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This Date in NHL History

Nov. 2: Gretzky becomes member of Oilers

Plus: 41-year-old Howe gets final NHL hat trick; 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 goalie 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 WHA teams absorbed by the NHL 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 Canadiens 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 scores three goals for 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 at least three 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 goalie with chants of "Ed-die" throughout the game. Giacomin makes 42 saves in Detroit's 6-4 victory.


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


1982: The New York Islanders' 30-game unbeaten streak at Nassau Coliseum ends when they lose 3-1 to the Penguins. They win 28 games and tie two during the streak.


2006: Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild becomes the first goalie in the NHL's modern era (since 1943-44) to earn his first two victories before making his first start. Backstrom replaces Manny Fernandez after the first period and makes 19 saves without allowing a goal in Minnesota's 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Xcel Energy Center.


2014: Michael Frolik of the Winnipeg Jets scores what proves to be the only goal of the game 20 seconds after the opening face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. 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 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 misses 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 NHL players to be awarded two penalty shots in the same game.

Video: TOR@LAK: Matthews scores on penalty shot


2018: The Florida Panthers earn a split of the two-game 2018 NHL Global Series in Helsinki, Finland, by defeating the Jets 4-2 at Hartwall Arena. Goalie Roberto Luongo makes 17 of his 32 saves in the third period for the Panthers, who win a game in regulation for the first time in 2018-19.


2019: The Toronto Maple Leafs win the longest shootout in their history when Andreas Johnsson scores in the 11th round of the tiebreaker for a 4-3 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Johnsson gives the Maple Leafs the win after Frederik Andersen allows one goal in 11 shootout attempts by the Flyers.

On the same night, the Islanders win their ninth straight game, their longest winning streak since midway through the 1989-90 season, when they defeat the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 at KeyBank Center. Derick Brassard scores 5:19 into the first period, and Semyon Varlamov makes the lead stand up by finishing with 27 saves.

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