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This Date in NHL History

Feb. 15: Conn Smthye purchases Toronto franchise

Plus: Howe youngest player to 200 goals; Gretzky has five assists in his only NHL game in 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 Gordie 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 goaltender 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 Philadelphia 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 Marc Recchi scores at 11:59. Scott Niedermayer's goal 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

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