THIS DATE IN NHL HOCKEY HISTORY: March 8
1937: Howie Morenz, the first great NHL star of the Montreal Canadiens, dies from an untreated blood clot less than six weeks after a fractured leg abruptly ends his career. Morenz, 35, is hospitalized after breaking four bones in his left leg and ankle in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 28. He is hospitalized and told he will never play hockey again. Thousands of fans file past Morenz’s body, which lays in state at center ice at the Forum, and as many as 200,000 people line the streets of Montreal to watch the funeral procession.
1945: Syd Howe of the Detroit Red Wings passes Nels Stewart to become the NHL all-time leading scorer.
Howe gets the 516th point of his NHL career when he has an assist in Detroit’s 7-3 victory against the New York Rangers at Olympia Stadium. That’s one more than Stewart, who ends his career after the 1939-40 season with 515.
Howe gets one more point in 1944-45 and 11 in 1945-46 before retiring from the League. Bill Cowley of the Boston Bruins surpasses his mark of 527 points on Feb. 12, 1947.
1975: Ron Stackhouse of the Pittsburgh Penguins becomes the fourth defenseman in NHL history to get six assists in a game. They come in an 8-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Civic Arena. Stackhouse joins Babe Pratt, Pat Stapleton and Bobby Orr.
1977: Orr announces he will not be able to play anymore during the 1976-77 season because of knee problems. But Orr, in his first season with Chicago, also says he’s not contemplating retirement. He finishes with 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) in his first season with the Blackhawks. After sitting out 1977-78, Orr returns to play six games in 1978-79 before retiring.
1983: Ray Bourque joins Orr as the only defensemen in Boston Bruins history to score three goals in a game. Bourque does it when he scores three times in a span of 9:58 during the second period of an 11-5 road victory against the Quebec Nordiques. The third goal comes when his power-play shot from the point beats goalie Daniel Bouchard at 12:32. It’s the only hat trick of Bourque’s Hockey Hall of Fame career.
1987: Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders scores three goals for the 39th and final hat trick of his NHL career. The three goals come in a 6-5 win at Chicago Stadium. It’s the 100th hat trick in Islanders history. Bossy retires after the season at age 30 because of back problems.
1997: Mario Lemieux of the Penguins becomes the first player to get 100 points during the 1996-97 season when he has an assist in a 3-2 overtime win against the visiting Flyers. He reaches 100 points for the 10th time in his NHL career.