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This Week in Chicago Blackhawks History: Wilson traded, Esposito inducted, and more.

Greg Boysen Avatar
September 3, 2022

September 2

1965 – Kevin Miller was born in Lansing, MI. The Blackhawks signed the free-agent center in 1996. He played 106 games over two seasons and scored 18 goals and 42 points before signing with the New York Islanders in 1998. He is the cousin of goaltender Ryan Miller and longtime Detroit Red Wings forward Drew Miller.

1969 – Stephane Matteau was born in Rouyn-Nornada, QC. He was acquired from the Calgary Flames on Dec. 16, 1991, for defenseman and future head coach Trent Yawney. He played 164 games for the Blackhawks, scoring 35 goals and 77 points. On March 21, 1994, he was traded with Brian Noonan to the New York Rangers for Matt Oates and Tony Amonte.

1972 – The Summit Series, between Canada and the Soviet Union, opened in front of a sold-out crowd at the Montreal Forum. Former Blackhawk Phil Esposito put the home team up 1-0 just 30 seconds into the game, and Bobby Clarke of the Philadelphia Flyers doubled the lead six minutes later. It was all downhill after that for the Canadians as the Red Army scored five straight goals on their way to a 7-3 victory. This served as a wake-up for Team Canada, who was considered the heavy favorite heading into the eight-game series.

1974 – Mile Peluso was born in Pengilly, MN. The Blackhawks signed the rugged winger in 1989. He had 12 goals, 16 points, and 743 penalty minutes in 118 games. In 1992, he was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the NHL Expansion Draft.

1976 – The puck was dropped on the Canada Cup with the host country playing Finland in Ottawa. Bobby Hull, who couldn’t play in the 1972 Summit Series because he went to play in the World Hockey Association (WHA), had a goal and an assist in the first period of a 7-2 victory. Bobby Orr, who just signed with the Blackhawks, had two assists.

2010 – Goaltender Antti Niemi signed a one-year $2 million contract with the San Jose Sharks. He started all 22 games during the Blackhawks’ 2010 postseason run, concluding with the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 49 years.

September 3

1916 – Doug Bentley was born in Delisle, SK. The Hall of Fame left wing played 545 games with the Blackhawks between 1939 and 1953. He scored 217 goals and 531 points. He was a four-time All-Star and led the NHL in points and goals in 1942-43 and goals in 1943-44. In 1943, he played on the same line with his brothers Max and Reg.

1916 – George Grigor was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He had a goal in his two NHL games during the 1943-44 season.

1975 – Christobal Huet was born in St. Martin d’Heres, France. He signed a four-year, $22.5 million contract in 2008. The goaltender went 46-29-8 with a .902 save percentage (SV%) and 2.51 goals-against average (GAA) over two seasons. Following losing the starting job to Niemi during the 2009-10 season, he was loaned to Fribourg in the Swiss League.

1978 – Defenseman Michal Rozsival was born in Vlasim, Czechoslovakia. He signed with the Blackhawks in 2012. He played 207 games over five seasons, scoring four goals and 49 points, and was part of the 2013 and 2015 championship teams.

1987 – The Toronto Maple Leafs sent captain Rick Vaive, the first 50-goal scorer in franchise history, along with forward Steve Thomas and defenseman Bob McGill to Chicago for Ed Olczyk and Al Secord. The Blackhawks got the better end of this deal when it was all said and done. Vaive scored 43 goals and 69 points during the 1987-88 season. He scored another 12 goals before being traded to the Buffalo Sabres for Adam Creighton the following season. Thomas scored 104 goals over four and a half seasons with the Blackhawks, including 40 in 1989-90. He and Creighton were traded to the Islanders in 1991 for Brent Sutter and Brad Lauer. McGill dressed in 281 games for the Blackhawks before being selected by the Sharks in the 1991 NHL Expansion Draft.

September 4

1926 – Bert Olmstead was born in Sceptre, SK. He played the first 94 games of his Hall of Fame career with the Blackhawks, scoring 22 goals and 54 points. On Dec. 2, 1950, he was traded with Vic Stasiuk to the Detroit Red Wings for Steve Black and Lee Fogolin. He eventually found his way to Montreal and won four Stanley Cups with the Canadiens. He won a fifth Stanley Cup with the Maple Leafs in 1962 before calling it a career.

1927 – Rags Raglan was born in Pembroke, ON. He was acquired on Aug. 20, 1951, from the Red Wings as part of a seven-player trade. The blueliner had a goal and nine points in 67 games for the Blackhawks over the next two seasons.

1972 – Canada responded well in Game 2 of the Summit Series by beating the USSR 4-1 at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. After watching the first game from the bench, Tony Esposito was given the start over Ken Dryden. The legendary Blackhawks goaltender stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced.

1973 – Magnus Johansson was born in Linkoping, SW. He had four assists in 18 games for the Blackhawks during the 2007-08 season. On Jan. 10, 2008, he was traded to the Florida Panthers for a seventh-round pick, used to select Paul Phillips, who never played in the NHL.

1977 – Center Jeff Hamilton was born in Englewood, OH. He signed with the Blackhawks in 2006 and had a career season with 18 goals and 39 points in 70 games. He signed with the Carolina Hurricanes the following offseason.

September 5                                             

1941 – Dave Dryden, older brother of Ken, was born in Hamilton, ON. The Blackhawks signed the goaltender in 1965. He played 68 games over three seasons, posting a .902 SV% and 3.21 GAA. The team suspended him in 1969 for refusing a minor-league assignment. On June 10, 1970, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for cash.

1972- Hull had the game-winning goal as Canada beat the United States 4-2 in a preliminary-round game at the Canada Cup. Orr had another pair of assists. Other goal scorers for Canada were Phil Esposito, Pete Mahovlich, and Darryl Sittler.

1984 – Ryan Potulny was born in Grand Forks, ND. The Blackhawks signed the free-agent center in 2010. He had no goals in just three NHL games before being traded with a second-round pick on Feb. 28, 2011, to the Senators for defenseman Chris Campoli. He did have 18 goals and 41 points in 58 AHL games for the Rockford IceHogs before the trade.

1995 – Lucas Wallmark was born in Uma, Sweden. The Blackhawks signed the center in 2020, and he had three assists in 16 games. At the 2021 trade deadline, he was dealt to the Panthers with Lucas Carlsson for Henrik Borgström, Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman, and a seventh-round draft pick. That pick was used to take Jalen Luypen, who signed his entry-level this offseason.

September 6

1912 – Red Mitchell was born in Toronto, ON. The defenseman played all 83 games of this NHL career with the Blackhawks between 1942 and 1945. He had four goals and nine points.

1956 – Center Glen Sharpley was born in York, ON. He was the third overall pick of the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft by the Minnesota North Stars. On Dec. 29, 1980, he was traded to the Blackhawks for winger Ken Solheim and a second-round draft pick. In 71 games, he had 19 goals and 42 points.

1970 – Igor Korolev was born in Moscow, USSR. The Blackhawks acquired the center from the Maple Leafs in 2001 for a third-round pick. He had 15 goals and 51 points in 192 games over three seasons in Chicago.

1972 – The Summit Series shifted to Winnipeg for Game 3 and saw Canada and the Soviet Union skate to a 4-4 draw. Tony Esposito gave up four goals on 25 shots, while his brother Phil had had a goal and an assist.

1991 – The Blackhawks traded defenseman Doug Wilson to the Sharks for defenseman Kerry Toporowski and a second-round pick. That pick was eventually traded to the Winnipeg Jets, who used it to select future Blackhawks defenseman, Boris Mironov. Wilson played 14 seasons in Chicago, scoring 225 goals and 779 points in 938 games, and won the Norris Trophy in 1982. He had 12 goals and 48 points in 86 games for the Sharks while serving as the first captain in team history.

September 7

1908 – Baldy Northcott was born in Calgary, AB. The Blackhawks acquired him with Russ Blinco and Earl Robinson on Sept. 15, 1938, from the Montreal Maroons for cash. He had five goals and 12 points in 46 games during his final NHL season.

1949 – Larry Romachych was born in Vancouver, BC. The right wing was a second-round (24th overall) draft pick in 1969. He had two assists in 10 games for the Blackhawks during the 1970-71 season. The Atlanta Flames selected him in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft.

1949 – The Blackhawks purchased the contract of veteran goaltender Frank Brimsek. He earned the nickname “Mr. Zero” and won two Stanley Cups in eight seasons with the Boston Bruins. He missed two seasons in the midst of his career to serve in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. In his lone season in Chicago, he went 22-38-19 with a 3.49 GAA and five shutouts.

1963 – Tony Tanti was born in Toronto, ON. The Blackhawks selected him in the first round (12th overall) of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He had a goal in three games before he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 6, 1983, for Curt Fraser. He scored 250 goals and 470 points in 531 games for the Canucks.

1988 – Tony Esposito was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He played 873 games over 15 seasons for the Blackhawks. He holds the franchise goaltending records for games played, wins (418), and shutouts (74). Guy Lafleur, Brad Park, Buddy O’Connor, referee George Hayes, and Flyers founder and owner Ed Snider joined him in the Hall.

2011 –  A plane carrying the players and coaching staff of Kontinental Hockey League team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed near Tunoshna Airport shortly after takeoff, killing 44 of the 45 people on board. Among those killed were coach Brad McCrimmon (a former NHL defenseman and assistant), longtime NHL players Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karlis Skrastins, and Josef Vasicek, and former Blackhawks Alexander Karpovtsev and Korolev, who were assistant coaches.

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