During the NHL’s hiatus, we at the Last Word on Hockey are going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for June 7th, featuring the 1996-97 Detroit Red Wings.
Today in Hockey History
1996-97 Detroit Red Wings End 42-Year Cup Drought
1997: Nicklas Lidstrom and Darren McCarty each score as the Wings complete a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers. Conn Smythe winner Mike Vernon makes 26 saves in the 2-1 Game 4 win over the Flyers. Only a late Eric Lindros goal would spoil Vernon’s shutout bid. Vernon finishes with a 16-4 record, a 1.76 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
The win seals Detroit’s first Stanley Cup victory in 42 years. It’s the first title since the days of Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and other Hall of Fame greats of that era. Detroit would repeat as champions next season with another four-game sweep over the Washington Capitals.
Other Notable Events
1976: Denis Potvin becomes the first Norris Trophy winner other than Bobby Orr for the first time since 1967-68. The New York Islanders also add the Calder Trophy in top rookie that’s won by Bryan Trottier.
1989: Wayne Gretzky is named the Hart Trophy winner for the ninth time, which is the most anyone has won any NHL award. This time ‘The Great One’ wins it with the Los Angeles Kings after taking eight with the Edmonton Oilers.
1993: John LeClair scores another OT-winner in the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 Game 4 win over the Kings. LeClair is the first to get back-to-back overtime-winners since Don Raleigh of the New York Rangers in 1950.
2001: Patrick Roy gets his record 19th playoff shutout in a 4-0 Game 6 win by the Colorado Avalanche. Roy makes 24 saves and Adam Foote gets a goal and two assists in the win over the New Jersey Devils.
Happy Birthday to You
1945: Gilles Marotte
1951: Terry O’Reilly
1955: Willi Plett
1966: Stephane Richer
1988: Milan Lucic
1990: Michael Stone
1998: Victor Mete