THIS DATE IN HISTORY: July 20
1973: Peter Forsberg, a center who becomes one of the most dominant players in the NHL during the late 1990s and early 2000s, is born in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden.
The Philadelphia Flyers take Forsberg with the No. 6 pick in the 1991 NHL Draft, but they trade him to the Quebec Nordiques a year later as part of the package for center Eric Lindros. After scoring the gold medal-winning shootout goal for Sweden at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, Forsberg joins the Nordiques in the fall and wins the Calder Trophy with 50 points (15 goals, 35 assists) in 47 games in 1994-95, helping Quebec finish first in the Eastern Conference.
The franchise moves to Denver for the 1995-96 season, and Forsberg finishes with 116 points (30 goals, 86 assists) to help the renamed Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup. He also plays a major role in Colorado's 2001 championship and wins the Art Ross Trophy as the top scorer in the NHL with 106 points in 2002-03.
Though Forsberg averages more than a point a game for the rest of his NHL career, injuries limit him to 167 games during his final five seasons before he retires in 2010 with 885 points (249 goals, 636 assists) in 708 games, and 171 points (64 goals, 107 assists) in 151 playoff games. He is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.
Video: Peter Forsberg won two Stanley Cups with Avalanche
1953: Johnny Bower, a goalie playing with Cleveland of the American Hockey League, is acquired in a trade by the New York Rangers, who send goalie Emile Francis, forward Neil Strain and cash to Cleveland. Bower makes his NHL debut a few weeks before his 29th birthday; he goes 29-31 with 10 ties in 1953-54 and plays every minute of all 70 games with the Rangers, who fail to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Bower loses the starting job to Gump Worsley before the 1954-55 season and spends almost all of the next four seasons in the minor leagues before joining the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1958. He goes on to play 12 seasons with Toronto, helping the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup four times and earning induction into the Hall of Fame in 1976.
Video: Johnny Bower led Leafs to four Stanley Cup titles
1978: Pavel Datsyuk is born in Sverdlovsk, Russia. The Detroit Red Wings select Datsyuk, a center, in the sixth round (No. 171) of the 1998 NHL Draft, but he doesn't come to North America until the start of the 2001-02 season, just in time to help them win the Stanley Cup for the third time in six seasons. Datsyuk becomes one of the League's elite two-way players, winning the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He also wins the Lady Byng Trophy four times in a row (2006-09).
Datsyuk finishes his NHL career with 918 points (314 goals, 604 assists) in 953 games during 14 seasons. He has back-to-back 97-point seasons in 2007-08 (when the Red Wings win the Cup) and 2008-09 (when they lose Game 7 of the Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins). He also becomes one of the best in the NHL at the shootout, and the term "Datsyukian deke" is coined for some of his most spectacular moves in the tiebreaker.
2016: Brad Richards, a center who plays on Stanley Cup winners with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks, announces his retirement after 15 seasons in the NHL. Richards wins the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2004 after helping the Lightning win the first championship in their history, and he plays for Chicago's Cup-winning team in 2015. He ends his NHL career with 932 points (298 goals, 634 assists) in 1,126 regular-season games, and 105 points (37 goals, 68 assists) in 146 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Lightning, Dallas Stars, Rangers, Blackhawks and Red Wings.