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NHL Centennial

This Week in Centennial History

Hall of Famers Richard, Boivin, Brooks born; Philadelphia becomes 'Flyers' @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 30-Aug. 5:


Aug. 5, 1937: "Miracle on Ice" coach Herb Brooks, who led the United States to the gold medal at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, is born in St. Paul, Minnesota. The U.S. team stuns the powerful Soviet Union 4-3 in the semifinal before defeating Finland 4-2 for the gold. Brooks goes on to coach the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins, and after he dies in an auto accident on Aug. 11, 2003, he is posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.


Aug. 4, 1921: Forward Maurice "Rocket" Richard, the first NHL player to score 50 goals in a season and 500 in a career, is born in Montreal. He eclipses the 30-goal mark nine times in his 18 NHL seasons, all with the Montreal Canadiens. He scores 20 goals or more in 14 consecutive seasons, is a 14-time All-Star and wins the Stanley Cup eight times, including in each of last five seasons in the League. He finishes his career with 965 points (544 goals, 421 assists) in 978 games, and is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.

Video: Maurice Richard remains cultural icon in Montreal


Aug. 3, 1966: The NHL's new Philadelphia franchise, one of six awarded earlier in the year, chooses "Flyers" as its name. Owner Ed Snider likes the name after it's suggested by his sister. Although Snider decides on the nickname, he still runs a name-the-team contest that lasts 10 days to generate publicity, with the winner chosen from among those who suggest "Fliers" or "Flyers." Nine-year-old Alec Stockard, who submits an entry with "Fliers" as his suggested name, is declared the winner.


Aug. 2, 1932: Defenseman Leo Boivin, nicknamed "Fireplug" because of his 5-foot-8, 183-pound frame,is born in Prescott, Ontario. He plays 19 seasons in the NHL from 1951-70, including 12 with the Boston Bruins, and is recognized as one of the fiercest checkers of his day. He also plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Penguins and Minnesota North Stars, and finishes his career with 322 points (72 goals, 250 assists) in 1,150 games. He is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986.


Aug. 1, 1961: Forward Rod Gilbert signs his first NHL contract, with the Rangers, at the age of 20. He plays 18 NHL seasons, all with New York, and even though he retires in 1977, remains the Rangers' all-time leader in goals (406) and points (1,021). He is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982.


July 31, 1986: Center Evgeni Malkin is born in Magnitogorsk, Russia. Malkin is chosen by the Penguins with the No. 2 pick of the 2004 NHL Draft and wins the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie after he has 85 points (33 goals, 52 assists) in 2006-07. He goes on to win the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh three times (2009, 2016, 2017), twice leads the League in scoring (2008-09, 2011-12) and wins the Hart Trophy as League MVP (2011-12).


July 30, 2005: Center Sidney Crosby is selected by the Penguins with the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft in Ottawa.Four years later, at the age of 21, he becomes the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup. He wins the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2016 and again in 2017 after helping the Penguins become the first team since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to win back-to-back championships.

Video: Crosby discusses winning back-to-back Stanley Cups

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