December 7 NHL History
1919: The Toronto Arenas change their team name to the Toronto St. Patricks. The name remains until 1926-27, when they become known as the Toronto Maple Leafs.
1961: Jean Beliveau takes the ice as captain of the Montreal Canadiens for the first time.
To his own surprise, Beliveau is voted captain by his teammates on Oct. 11, 1961, four months after the previous captain, defenseman Doug Harvey, is traded to the New York Rangers. However, a knee injury keeps him out for the first 25 games, and it’s not until the Canadiens face the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Forum that Beliveau steps onto the ice as captain for the first time.
He remains captain until retiring after the 1970-71 season as a 10-time Stanley Cup winner. The last five come with Beliveau as captain.
1966: Henri Richard of the Canadiens scores his 250th NHL goal in a 6-3 victory against the Maple Leafs at the Forum. He becomes the seventh player in team history, and the second in his family, to reach 250 goals. He and older brother Maurice (544 goals) become the first pair of brothers to get 250 goals each.
1967: Johnny Bucyk scores twice to become the Boston Bruins’ all-time leading scorer with his 576th point. Bucyk passes Milt Schmidt‘s record of 575 points and the Bruins defeat the New York Rangers 3-1 at Boston Garden. One year later, Bucyk becomes the first player to score 250 goals as a member of the Bruins. Bucyk has a second-period goal and two assists in a 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Boston Garden.
1975: Bucyk, now Boston’s captain, scores his 507th goal to tie Beliveau for sixth place on the NHL’s all-time list. The goal comes during a 2-2 tie with the visiting Canadiens. Bucyk finishes his career with 556 goals, 545 as a member of the Bruins.
1977: The Washington Capitals end a 20-game winless streak by defeating the Cleveland Barons 5-3 at Richfield Coliseum. Bob Sirois scores twice and Gary Smith makes 23 saves.
1982: Wayne Gretzky scores two goals to extend his NHL-record point streak to 30 games and help the Edmonton Oilers defeat the visiting St. Louis Blues 3-2. Gretzky scores 24 goals and has 52 assists for 76 points during the streak, which ends two days later.
1985: Marcel Dionne becomes the first player to score 500 goals as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. Dionne reaches the milestone when he scores in the Kings’ 3-2 victory against the Winnipeg Jets at Winnipeg Arena. Dionne scores 550 of his 731 NHL goals for the Kings.
1988: Coach Terry Simpson is fired by the New York Islanders, eight months after guiding them to a division title. Al Arbour comes out of retirement to replace him. Arbour gets the Islanders to the Semifinals of the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs and retires after New York’s first-round loss in 1994.
2002: Marian Gaborik of the Minnesota Wild becomes the fourth player in NHL history to have five hat tricks before he turns 21. Gaborik scores three goals in the Wild’s 4-2 road win against the Vancouver Canucks.