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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 1: Gretzky's No. 99 retired by Oilers

Plus: Bowman named Penguins coach; Alfredsson becomes captain of Senators

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Oilers retire Gretzky's No. 99

Wayne Gretzky's No. 99 retired by the Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers retire "the Great One" Wayne Gretzky's No. 99 sweater in an emotional opening night pregame ceremony

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1999: Wayne Gretzky's No. 99 is raised to the rafters at Skyreach Centre by the Edmonton Oilers before their season-opening 1-1 tie against the New York Rangers.

Gretzky gets a five-minute standing ovation from a crowd of more than 17,000 that includes his family and many former teammates. He's hugged by former coach Glen Sather and given a portrait by longtime Oilers teammates Mark Messier, Jari Kurri and Dave Semenko.

Gretzky says he accepted his retirement decision the moment he announced it in the final week of the 1998-99 season; he played his final NHL game on April 18, 1999, with the Rangers.

"The fact I can't do it, it kills me," he says of continuing to play, "but I've got peace of mind because it was time to move on.

"When I saw that banner go up, there was no turning back."



1960: Rangers forward Andy Hebenton scores the first shorthanded, game-winning goal in the history of the NHL All-Star Game. The goal gives the All-Stars a 2-1 victory against the Stanley Cup-champion Montreal Canadiens. It's Hebenton's only All-Star Game appearance.


1981: The New York Islanders trade defenseman Bob Lorimer and forward Dave Cameron to the Colorado Rockies for a first-round choice in the 1983 NHL Draft. The Islanders use the pick (No. 3) to select future Hall of Fame center Pat LaFontaine.


1991: The Pittsburgh Penguins name Scotty Bowman coach. Bowman steps in for Bob Johnson, who is ill and dies on Nov. 26. Bowman goes on to lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup for the second straight season.


1997: Lindy Ruff is a winner in his NHL coaching debut when the Buffalo Sabres defeat the St. Louis Blues 3-1. It's the first of his 736 wins during 19 seasons as an NHL coach with the Sabres and Dallas Stars.


1999: Daniel Alfredsson is named captain of the Ottawa Senators, a position he holds until signing as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings on July 5, 2013.


2009: Alex Ovechkin scores the first two of his 50 goals in the 2009-10 season, helping the Washington Capitals defeat the Boston Bruins 5-2 at TD Garden on opening night. Ovechkin also has an assist on the first of two goals by Brooks Laich for the Capitals, who go on to win the Presidents' Trophy as the regular-season champion.


2013: The Chicago Blackhawks open defense of their Stanley Cup championship by defeating the Capitals 6-4 at United Center. After a half-hour banner-raising ceremony, the Blackhawks get goals from six players, including the game-winner by defenseman Johnny Oduya with 6:07 left, enabling them to survive a hat trick by Washington center Mikhail Grabovski.

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