"If you can’t beat ‘em in the alley, you can’t beat ‘em on the ice." - Conn Smythe

Old school.

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.

May 28, 2003 - Saint Patrick announced his retirement from the NHL

Patrick Roy left his career as the NHL leader in victories (551) and games played (1,029). He was also the all-time leader in playoff victories, games played and shutouts.

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May 19, 1984 - The Edmonton Oilers won their first Stanley Cup, defeating the Islanders in 5 games

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During the 1983-84 NHL season the Edmonton Oilers finished first overall in the NHL, winning a franchise record fifty-seven games and earning 119 points (fifteen points ahead of the second place New York Islanders). They were the first team to feature three players with fifty goals (Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson). Gretzky started off strong by scoring at least a point in the first fifty-one games of the season. Paul Coffey became the second defenceman ever to score forty goals in a season (with forty exactly). The Oilers scored a grand total of 446 goals as a team, an NHL record. They were so determined to win the Stanley Cup that they hired Roger Neilson as a video analyst.

The Oilers started the playoffs strongly by sweeping the Winnipeg Jets in the Smythe Division semifinals. They faced a tougher test in the Calgary Flames, but they defeated them in seven games in the division finals. They then swept the Minnesota North Stars in the conference finals to earn a rematch with the Islanders in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Oilers split the first two games in Long Island, but then won three in a row in Edmonton to become the first former WHA team to win the Stanley Cup. After the series, Mark Messier was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

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"Sometimes people say, ‘Are hockey fights real?’ and I say ‘If they weren’t I’d get in more of them.’" - Wayne Gretzky

No WWE over here.

May 10, 1970 - Bobby Orr scored ‘The Goal’ to win Game 4, and the Stanley Cup, over the St. Louis Blues

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Bobby Orr went on to lead the Boston Bruins in a march through the 1970 playoffs that culminated on May 10, 1970, when he scored one of the most famous goals in hockey history and one that gave Boston its first Stanley Cup since 1941. The goal came off a give-and-go pass with teammate Derek Sanderson at the 40-second mark of the first overtime period in the fourth game, helping to complete a sweep of the St. Louis Blues.

According to Orr: “If it had gone by me, it’s a two-on-one. So I got a little lucky there, but Derek gave me a great pass and when I got the pass I was moving across. As I skated across, Glenn had to move across the crease and had to open his pads a little. I was really trying to get the puck on net, and I did. As I went across, Glenn’s legs opened. I looked back, and I saw it go in, so I jumped.”

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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. 16, 1949 - The Toronto Maple Leafs became the first team to win three straight Stanley Cup titles

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The 1949 Stanley Cup Final was a best-of-seven series between the Detroit Red Wings and the defending champion Toronto Maple Leafs, the second straight final series between Detroit and Toronto. The Maple Leafs won the series in four straight games to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup and eighth in the history of the franchise.

The Maple Leafs became the first NHL team to win the Cup in three straight seasons. The Leafs also won nine straight finals games. By defeating Detroit, Toronto won the Stanley Cup with a losing record. The only other team to win the Stanley Cup after finishing the regular season with a losing record was the 1938 Chicago Blackhawks.

Apr. 11, 1989 - Ron Hextall became the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal in the playoffs

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Ron Hextall became the first NHL goaltender to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opponent’s empty net, against the Boston Bruins in the 1987–88 season. The following season, he became the first to score in the playoffs, by shooting the puck into the Washington Capitals’ empty net. His mobile style of play, in which he provided support to his defencemen by coming out of the goal area to play the puck was revolutionary, and inspired future generations of goaltenders, such as Martin Brodeur. He was also known for being one of the NHL’s most aggressive goaltenders: he was suspended for six or more games on three occasions, had more than 100 penalty minutes in each of his first three seasons, and set new records for the number of penalty minutes recorded by a goaltender in the NHL.

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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.

Apr. 3, 1988 - Mario Lemieux wins the NHL scoring title

Mario Lemieux's 168 points bested Wayne Gretzky, who had dominated the league as the top scorer for an amazing seven seasons.

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"You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours." - Herb Brooks

Seize the moment. Make it count.

Mar. 26, 1931 - Art Ross is the first coach to pull his goalie for an extra attacker

In a playoff game against the Montreal Canadiens, Art Ross substituted goaltender Tiny Thompson for a sixth skater in the final minute of play. Although the Boston Bruins lost the game 1–0, Ross became the first coach to replace his goaltender with an extra attacker, a tactic which became widespread practice in hockey. The Canadiens would go on to win the series and the 1931 Championship.

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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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