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This Date in NHL History

July 13: Rangers bring back Messier

Plus: Red Wings trade Cup hero Babando; Vegas hires McPhee as first general manager

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


2000: Mark Messier returns to the New York Rangers after three seasons with the Vancouver Canucks.

One of the first moves by new general manager Glen Sather is to bring back Messier, who signs a two-year contract. The press conference announcing his return begins with Madison Square Garden president Dave Checketts admitting that letting Messier go to Vancouver after the Rangers make the Eastern Conference Final in 1997 was a mistake. The highlight comes when defenseman Brian Leetch, who's named captain after Messier leaves, takes out a Rangers jersey and unfolds it; Messier's No. 11 is on the back and the captain's "C" is on the front. He invites Messier to "come up and put on the jersey that looks best on you."

But Messier's second stint in New York doesn't go nearly as well as the first one, when he helped the Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994. He plays four seasons with the Rangers before retiring; New York misses the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of them.

Video: Mark Messier was one of NHL's greatest leaders



1950: Pete Babando, hero of the Detroit Red Wings' Game 7 victory against the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final less than three months earlier, is sent to the Chicago Black Hawks (as they were then known) as part of a nine-player trade. Babando's goal at 8:31 of the second overtime gives Detroit the Cup. He finishes with 37 points (18 goals, 19 assists) in his first season with Chicago; the remodeled Red Wings fail to repeat as champions.


2005: Negotiators for NHL owners and the Players' Association announce a tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement to end a lockout that results in the cancellation of the 2004-05 NHL season. As part of the six-year deal, which has to be ratified by the players and owners, the League introduces a salary cap for the first time.


2016: George McPhee was hired as the first general manager of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. McPhee spent 17 seasons as GM of the Washington Capitals. During his tenure, the Capitals won the Southeast Division seven times and the Presidents' Trophy in 2009-10, qualified for the postseason 10 times, and reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 1998.

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: One year ago today, George McPhee was introduced as the first general manager in Golden Knights history. #tbt

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