September 16 NHL History
1978: Wayne Gretzky, 17, attends his first professional training camp as a member of the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association. He ends up playing eight games with Indianapolis before being sold to the Edmonton Oilers. After the 1978-79 season, the Oilers and three other WHA teams are absorbed into the NHL; however, the Oilers manage to keep Gretzky. Exactly one year later, he attends his first NHL training camp.
1991: Canada wins the Canada Cup for the fourth time in five tries by defeating the United States 4-2 in Hamilton, Ontario, to complete a two-game sweep in the final.
Canada and the U.S. tie for first in round-robin play and breeze past their semifinal opponents. Canada wins 4-1 in Game 1, but Game 2 is tied in the third period until Steve Larmer scores a shorthanded goal with 7:47 remaining in the third period. Dirk Graham’s empty-net goal with 42 seconds remaining gives Canada its fourth championship in the five editions of the Cup. Goaltender Bill Ranford, who goes 6-0-2 with a 1.75 goals-against average for Canada, is named MVP.
Canada wins despite the absence of Wayne Gretzky, who sits out with back spasms and a twisted knee after being driven into the boards from behind by U.S. defenseman Gary Suter midway through Game 1. Gretzky still leads all scorers with 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in seven games.
It’s the last Canada Cup to be held. The tournament is replaced by the World Cup of Hockey in 1996.
1996: The Hockey Hall of Fame announces its three newest members. The trio includes longtime Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Borje Salming, Al Arbour, the coach of the New York Islanders’ dynasty teams in the 1980s, and Bobby Bauer, a star with the Boston Bruins in the 1930s and 1940s.
1998: Longtime Quebec Nordiques teammates Peter Stastny and Michel Goulet are announced as two of the newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Roy Conacher, a star with the Bruins before World War II and with the Chicago Blackhawks after the war, is also named to the Hall.