Oct. 15, 1989 - Wayne Gretzky surpassed Gordie Howe to become the greatest scorer in NHL history

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With less than a minute remaining in the game, Wayne Gretzky earns his 1,851st career point against his old team, the Edmonton Oilers. As soon as the puck lands in the net, the Edmonton crowd erupts in applause, showing that they still love number 99, despite Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings jersey. 

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(via athleticpoetics)

Oct. 14, 1979 - Wayne Gretzky scored his first NHL goal

The 18-year-old Wayne Gretzky needed three regular-season games to score his first NHL goal. It came against Glen Hanlon of the Vancouver Canucks during a 4-4 tie in Edmonton. Gretsky went on to score 50 more goals that season, which was the highest total for a rookie in NHL history. He also won the NHL’s MVP award and was tied for the scoring lead at the end of the season with 137 points.

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Aug. 9, 1988 - The Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky to the Kings

In a move that heralded significant change in the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski, to the Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million in cash, and the Kings’ first-round draft picks in 1989. “The Trade”, as it came to be known, upset Canadians to the extent that New Democratic Party House Leader Nelson Riis demanded that the government block it, and Peter Pocklington was burned in effigy outside the Northlands Coliseum. Gretzky himself was considered a “traitor” by some Canadians for turning his back on his adopted hometown, and his home country; his motivation was widely rumored to be the furtherance of his wife’s acting career.

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July 27, 1996 - Donovan Bailey sets world record for the Men’s 100 Meters with a time of 9.84

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The previous record was 9.85 held by Leroy Burrell of the United States. Donovan Bailey’s time of 9.84 in Atlanta was the 100 m world record from 1996 until 1999, when it was broken by Greene. The time also stood as the Commonwealth record from 1996 until 2005, when it was broken by Asafa Powell, and is the current Canadian record (shared with Bruny Surin since 1999). His Olympic record was broken by Usain Bolt at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

June 24, 1980 - The Atlanta Flames franchise moved to Calgary, Alberta

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The Atlanta Flames were a professional ice hockey team based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA from 1972 to 1980. In 1980, team owner Tom Cousins was in considerable financial difficulty and was forced to sell the Flames to stave off bankruptcy. With few serious offers from local groups, he was very receptive to an offer from a group of Calgary businessmen fronted by Canadian entrepreneur (and former Edmonton Oilers owner) Nelson Skalbania. A last-ditch effort to keep the team in Atlanta fell short, and Cousins sold the team to Skalbania for US$16 million, a record sale price for an NHL team at the time. Skalbania chose to retain the Flames name, feeling it would be a good fit for an oil town like Calgary, while the flaming “A” logo was replaced by a flaming “C”. Skalbania sold his interest in 1981, and the Flames have been locally owned since. The team was relocated to Calgary for the start of the 1980–81 NHL season and were officially renamed the Calgary Flames.

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June 6, 1989 - Wayne Gretzky wins his 9th Hart Trophy award

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He is the first player in NHL history to win the same award nine times.

Wayne Gretzky won the award a record nine times during his career, eight consecutively. He has been named MVP more times than any other player in the history of the other three North American major professional leagues (Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and National Football League). Barry Bonds is second, having won the MVP award seven times in Major League Baseball. Gretzky and his Edmonton Oilers teammate Mark Messier are the only players to win the Hart Trophy with more than one team. In 1990, Mark Messier took the Hart over Ray Bourque by a margin of two votes, the difference being a single first-place vote.

"The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play ‘Drop the Handkerchief.’" - James Naismith

If it wasn’t for Dr. James Naismith we’d all be playing drop the handkerchief.

April 17, 1997 - Martin Brodeur becomes the second NHL goalie to score in a playoff game

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In the first game of a first-round playoff matchup against the Montreal CanadiansMartin Brodeur fired the puck the length of the ice and into the Canadiens’ empty net to ensure a 5–2 victory. It was only the second time in NHL history that a goaltender had scored in the playoffs, and the fifth time overall. The New Jersey Devils went on to win that series, but lost in the second round to the rival New York Rangers.

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Apr. 12, 1980 - Terry Fox embarked on his Marathon of Hope

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The Trek Across Canada began on April 12, 1980, when Terry Fox dipped his right leg in the Atlantic Ocean near St. John’s, Newfoundland, and filled two large bottles with ocean water. He intended to keep one as a souvenir and pour the other into the Pacific Ocean upon completing his journey at Victoria, British Columbia. Fox was supported on his run by Doug Alward, who drove the van and cooked meals.

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Apr. 4, 1986 - Wayne Gretzky sets NHL record with his 213th point of the season

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Wayne Gretzky won his seventh straight Hart Memorial Trophy and his sixth straight Art Ross trophy. During the 1985-86 season Gretzky scored 52 goals, and set records with 163 assists and 215 points. This was the fourth time in five years that Gretzky reached the 200 point plateau; no other player would reach the 200 point mark, although Mario Lemieux would garner 199 points in 76 games in 1989.

Mar. 23, 1952 - Bill Mosienko scored the fastest hat trick in NHL history, 3 goals in 21 seconds

Bill Mosienko played 14 seasons in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks. He appeared in five All-Star Games during his career. His most famous moment came on March 23, 1952, in a game against the New York Rangers on the final night of the regular season. He scored three goals in a 21-second span of the third period against New York’s Lorne Anderson to set a new record for the fastest hat-trick by one player. Line-mate Gus Bodnar assisted on all three goals, and he nearly had a fourth goal 45 seconds later on a shot that deflected off the goalpost. As of 2014 Mosienko’s feat remains an NHL record.

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"I want to be the best. So whatever comes with that, I have to accept it." - Sidney Crosby

It comes with the territory.

Feb. 24, 2002 - Team Canada defeats the U.S., 5-2, to win Gold Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics

Team Canada and the US faced off in the final. For both nations, the gold-medal game came coincidentally on the anniversary of each nation’s last gold medal in men’s Olympic hockey. Canada last won 50 years previously at the 1952 Winter Olympics when they tied the US 3-3 (Olympic ice hockey previously only had a round-robin portion). The US won their last gold medal when they defeated Finland two days after “The Miracle on Ice" in 1980. Both games, coincidentally were played on a Sunday.

The Canada-USA final was tied at 2–2, however Canada then scored three goals to win 5–2. It was only the second time and first in 70 years that the US men’s hockey team lost an Olympic game on home soil. The first loss came against Canada (a 2-1 OT loss) in their first game at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

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"It’s hard to win, but it’s harder to keep winning." - Alexandre Bilodeau

Repeat!

Dec. 19, 1917 - The first regular season games of the NHL

Five teams made up the National Hockey League (NHL) Toronto Arenas, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, the Montreal Canadiens and the Montreal Wanderers. Quebec did not actually begin operations until two years later. The first game of the season featured Toronto versus the Wanderers. Montreal’s Dave Ritchie scored the first goal in NHL history and Harry Hyland had four goals in the Wanderers 10–9 victory, which would be their only one in the NHL. The opening game was played in front of only 700 fans.

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