The best participant to ever skate in the National Hockey League is well known on this date as he takes one other journey across the Sun. He is way from the one member of the Hockey Hall of Fame to make recollections on Jan. 26. We have the THW time machine fired up, so let’s take a journey again all through the many years.
The Great One’s Great Day
We may simply change the title of this column to “Things Wayne Gretzky Did Today” and never miss a beat. This is a very powerful date of his life. On Jan. 26, 1961, Gretzky was born in Brantford, Ontario.
He confirmed his superior abilities early by taking part in with 10-year-olds on the age of six. He ultimately performed junior hockey at age 16 earlier than taking the NHL by storm at 18. The most all-time objectives, assists, and factors are simply three of the quite a few NHL data he holds. He at the moment holds or shares 61 NHL data; 40 for the common season, 15 for the Stanley Cup playoffs, and 6 for the All-Star Game.
On Jan. 26, 1979, Gretzky’s 18th birthday, Edmonton Oilers proprietor Peter Pocklington pulled off a shock social gathering for the ages. Before their World Hockey Association (WHA) recreation with the Cincinnati Stingers, the staff hosted a celebration at middle ice with champagne and a 99-shaped cake. Pocklington shocked the 12,000 followers on the Edmonton Coliseum by signing his younger star to a 21-year contract that ran by means of 1999.
Gretzky’s 24th birthday, on Jan. 26, 1985, was one to recollect. He scored his 33rd NHL hat trick in the Oilers’ 6-3 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. His three objectives gave him 50 on the season in simply 49 video games. This marked the third time in his profession he had scored 50 objectives in fewer than 50 video games, one thing that had by no means been performed earlier than he joined the league.
The Great One turned 30 in model on Jan. 26, 1991, now as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. He scored his 48th profession hat trick to prepared the ground in a 5-4 victory versus the Vancouver Canucks, on the Forum. This efficiency gave him 30 objectives in 1991-92, the 12th straight season in which he scored at the least 30 occasions.
Lemieux Returns in Style
On the identical night time Gretzky turned 30, Mario Lemieux returned to the Penguins lineup after again surgical procedure brought on him to overlook the earlier 50 video games. He assisted on three objectives throughout a 6-5 street win on the Quebec Nordiques. Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Murphy picked up his 500th profession help in the win. Lemieux performed in 26 video games in the course of the 1990-91 common season and put up 19 objectives and 45 factors. He scored 16 objectives and 44 factors in 23 playoff video games, main the Penguins to their first Stanly Cup championship in franchise historical past.
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Six years later, on Jan. 26, 1997, Lemieux tied an NHL document with 4 third-period objectives in a 5-2 win on the Montreal Canadiens, his hometown staff. This was the 39th hat trick of his outstanding profession and his thirteenth four-goal recreation, equaling the document held by each Gretzky and New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy.
The Golden Brett Steals the Show
Brett Hull is one other elite goal-scorer who had lots to have a good time on this date. Starting on Jan. 26, 1993, he scored twice and added a pair of assists in the St. Louis Blues’ 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. His teammate, Brendan Shanahan, had a purpose and 4 assists for the primary five-point recreation of his profession.
Two years later, on Jan. 26, 1995, the Blues performed their first-ever recreation in their new area, the Kiel Center. Hull scored twice in the third interval because the Blues gained 3-1 over Gretzky and the visiting Kings.
Hull got here again to chew the hand that when fed him on Jan. 26, 2002, as he scored his 31st profession hat trick and added two assists to guide the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-2 victory in St. Louis. His efficiency gave him 20 objectives for the 15th consecutive season.
Windy City Memories
Glenn Hall grew to become the 13th NHL goaltender to document 50 profession shutouts, on Jan. 26, 1963, by main the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-0 win on the Red Wings.
Four years later, on Jan. 26, 1967, the Blackhawks earned one other street victory in Detroit as Stan Mikita scored the 200th purpose of his profession in a 4-3 victory.
Related – Stan Mikita: A True Chicago Legend
Another legendary goaltender in Chicago, Tony Esposito, recorded his 62nd profession shutout, on Jan 26, 1978, in the Blackhawks’ 5-0 win over the Cleveland Barons. There have been simply 527 devoted followers at Chicago Stadium for this contest on account of a extreme blizzard.
Doug Wilson scored the one hat trick of his NHL profession on Jan. 26, 1991, in a 5-1 win in opposition to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He grew to become simply the second defenseman in franchise historical past to attain three objectives in a recreation, becoming a member of Dick Redmond, who scored his hat trick versus the Colorado Rockies on Feb. 12, 1977.
A decade later, on Jan. 26, 2001, Steve Sullivan set a brand new franchise document for the quickest two shorthanded objectives by one participant, when he scored twice in 51 seconds throughout a Blackhawks 5-2 loss on the Colorado Avalanche.
A Night of Milestones in 2002
Jan. 26, 2002, was a giant night time for private milestones. Starting in Boston, the place Joe Thornton scored two objectives in the third interval, together with the 100th of his profession, in the Bruins 4-2 win over the visiting Florida Panthers. Pavel Bure scored his 400th NHL purpose in the dropping effort.
Eric Lindros lit the lamp to present him 20 objectives in every of his 9 NHL seasons, because the New York Rangers doubled up the Washington Capitals 6-3. Theo Fleury scored his 20th purpose of the season for the 12th time in his profession.
Finally, Ron Francis picked up his 1,170th profession help, surpassing Ray Bourque and shifting him into second place on the league’s all-time helpers listing. However, his Carolina Hurricanes fell 4-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers, who bought objectives from Jeremy Roenick, Justin Williams, Mark Recchi, and Simon Gagne.
Odds and Ends
On Jan. 26, 1941, Bill Cowley picked up 4 assists, together with three in the ultimate interval, because the Bruins prolonged their team-record undefeated streak to 13 straight video games (7-0-6) with a 6-1 win on the New York Americans.
Gordie Howe grew to become the primary participant in NHL historical past to play in 1,300 video games on this date in 1966. He recorded an help in the Red Wings’ 5-4 loss on the Rangers.
Guy Lafleur piled up 4 objectives on Jan. 26, 1975, to guide the Canadiens to a 7-2 blowout of the Penguins. This was the one four-goal recreation of his profession. Defenseman Bob Gainey had 4 assists on the night time, together with on three of the 4 objectives scored by Lafleur.
Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne scored his 250th profession purpose and added two assists on Jan. 26, 1978, to assist the Kings to a 5-1 win over the Blues.
That identical night time, Bernie Parent grew to become the primary goaltender in Flyers’ historical past to win 200 video games by beating the Vancouver Cancuks 6-2.
Don Edwards grew to become the primary goaltender in Buffalo Sabres’ historical past to earn 100 victories on Jan. 26, 1980, in a 7-2 win at Montreal. Also, Don Luce grew to become the fourth Sabre to attain 200 objectives, and Gilbert Perreault picked up his five hundredth profession help.
The Islanders set a staff document for the quickest 4 objectives on Jan. 26, 1982, as John Tonelli, Bryan Trottier (twice), and Duane Sutter all scored inside a span of 1:38 throughout a 9-2 win in opposition to Pittsburgh.
Patrick Roy recorded his fifth shutout of the season and the twenty fifth of his profession on Jan. 26, 1994, by blanking the Hartford Whalers 3-0. Brian Bellows scored two of the three Canadiens’ objectives to present him 400 in his NHL profession.
One 12 months later, on Jan. 26, 1995, Michel Goulet introduced his retirement. He scored 548 objectives and 1,153 factors in 1,089 video games over 15 seasons with the Nordiques and Blackhawks. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998, his first 12 months of eligibility.
Adam Graves grew to become the ninth participant in Rangers’ franchise historical past to attain 200 objectives with the staff on Jan. 26, 1998, in a 4-1 win on the Washington Capitals.
Martin Brodeur gained his tenth straight recreation and tied his franchise document of 14 straight video games with no loss (12-0-2) on Jan. 26, 2000, when the New Jersey Devils beat the Panthers 3-2. This additionally marked his fifth straight season with at the least 30 wins.
On that very same night, Stephane Richer, a former teammate of Brodeur’s, scored his four-hundredth profession purpose to assist the Blues earn a 4-1 street victory on the Ottawa Senators.
Peter Bondra scored to present him 20 objectives for the twelfth straight season on Jan. 26, 2003, in the Capitals’ 7-2 win over the visiting Rangers. Defenseman Sergei Gonchar added a purpose and three assists as Washington produced 5 power-play objectives on the night time.
Thornton hit one other milestone on this date in 2016. He picked up an help in the course of the San Jose Sharks’ 6-1 victory over the Avalanche, changing into the 33rd participant in NHL historical past to attain 1,300 profession factors.
On Jan. 26, 2018, Sidney Crosby grew to become the primary Penguins participant to win the NHL All-Star Game MVP since Lemieux in 1990. He had 4 objectives and eight factors in his two 3-on-3 video games. He had two objectives and an help in the Metropolitan Division’s 10-4 win over the Atlantic Division in the semifinals. He got here again with one other two objectives and three helpers in the championship recreation, main the way in which in a 10-5 victory versus the Central Division.
On Jan. 26, 2022, the Calgary Flames set a franchise document for photographs with 62 after they beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0. Now-Panther Matthew Tkachuk scored his twentieth purpose of the season in the win and Jacob Markstrom bought his sixth shutout.
The Avalanche gained their thirteenth recreation of January on this night time after they defeated the Bruins 4-3 in time beyond regulation – essentially the most in their historical past. They additionally tied the NHL document for the month (Hurricanes, 2006; Capitals, 2010).
Happy Birthday to You
There have been 27 gamers who’ve skated in the NHL born on Jan. 26. In addition to Gretzky, different notable names embrace Fred Barrett (73), Dale McCourt (66), Peyton Krebs (22), and the late Frank Nighbor (Hall of Fame), Glen Skov and Ivan Hlinka.
*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen
Matthew Zator is the assistant managing editor at THW and a author who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in common. He loves speaking about younger gamers and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks followers and followers of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content material info, you’ll be able to observe Matthew by means of his social media accounts that are listed underneath his picture on the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.
Matthew additionally co-hosts The Hockey Writers Prospect Corner on YouTube.