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This Date in NHL History

Sept. 11: NHL announces expansion to Buffalo, Vancouver for 1970-71

Plus: Rangers defeat Maple Leafs in London; Thrashers play first game

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1969: The NHL announces that it will expand from 12 to 14 teams for the 1970-71 season.

One of the teams will be based in Vancouver, which has been promised a team after a local group is not permitted to buy the Oakland Seals and move them. Candidates for the other new franchise include Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Kansas City and Washington. Buffalo is awarded the second franchise, to be owned by brothers Seymour Knox III and Northrup Knox.

Buffalo and Vancouver are placed in the East Division, with the Chicago Blackhawks moving to the West Division.

Video: Buffalo and Vancouver have a home in the NHL



1943: The NHL approves a proposal for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Twelve charter members are honored in 1945, though the Hall doesn't have a permanent home until an official building opens on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto on Aug. 26. 1961. 


1993: The New York Rangers defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 in the first of two preseason games played at Wembley Arena in London. The Rangers also win the second game and are awarded the French's Mustard Cup. Nine months later, they hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1940.


1999: The Atlanta Thrashers defeat the Nashville Predators 3-1 in the new team's first preseason game.


2018: Steve Yzerman steps down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning and assumes an advisory role for the final year of his contract. His assistant, Julien BriseBois, is promoted to GM. The Lightning advance to the Eastern Conference Final four times and the Stanley Cup Final once (2015) in Yzerman's eight years as general manager. Yzerman, who played his entire Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Red Wings, returns to his former team as GM on April 19, 2019.

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