August 19 NHL History
1947: The rebuilding New York Rangers obtain Buddy O’Connor and Frank Eddolls from the Canadiens in a trade for defenseman Hal Laycoe and forwards Joe Bell and George Robertson. Eddolls becomes a regular on defense, but O’Connor, a 5-foot-8, 142-pound center, has a career year with New York in 1947-48, finishing with 60 points (24 goals, 36 assists) in 60 games and helping the Rangers advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 1942. He ends up second to former teammate Elmer Lach in the scoring race but wins the Hart Trophy as MVP and the Lady Byng Trophy for skillful and gentlemanly play, becoming the first player to win both awards in the same season. O’Connor retires after the 1950-51 season and is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.
1982: The Philadelphia Flyers acquire defenseman Mark Howe in a trade that sends forwards Ken Linseman and Greg Adams, plus two draft picks, to the Hartford Whalers. Howe becomes a three-time First-Team All-Star with the Flyers and helps them advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 1985 and 1987. After 10 seasons with the Flyers, he plays three more with the Detroit Red Wings before retiring in 1995. He joins his father, Gordie Howe, in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
1988: Guy Lafleur, already a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, begins his comeback by agreeing to a two-year contract with the New York Rangers that’s contingent on his performance at training camp.
Lafleur, 36, hasn’t played in the NHL since retiring in November 1984 with 518 goals and 1,246 points in 961 NHL games, all with the Montreal Canadiens, with whom he also wins the Stanley Cup five times. He plays well enough at training camp to earn a contract with the Rangers, joining Gordie Howe as the only players to take part in an NHL game after being elected to the Hall (Mario Lemieux becomes the third to do so in 2000).
Lafleur finishes with 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) in 67 games with the Rangers, then plays two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques before retiring for good.