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This Date in NHL History

July 16: Gretzky in 'royal wedding'

Plus: Four-time Stanley Cup winner Lemieux is born

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1988: Wayne Gretzky marries actress Janet Jones before a crowd of about 700 people in Edmonton in an event dubbed by some media in Canada as "the royal wedding."

The Edmonton Oilers center and Jones first meet in the early 1980s when he serves as a celebrity judge on the TV show "Dance Fever," though they don't start dating until 1987, after they meet again at a basketball game. Thousands of well-wishers line the route from the church to the reception.

The newlyweds find themselves on the move less than a month later when Gretzky is traded to the Los Angeles Kings.



1965: Claude Lemieux, a forward who becomes four-time Stanley Cup winner, is born in Buckingham, Quebec. The Montreal Canadiens select Lemieux in the second round (No. 26) of the 1983 NHL Draft. Three years later, he scores 10 goals in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help Montreal win its first championship since 1979. Lemieux wins the Cup in back-to-back years with the New Jersey Devils (1995) and Colorado Avalanche (1996), and helps New Jersey win again in 2000.

After 32 regular-season games and seven playoff games with the Dallas Stars in the 2002-03 season, he doesn't play in the NHL again until returning for 18 regular-season games and one postseason game with the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09. Lemieux finishes his NHL career with 786 points (379 goals, 407 assists) in 1,215 games, and 158 points (80 goals, 78 assists) in 234 playoff games. Thirteen of his postseason goals come in 1995, when he wins the Conn Smythe Trophy.

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