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NHL Centennial

This Week in Centennial History

Messier signs with Canucks; Shanahan traded to Whalers; Lamoriello becomes Maple Leafs GM @NHLdotcom

As part of the League's Centennial Celebration, is taking a look back at memorable events each week.

Here are Centennial highlights for the week of July 23-29:


July 29, 1925: Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay is born in Renfrew, Ontario. Lindsay makes the Detroit Red Wings as a 19-year-old in 1944 and teams with center Sid Abel and right wing Gordie Howe to form Detroit's famed "Production Line," earning the nickname "Terrible Ted" for his willingness to do anything he can to win.


July 28, 1997: Mark Messier leaves the New York Rangers to sign a three-year, $20 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks. The move comes three years after Messier scores the winning goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final for the Rangers against the Canucks. Messier, now 36, plays three seasons with the Canucks before re-signing with the Rangers.


July 27, 1995: In an exchange of players who end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame, forward Brendan Shanahan is traded by the St. Louis Blues to the Hartford Whalers for defenseman Chris Pronger. Shanahan scores 44 goals in one season with the Whalers before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings; Pronger blossoms into one of the NHL's top defensemen during his nine seasons in St. Louis.


July 26, 1989: Larry Robinson, one of the cornerstones of the Montreal Canadiens' dynasty of the late 1970s, signs with the Los Angeles Kings as a free agent. Robinson plays three seasons with the Kings before retiring.


July 25, 1977: Roger Neilson gets his first NHL coaching job when he's hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Neilson replaces Red Kelly and leads the Maple Leafs to the Semifinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his first season but is fired after Toronto goes 34-33-13 in 1979-79. He goes on to coach seven other NHL teams, finishing 460-378-3 with 159 ties in exactly 1,000 games.


July 24, 2003: Luc Robitaille signs on for a third stint with the Los Angeles Kings. He plays his final two seasons with the Kings before retiring in 2006. Robitaille's 668 goals and 1,394 points remain NHL records for a left wing. He's inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.


July 23, 2015: Lou Lamoriello, the architect of three Stanley Cup-winning teams during his 28 seasons running the New Jersey Devils, agrees to become general manager of the Maple Leafs. The 72-year-old resigns as president of the Devils to join Toronto; he's hired by team president Brendan Shanahan, Lamoriello's first draft pick as GM of the Devils in 1987.

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