This day in hockey history -- July

This day in hockey history, July 7th 1980, Gerry Cheevers ended his playing career retiring as a player and immediately replacing Harry Sinden as the new coach of the Boston Bruins.

This day in hockey history, July 7th 1992, the Detroit Red Wings signed Gordie Howe’s son, 37 year old free agent defenseman Mark Howe. He spent the last three seasons of his NHL career with the Red Wings and retired after the 1994-95 season. In 2011. He joined Gordie in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
This day in hockey history, July 8th 1995, Bryan Berard became the third American selected with the number one pick in the NHL entry draft when he was selected by the Ottawa Senators.
Berard expected to step right into Ottawa's weak defense corps right away but the Sens sent him back to junior. Berard lost confidence in Ottawa;s ability to manage his career and he requested a trade. On Januray 26th 1996, he was traded to the New York Islanders along with Martin Straka and Don Beaupre for Wade Redden (the 2nd pick in the draft) and Damian Rhodes.
Berard joined the Islanders for the 1996-97 season and won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year with 8 goals and 40 assists. He was the ninth highest scoring defenseman in the league. Jerome Iginla finished second in the voting.

This day in hockey history, June 8th 1995, in an entry draft day deal the Buffalo Sabres acquired Michael Peca, Mike Wilson, and the 14th pick in the draft which they used to select Jay McKee, in exchange for sending Alexander Mogilny to the Vancouver Canucks.

This day in hockey history, July 08, 1995, Dale Hawerchuk was signed by the St. Louis Blues after spending the previous five seasons with the Buffalo Sabres.

On this date in hockey history, July 9th 1905, Clarence Campbell was born in Fleming, Saskatchewan. Campbell was the third NHL president and presided for 31 years from 1946-1977. Campbell's greatest accomplishment for the league was presiding over the 1967 expansion which doubled the league in size from six to twelve teams. His most infamous accomplishment was suspending Montreal Canadiens star Maurice “Rocket” Richard after he had attacked an opposing player with his stick and assaulted a linesman.
The matter was so severe that after the game, Boston police attempted to arrest Richard in the dressing room. A group of police officers were turned back by the rest of the Canadiens players who barred the door. Bruins management finally persuaded the officers to leave with a promise that the NHL would handle the issue. Richard was suspended from all remaining games that season, including the playoffs.
At the time the Rocket was leading the NHL in scoring. Montreal fans were livid at Campbell over the suspension. They booed Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion when he passed Richard for the scoring lead in the seasons final game, even though Geoffrion was also a beloved local francophone player. Such was the high regard the fans held for Richard.
During a playoff game with Montreal hosting the Detroit Red Wings, Campbell made the poor decision of attending and the fans made their displeasure unknown directly to the NHL President by hurling eggs, vegetables and other items at him as the Red Wings built up a 4-1 lead. Then a tear gas bomb exploded and the Montreal Forum was evacuated. Campbell declared the game forfeited to Detroit.
The tear gas bomb and forfeiture destabilized the crowd as it disbursed into the street. A riot ensued outside the Forum and hundreds of stores were looted within a 15 block radius of the Forum. Twelve policemen and 25 civilians were injured. The riot continued well into the night. Local radio stations carried live coverage of the riot for over seven hours.
The riot eventually ended at 3 am, and left Montreal's Saint Catherine Street in shambles. The police arrested 41 persons. The incident was national news in Canada. Reporters lined up to see both Campbell and Richard on March 18.
Richard was reluctant to speak, fearing that it could start another riot, but eventually gave the following statement: “Because I always try so hard to win and had my troubles in Boston, I was suspended. At playoff time it hurts not be in the game with the boys. However, I want to do what is good for the people of Montreal and the team. So that no further harm will be done, I would like to ask everyone to get behind the team and to help the boys win from the New York Rangers and Detroit. I will take my punishment and come back next year to help the club and the younger players to win the Cup.”
Campbell was unapologetic. He said that he considered it his "duty" as president to attend the game. Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau was livid at Campbell for attending, and laid the blame for the riot on Campbell. A Montreal city councillor wanted Campbell arrested for inciting the riot. The Rocket and Campbell remain immortalized in NHL lore by having their names on prominent league hardware.
The memory of both is carried on by the NHL. When the league split into four divisions in 1974, one of the conferences was named the Campbell Conference, which was later renamed to the Western Conference, but the league still honors him by awarding the Campbell Cup to the Western Conference postseason winner. The Rocket Richard trophy is awarded to the leagues top goal scorer.
On this day in hockey history, July 9th 1927, Hall of Famer Red Kelly was born in Simcoe, Ontario. Kelly holds the distinction of playing on the most Stanley Cup championship teams without ever having played for the Montreal Canadiens. He won eight Cups, four with the Detroit Red Wings and four with Toronto Maple Leafs.


This day in hockey history, July 9th 1975, Glen Sather was traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Minnesota North Stars for cash and a 3rd round draft choice in 1977 43rd overall which Montreal used to select Alain Cote.


This day in hockey history, July 9th 1990, Ray Sheppard was traded to the New York Rangers from the Buffalo Sabres for cash and future considerations.

This day in hockey history, July 9th 1992, Tim Kerr was traded by the New York Rangers to the Hartford Whalers for future considerations which ended up being a 1993 7th round pick 162nd overall which the Rangers used to draft Sergei Kondrashkin.


This day in hockey history, July 10th 1957, the Red Wings brought Terry Sawchuk from Boston back to Detroit by trading a young 22 year old Johnny Bucyk to the Bruins.
Sawchuck became a legend in his first stint as the Red Wings starter from 1950-51 to 1954-55.
After inheriting a friend's goalie equipment, Sawchuk began playing ice hockey in a local league and worked for a sheet-metal company installing vents over bakery ovens. His goaltending talent was so evident that at age fourteen a local scout for the Detroit Red Wings had him work out with the team, who later signed him to an amateur contract and sent him to play for their junior team in Galt, Ontario in 1946.
The Red Wings signed Sawchuk to a professional contract in 1947, and he quickly rose through their minor league system, winning the rookie of the year award in the USHL and AHL. Sawchuk also filled in for injured Detroit goalie Harry Lumley playing seven games in January 1950. Sawchuk played so well that the Red Wings traded Lumley to the Chicago Black Hawks, even though he had just led the team to the 1950 Stanley Cup.
Nicknamed "Ukey" or "The Uke" by his teammates because of his Ukrainian ancestry, Sawchuk led the Red Wings to three Stanley Cups in five years, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the top rookie (the first to win such honors in all three professional hockey leagues) and three Vezina Trophies for the fewest goals allowed. He missed out the other two years by just one goal. He was selected as an all Star five times in his first five years in the NHL, had fifty-six shutouts, and his goals-against average remained under 2.00.
In the 1951–52 playoffs, the Red Wings swept both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, with Sawchuk surrendering five goals in eight games (for a 0.625 GAA), with four shutouts. This eight game streak inspired the Detroit tradition of the eight legged octopus being thrown onto home ice at playoff time.
Sawchuk was ordered by Detroit general manager Jack Adams to lose weight before the 1951–52 season, and his personality seemed to change when he dropped more than forty pounds, becoming sullen and withdrawn. He became increasingly surly with reporters and fans, preferred doing crossword puzzles to giving interviews, and struggled for years to regain the weight.
Also contributing to his moodiness and self doubt was the pressure of playing day in and day out despite repeated injuries because there were no backup goaltenders. He frequently played through pain.
During his career he had three operations on his right elbow, an appendectomy, countless cuts and bruises, a broken instep, a collapsed lung, ruptured discs in his back, and severed tendons in his hand. A standup goaltender, he adopted a crouching stance to see through the legs of skater due to screen shots and box-crowding became more prevalent to counter his agility.
Years of crouching in the net caused Sawchuk to walk with a permanent stoop and resulted in lordosis (swayback), which prevented him from sleeping for more than two hours at a time. He also received approximately 400 stitches to his face including, three in his right eyeball, before finally adopting a protective facemask in 1962. In 1966, Life Magazine had a make up artist apply stitches and scars to Sawchuk's face to demonstrate all of the injuries to his face over the years.
With a young Glenn Hall ready to be promoted from the minor leagues, the Red Wings traded Sawchuk to the Boston Bruins in June 1955 even tough he had finished the season with an outstanding 1.96 GAA. Sawchuk was devastated by this move.
During his second season with Boston, he was diagnosed with mononucleosis, but returned to the team after only two weeks. Physically weak, playing poorly, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown and exhaustion, he announced his retirement in early 1957 and was labeled a "quitter" by team executives and several newspapers.
After reacquiring Sawchuk in the Johnny Bucyk trade, he played seven more seasons with the Red Wings until they had a young Roger Crozier ready to step up from the minors. So Detroit left Sawchuk unprotected in the 1964 intra league waiver draft where the Toronto Maple Leafs claimed him. He and a forty year old Johnny Bower shared the nets for the LEafs and won the 1964–65 Vezina Trophy. They later led Toronto to the 1967 Stanley Cup. In Sawchuk's last game with the Maple Leafs, he stopped 40 of 41 shots in 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the Cup clinching game six.
Leafs GM Punch Imlach showed little sentiment for Sawchcuk despite his success and left him unprotected in the June 1967 expansion draft. Sawchcuk was the first player selected, taken by the Los Angeles Kings where he played one season before being traded back to Detroit. He spent his final season with the New York Rangers, where he played sparingly, starting only six games.
On February 1, 1970, in only his fourth start of the season, he recorded his 103rd and final shutout of his career by blanking the Pittsburgh Penguins 6–0. This was also his last NHL goaltender win.
Sawchuk struggled with untreated depression, which often affected his conduct. After the 1969–1970 season ended, Sawchuk and Rangers teammate Ron Stewart, both of whom had been drinking, fought over expenses for the house they rented together on Long Island, New York. Sawchuk suffered severe internal injuries during the scuffle from falling on top of Stewart's bent knee. At Long Beach Memorial Hospital, Sawchuk's gallbladder was removed and he had a second operation on his damaged and bleeding liver. The press described the incident as "horseplay," and Sawchuk told the police that he accepted full responsibility for the events.
At New York Hospital in Manhattan, another operation was performed on Sawchuk's bleeding liver. He never recovered and died shortly thereafter from a pulmonary embolism on May 31, 1970 at the age of 40. The last reporter to speak to him, a little over a week before his death, was Shirley Fischler (wife of Stan Fischler), who went to see him in the hospital as a visitor, not identifying herself as a reporter. Sawchuk told her the incident with Stewart "was just a fluke, a complete fluke accident." Fischler described him as "so pale and thin that the scars had almost disappeared from his face." A Nassau County grand jury exonerated Stewart and ruled that Sawchuk's death was accidental.
Sawchcuck is generally regarded as the greatest NHL goaltender ever. When he joined the Maple Leafs, he originally used the jersey number 24, but switched to 30. In the decades since, NHL goaltenders have chosen numbers in the 30s inspired by his example and that of players like the Canadiens' Patrick Roy, who would have used 30 but was forced to pick another since it was already taken. He chose 33, which itself became popular as a choice.

In 1998, The Hockey News chose Sawchuck as the best goaltender and ninth best player of all time.

This day in hockey history, July 10th 1948, Glenn "Chico" Resch, was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Resch started his playing career as goalie for the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. After earning a degree in education, he turned pro with the Muskegon Mohawks of the IHL where he won three awards in his first season: the James Norris Memorial Trophy for the fewest goals allowed, rookie of the year honours, and selection to the First All-Star team.

Resch played for the New York Islanders Stanley Cup champions in 1980. He played 571 regular season NHL games with the Islanders, Colorado Rockies, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers with a 231-224-82 record and a 3.28 GAA and an .891 save percentage.

He played in the NHL All-Star game in 1976, 1977, and 1984 where he was the winning goaltender for the Wales Conference. He was named to the NHL's 1979 postseason official all star team as the second team goaltender.


Happy birthday to Blake Wesley, born on July 10th 1959 in Red Deer, Alberta. Hey Blake, those are some nice pants. Do you know where I can find a pair? Seriously !

This day in hockey history, July 10th 1987, Bob Suave left the Chicago Blackhwaks to sign with the New Jersey Devils as a free agent.

Happy birthday to Al Macinniss born July 11th 1963 in Inverness, Nova Scotia.

Happy birthday to Bill Barber, born July 11th 1952 in Callander, Ontario. Don't worry Flyers fans, that's not a New York Rangers jersey on your Hall Of Fame left winger. That's Bill in his Kitchener Rangers jersey from his junior hockey days.