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This Date in NHL History

Sept. 18: Hall of Fame coach Bowman born in Montreal

Plus: Maple Leafs acquire Kessel in trade with Bruins; expansion Kings play first preseason game

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1933: Scotty Bowman, the most successful coach in NHL history, is born in Montreal.

After an injury ends his hopes of becoming an NHL player, Bowman turns to coaching and gets his first NHL job at age 34 in 1967 as an assistant with the expansion St. Louis Blues. He replaces Lynn Patrick as coach later that season and guides the Blues to the Stanley Cup Final in each of their first three seasons. Bowman moves to the Montreal Canadiens in 1971-72 and wins the Stanley Cup five times in eight seasons, including four in a row from 1976-79, before leaving to become coach and general manager of the Buffalo Sabres.

Bowman becomes director of player personnel for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990 and is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1991, but goes back behind the bench when coach Bob Johnson is diagnosed with brain cancer after leading the Penguins to the Cup in 1991. Johnson dies Nov. 26, 1991; the Penguins dedicate the season to him and Bowman guides them to a second straight Stanley Cup championship.

He takes over as coach of the Detroit Red Wings in 1993. They make the Final in 1995, win a regular season-record 62 games in 1995-96 and end a 42-year championship drought by sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 Cup Final. Under Bowman, the Red Wings win the Cup again in 1998 and 2002; after that, he retires with NHL records for games coached (2,141), wins in the regular season (1,244) and playoffs (223), and Stanley Cups (nine).

Bowman is part of another Cup-winning team with Detroit in 2008, as a special consultant. In July 2008 he is named a senior adviser with the Chicago Blackhawks, working with his son, GM Stan Bowman. He is part of Chicago's championship teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015.



1967: The Los Angeles Kings, one of the NHL's six expansion teams, play their first game, a 7-3 preseason loss to another first-year team, the Minnesota North Stars, in Guelph, Ontario. The Kings win the rematch 6-2 the following night.


1972: The New York Islanders lose the first game in their history, 4-1 to the Atlanta Flames, in a preseason game in Drummondville, Quebec.


1998: Eighteen months after being told he has cancer and a baseball-sized tumor in his chest, and five months after being told the cancer is gone, center John Cullen returns to the NHL and scores the game-winning goal in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 3-1 preseason win against the Sabres in a game played in Innsbruck, Austria. Cullen plays four regular-season games with the Lightning and six in the minor leagues in 1998-99 before accepting Tampa Bay's offer to become an assistant. He wins the Bill Masterton Trophy in 1999 as recognition of his comeback attempt.


2009: The Toronto Maple Leafs acquire forward Phil Kessel in a trade with the Boston Bruins and sign him to a five-year contract. Toronto trades its first- and second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft and a first-round choice in 2011 to the Bruins.


2015: Max Pacioretty is voted by his teammates as the 29th captain of the Montreal Canadiens. The forward, a native of New Canaan, Connecticut, is the third U.S.-born captain in Canadiens history and the second in a row; Brian Gionta is captain from 2010-11 through 2013-14, and the Canadiens go without a captain during the 2014-15 season.

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