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This Date in NHL History

Nov. 7: Rangers trade Park for Esposito

Plus: Hall injures back in 502nd straight start; Modano becomes top U.S.-born scorer in NHL history

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Nov. 7

1975: The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, archrivals for the first half of the 1970s, complete a franchise-altering trade. The Rangers send center Jean Ratelle, defenseman Brad Park and minor league defenseman Joe Zanussi to the Bruins for center Phil Esposito and defenseman Carol Vadnais.

The trade stuns everyone, especially Esposito, the NHL's top goal-scorer in each of the previous four seasons and a player who has always been reviled in New York. Park, regarded for several years as the best defenseman not named Bobby Orr, is just as unpopular in Boston.

"It took me probably a year to accept that I wasn't part of the Boston Bruins anymore," Esposito remembered years later. "All I knew about New York was between Seventh and Eighth avenues and 33rd and 34th streets, Madison Square Garden. … When I did learn the city, it was … the greatest city and the greatest fans, and we had some good years."

Video: Phil Esposito was record-setting goal scorer

Twelve hours after the trade is announced, Esposito scores two goals and has an assist for the Rangers in a 7-5 loss to the California Seals in Oakland.

Park becomes a fan favorite in Boston, where he helps cushion the impact of the loss of Orr a year later.

The trade turns out better for the Bruins, who get several superb seasons from Park and Ratelle and advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 1977 and 1978. Esposito's offensive numbers decline from his peak seasons, but he remains among the most dangerous scorers in the League. Vadnais is unable to make up for the loss of Park and the Rangers miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1976 and 1977, though they advance to the Final in 1979.

Video: Bruins trade Phil Esposito to NYR

 

MORE MOMENTS

1962: Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Glenn Hall makes his 502nd consecutive NHL regular-season start but has to leave the game against Boston in the first period because of a back injury. He's replaced by Denis DeJordy and the Blackhawks tie the Bruins 3-3.

Video: Memories: Hall sets NHL record for consecutive games

 

1968: St. Louis Blues center Red Berenson scores six goals (and has an assist) in an 8-0 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectrum. Berenson scores once in the first period, four times in the second and once more in the third. It's the first six-goal game in the League since Detroit's Syd Howe in 1944.

Video: Memories: Red Berenson tallies six goals in a game

 

1981: Defenseman John Van Boxmeer has a natural hat trick and two assists for a five-point night to help the Buffalo Sabres defeat the New York Islanders 6-2 at Nassau Coliseum. The five points set a Sabres single-game record for a defenseman.

 

2002: Brian Leetch becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to score seven regular-season overtime goals. The seventh one comes when he scores 51 seconds into overtime to give the Rangers a 1-0 victory against the Calgary Flames at Madison Square Garden.

Video: Brian Leetch first American to win Conn Smythe

 

2007: Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars scores two goals in the first 4:24 of a 3-1 road victory against the San Jose Sharks to become the highest-scoring United States-born player in NHL history. The two goals give him 1,233 points and move him past Phil Housley.

Video: Memories: Modano becomes highest scoring US player

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