th point with assist

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