Skip to main content
This Date in NHL History

Nov. 2: Gretzky becomes member of Oilers

Plus: 41-year-old Howe gets final hat trick of career; Giacomin returns to Madison Square Garden

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1978: Wayne Gretzky becomes a member of the Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association in a trade with the Indianapolis Racers.

With Indianapolis struggling financially, owner Nelson Skalbania sells Gretzky, a 17-year-old center, along with goaltender Eddie Mio and forward Peter Driscoll to Edmonton. Gretzky finishes the season with 110 points (46 goals, 64 assists) and is named the last WHA Rookie of the Year.

The Oilers are among the four teams absorbed by the NHL from the WHA during the summer of 1979 and retain Gretzky, who becomes the cornerstone of their 1980s dynasty.

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



1937: The second benefit All-Star Game in NHL history is held at the Montreal Forum, with the proceeds going to the family of longtime star Howie Morenz. A crowd of 8,683 watches the NHL All-Stars win 6-5 against a combined team of Canadiens and Montreal Maroons.


1968: The "new" Forum in Montreal is reopened after an extensive remodeling. The Canadiens celebrate by defeating the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. Jean Beliveau scores the first goal in the rebuilt Forum at 4:38 of the first period.


1969: Gordie Howe gets the 19th (and final) hat trick of his NHL career, helping the Red Wings defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. At age 41, Howe becomes the oldest player in League history to score three or more goals in a game.

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


1975: Ed Giacomin returns to Madison Square Garden as a member of the Red Wings two days after being put on waivers by the New York Rangers. The Garden crowd serenades their longtime goaltender with chants of "Ed-die" throughout the game. Giacomin makes 42 saves in Detroit's 6-4 victory.


1977: Cleveland Barons center Dennis Maruk becomes the fourth player in NHL history to score four or more goals in a game and account for all of his team's offense. Maruk scores four times in a 4-4 tie against the St. Louis Blues at Richfield Coliseum. 


2014: Michael Frolik of the Winnipeg Jets scores what proves to be the only goal of the game 20 seconds after the opening faceoff against the Chicago Blackhawks. Frolik sets a NHL record for the earliest goal scored in a game that ends 1-0.


2016: Carey Price makes 42 saves and the Canadiens defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 for their eighth consecutive win. It's the 37th NHL shutout for Price. At a League-best 9-0-1, the Canadiens are the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss.


2017: Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs becomes the fourth player in NHL history to be awarded two penalty shots in the same game. He scores in the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center but missed the net with 1:19 remaining in the third period of a 5-3 loss. Matthews joins Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens (Feb. 6, 2014), Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes (Nov. 9, 2005) and Mud Bruneteau of the Detroit Red Wings (Nov. 24, 1938) as the only players to be awarded two penalty shots in the same NHL game.

Video: TOR@LAK: Matthews scores on penalty shot

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.