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This Date in NHL History

Sept. 21: Canadiens star Morenz born in Ontario

Dionne, McDonald inducted into Hall of Fame; Kings win first NHL game played in China

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1902: Howie Morenz, the most electrifying NHL player of his era, is born in Mitchell, Ontario.

Morenz, a speedy forward, becomes known as "The Stratford Streak" while playing junior and senior hockey in Stratford, Ontario. He signs with the Montreal Canadiens for the 1923-24 season and soon becomes the NHL's most spectacular player. Morenz scores 28 goals in 30 games in his second NHL season and scores 40 in 44 games in 1929-30. He earns the nickname "The Babe Ruth of Hockey."

Forward passing is not allowed for most of his career, so end-to-end rushes are the norm. With his blazing speed and ability to control the puck, Morenz brings fans out of their seats like no one before him.

Video: Howie Morenz was feared for his one-man rushes up ice

After Morenz's production tails off in the 1933-34 season, the Canadiens trade him to the Chicago Blackhawks; in turn, the Blackhawks send him to the New York Rangers midway through the 1935-36 season. He returns to the Canadiens in 1936-37 for what he says will be his final season and shows flashes of brilliance at age 34. But on Jan. 28, 1937, he breaks four bones in his left leg and ankle when Chicago defenseman Earl Seibert falls over him while his skate is lodged in the boards. He dies of a blood clot on March 8, 1937.

Morenz lays in state at the Forum, with thousands of his fans filing past him to pay their respects. He is among the initial group of 12 honorees when the Hockey Hall of Fame is founded, and a national press poll votes him as the outstanding hockey player for the first half of the 20th century. In 2017, Morenz is named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players.



1967: Jacques Plante, who's been retired since the end of the 1964-65 season, plays goalie for the California Seals in a preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings at Port Huron, Michigan. The game ends in a 3-3 tie. Plante never plays a regular-season game for the Seals, but he returns to the League with the St. Louis Blues for the 1968-69 season. Plante and Glenn Hall combine to win the Vezina Trophy, then given to the goalies on the team that allows the fewest goals, and get the Blues to the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight season. Plante plays one more season with St. Louis and three with the Toronto Maple Leafs before finishing his NHL career with the Boston Bruins in 1972-73.

He is elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978 and is named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017.

Video: Jacques Plante changed game when he donned mask


1992: Four players -- Marcel Dionne, Lanny McDonald, Bob Gainey and Woody Dumart -- are inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Longtime Philadelphia Flyers executive Keith Allen is inducted as a builder.


2011: Mark Streit becomes the NHL's first Switzerland-born captain when he's given the "C" by the New York Islanders. The veteran defenseman succeeds Doug Weight, who retires at the end of the 2010-11 season. Streit remains captain for his final two seasons with the Islanders; he joins the Philadelphia Flyers in 2013-14 and is succeeded by John Tavares.

2017: The Los Angeles Kings defeat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 in Shanghai to win the first NHL game ever played in China. The 10,888 fans who turn out for the opener of the 2017 NHL China Games, the first of a two-game preseason series, see Tanner Pearson score twice and goalie Jonathan Quick make 31 saves for Los Angeles. Adrian Kempe of the Kings scores the first NHL goal in China when he beats Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom at 7:06 of the first period.

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