THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Sept. 13
1926: Emile Francis, who follows a long playing career as a goaltender with a longer one as an NHL coach and executive, is born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan.
Francis goes 31-52-11 in six NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers from 1946-47 through 1951-52, then spends eight more in the minor leagues before retiring as a player in 1960. The Rangers hire him to coach their junior team in Guelph, Ontario, then bring him to New York as assistant general manager. He becomes GM of the Rangers in 1964 and coach in 1965, and helps build their most successful teams since prior to World War II.
Francis is fired by the Rangers in January 1976 but is soon hired by the St. Louis Blues as GM and executive vice president; he also has two stints as coach. Francis joins the Hartford Whalers in 1983 and serves as general manager through 1988 and president until he retires from hockey in 1993. He's inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1982.
1978: The Hockey Hall of Fame inducts three players, Jacques Plante, Marcel Pronovost and Andy Bathgate, as well as three builders, Sam Pollock, J.P. Bickell, and William Thayer Tutt.
1981: The Soviet Union wins the second Canada Cup tournament by defeating Canada 8-1 in the championship game at Montreal. After a scoreless first period, the Soviets outscore Canada 3-1 in the second and 5-0 in the third. Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak is named MVP of the tournament.
1984: Three years to the day after one of the worst losses in its history, Canada defeats the Soviet Union 3-2 in overtime at Calgary to win its semifinal game at the Canada Cup. Mike Bossy's goal at 12:29 of OT moves Canada into the best-of-3 final against Sweden.
1987: In a game considered by many to be the best in hockey history, Mario Lemieux scores at 10:07 of the second overtime to give Canada a 6-5 victory against the Soviet Union in Game 2 of the Canada Cup in Hamilton, Ontario, evening the best-of-3 final at one win apiece. Canada can't hold leads of 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4; the Soviets tie the game 5-5 when Valeri Kamensky scores with 1:04 remaining in the third period after an end-to-end rush. Grant Fuhr puts on a goaltending exhibition for Canada in the first overtime before Lemieux takes a pass from Gretzky and beats goaltender Evgeny Belosheikin for the winner. Gretzky finishes the game with five assists, including one on each of Lemieux's goals.
1992: The Chicago Blackhawks defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 to earn a split of their two-game exhibition series in London. The game is decided by a shootout, a concept that's not adopted by the NHL until the 2005-06 season.