Skip to main content
This Date in NHL History

Oct. 3: Jean Beliveau signs first NHL contract

Plus: Kings name Rob Blake captain; Martin Brodeur appears in 1,000th regular-season game

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1953: The Montreal Canadiens add their next superstar when Jean Beliveau signs his first NHL contract and is issued No. 4, the number he wears throughout his Hall of Fame career. He wears it that night and has an assist on Maurice Richard's goal in the NHL All-Star Game.

Getting Beliveau's signature on a five-year, $105,000 contract ends a long wait for the Canadiens. They end up having to buy the Quebec Senior Hockey League in order to steer Beliveau to Montreal after he's resisted overtures during the previous three years.

Beliveau goes on to play on 10 Stanley Cup-winning teams with the Canadiens before retiring after the 1970-71 season.



1931: Goaltender Glenn Hall is born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. Hall wins 407 games during an 18-year NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. He's a key to the Blackhawks' 1961 Stanley Cup victory, going 8-4 with a 2.02 goals-against average. Hall also sets a record that doesn't figure to be broken by starting (and finishing) 502 consecutive games.


1996: The Los Angeles Kings name defenseman Rob Blake as the 11th captain in their history. He succeeds Wayne Gretzky, who was traded to the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 27, 1996. Blake serves as captain until Feb. 21, 2001, when he's traded to the Colorado Avalanche.


1997: Brian Leetch is named the 23rd captain in the history of the New York Rangers after Mark Messier leaves for the Vancouver Canucks as a free agent. He served as captain until 2000, when Messier returned to the Rangers. 

Leetch, who also captained the United States to a victory at the World Cup of Hockey in 1996, was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Hockey Hall of Fame the following year.

Tweet from @NYRangers: On this date in #NYR history, in 1997, Brian Leetch was named the 23rd Captain in NYR history. #NYR90


1997: The first regular-season NHL game outside of North America is played, when the Vancouver Canucks defeat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 3-2 at Yoyogi Arena in Tokyo. Mighty Ducks forward Espen Knutsen becomes the first player born and trained in Norway to play an NHL game. The teams play again the following day in Tokyo, with Anaheim winning 3-2.

On the same night, Patrick Roy becomes the eighth goaltender in NHL history to reach 350 NHL victories when the visiting Avalanche defeat the Calgary Flames 4-1.


2009: New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur sets an NHL record with his 15th straight opening night start. He also becomes the second goaltender in League history (after Roy) to appear in 1,000 regular-season games. The Devils lose 5-2 to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.

View More