Many of the names you’d see when touring the Hockey Hall of Fame featured in big moments on January 8. Two all-time greats made it to the National Hockey League, and some incredible streaks were extended. It was a memorable evening in 2000. Let’s fire up our daily hockey time machine and take a trip back.
Big Bird’s Big Day
Larry Robinson, a Hall of Fame defenseman, played 1,384 NHL games in his 20-season NHL tenure. Jan. 8 was his first appearance in the NHL. 1973, in the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 tie with the Minnesota North Stars. Robinson was injured and was placed in the lineup. He played there for the next 17 season before moving on to Los Angeles Kings.
Exactly 13 years later, on Jan. 8, 1986, Robinson picked up three assists in the Habs’ 5-3 victory over the rival Boston Bruins.
Robinson was now with the Kings and became the 13th NHL player ever to play in more than 1,300 games. Los Angeles beat Hartford Whalers by 4-3 in overtime.
Hall of Fame Milestones
Robinson isn’t the only Hockey Hall of Famer who can recall this date with fondness. Babe Pratt became league’s first defenseman to record six assists in a single match on January 8, 1944. He set up half of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ goals in a 12-3 blowout of the Bruins.
Jean Beliveau was awarded the 300th assist during his extraordinary career. The Canadiens lost 4-2 to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 8, 1961.
Mario Lemieux scored four goals in the Penguins’ 7-5 victory over the Rangers on January 8, 1990. His 24ThA career hat trick increased his personal point streak by 31 games. The streak went on until reaching 46 games. Lemieux missed one game because of a bad back.
Defenseman Al MacInnis recorded two assists on Jan. 8, 1991, in the Calgary Flames’ 5-3 win at Toronto. He was able to surpass Kent Nilsson’s record of 562 points and became the all-time franchise leader in scoring. One year later, MacInnis had four assists in the Flames’ 10-3 defeat of the San Jose Sharks.
This date also marks the 15th anniversary of Brett Hull’s hat trick in 1992. He also added an assist to increase his streak to 10 games, as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Rangers 5-3.
Terry Sawchuk, a goaltender for the Detroit Red Wings, made his NHL debut on January 8, 1950. He was brought in to replace Harry Lumley. The Red Wings lost 4-3 to the Bruins. Sawchuk played seven more games for Detroit before Lumley returned to his crease. He was promoted to the starting spot at the start the following season.
Related – Top 5 NHL Goaltenders of the 1950s
Mark Howe scored his 1,200th professional point in his career on Jan. 8, 1993 when he won a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. He was the most successful pro-hockey defenseman ever, with 696 NHL points and 504 in World Hockey Association (WHA).
Dino Ciccarelli became 19th NHL player with 500 goals. He also assisted in leading the Red Wings’ 6-3 win over the Kings.
On Jan. 8, 2008, Chris Chelios made history during the Red Wings’ 1-0 win versus the Colorado Avalanche. He was 45 years old and 348 days. Gordie Howe of the Whalers, who was 52 years old, was the oldest player to appear in a league match. Dominik Hasek was a third of the way to his 43rd birthday.rdBirthday, made 19 saves to the shutout
A Big Night in the Year 2000
This is the first Jan. 8th of 21stcentury was a memorable night. First, the Flyers won 6-2 against the Penguins in Philadelphia after scoring three goals in 3:22. This win was John Vanbiesbrouck’s 350th win in his career and extended their home unbeaten streak at 15 games (12-0-3).
Miroslav Sinatra was a huge performer for the Buffalo Sabres, scoring his third career hat-trick and adding two assists in a 7-4 win over the Ottawa Senators.
Meanwhile, back in Detroit, defenseman Larry Murphy picked up his 901st career assist in The Red Wings’ 5-3 victory over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. This moved him ahead of New York Islanders’ great Bryan Trottier for 10thPlace in all-time NHL assists
Pierre Turgeon scored in St. Louis twice to bring him up to 20 goals. He won the match with the Blues, 4-2, beating the Canucks. This was the Blues’ 11th consecutive victory over Vancouver.
Odds & Ends
On Jan. 8, 1947, Howie Meeker scored five goals in a 10-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Maple Leafs. His five goals broke the NHL record for the most goals scored by a rookie in a single match.
Butch Goring became the fourth player with the Kings to score 100 career goals on January 8, 1975. Then, he added another goal and a assist in a 4-2 defeat over the North Stars. Goring was put on waivers by Islanders 10 years later and claimed by Boston. He played the final 39 matches of his career in Boston, scoring 33 goals and 34 points.
In a game that featured numerous future Hall of Famers on Jan. 8, 1986, Miroslav Frycer was the star in the Maple Leafs’ 11-9 defeat of the Edmonton Oilers. Four goals were scored by Frycer, including the winning goal in the third period. Wayne Gretzky was credited with a hat-trick and three assists. Jari Kurri scored a goal and received five assists. However, their six-point nights weren’t enough.
Bob Gainey, Dallas Stars general manager, was relieved of his coaching duties and Ken Hitchcock was appointed the new coach. Hitchcock won 319 Dallas games and guided the Stars to two consecutive Stanley Cup Finals in 1999, 2000. The Stars also won the entire thing in 1999.
Mats Sundin scored twice in the third period on Jan. 8, 2002, to give him 25 goals for the 10th time in his career, during a 4-3 Maple Leafs’ win over the visiting Nashville Predators.
A year later, Zac Bierk (rookie goaltender) and Michael Leighton (regular player) fought in a scoreless draw. It was the first time that two NHL goalies had recorded their first career shutouts within the same game.
Nathan Horton scored on Jan. 8, 2004 on a penalty shot to help the Panthers beat Flyers by 3-3 in overtime. He was 18 years old and 224 days when he defeated Jeff Hackett in the second period to become the youngest penalty-shot goal scorer in league history.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won their fourth straight win over the New Jersey Devils on January 8, 2010. This ended a 10-game losing streak. This win was 48 hours after opening faceoff. The Bolts had a lead of 3-0 just before the end of the second period. However, the lights at Prudential Center went out and the teams were forced to return to the finish line.
Tuukka Rask saved 24 shots on January 8, 2019, as the Bruins won 4-0 against the Minnesota Wild. Pekka Rask, Miikka Kirsoff, Kari Lehtonen are the only Finnish-born goaltenders to have 250 NHL wins.
On that same night, Erik Karlsson had three assists in the Sharks’ 7-2 victory over the Oilers. Since Phil Housley, the Hall of Famer in 1992-93, Erik Karlsson became the first defenseman to record 14 consecutive assists.
Jan. 8 was the birthday of 20 NHL and ex-players. Ron Ellis (77), Marian Stastny (669), Garth Butcher (559), Jon Klemm (552), Darren Langdon (51) and Trevor Lewis (35) are the most prominent of the group. Trevor Lewis (35), Trevor Lewis (35), Joakim Kygard (29), William Karlsson (29) and Max Comtois (23) are also among them.
Greg Boysen is a Chicago Blackhawks writer since 2010. He also managed FanSided’s SB Nation site. He was fully credentialed to play in the Stanley Cup Final 2013 and has been published by The Hockey News. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting Numerous YouTube videosBlackhawks Banter. He is a credentialed member of the Chicago Wolves and Rockford IceHogs as well as the Milwaukee Admirals. He also serves as a regional Scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. Follow Greg on for interview requests and topic suggestions TwitterReach out.