NHL History

August 31: This Day in NHL History

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August 31 NHL History

1931: Jean Beliveau, a member of 17 Stanley Cup-winning teams with the Montreal Canadiens and a hockey immortal on and off the ice, is born in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.

Beliveau spurns several contract offers from the Canadiens in order to stay with the Quebec Aces of the amateur Quebec Senior Hockey League; the Canadiens finally buy the QSHL in 1953 and turn it into a pro league to secure his rights. Beliveau plays on 10 Cup-winning teams with the Canadiens; the final one is in 1971, after which he retires following 18 NHL seasons. He finishes with 1,219 points (507 goals, 712 assists) in 1,125 games and is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 after the Hall waives its mandatory three-year waiting period.

Following his retirement, Beliveau joins Montreal’s front office and is a member of seven more Cup-winning teams. He is a hero to many Canadians and beloved throughout hockey during his post-playing career before his death on Dec. 2, 2014.

1973: Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Niedermayer is born in Edmonton. The New Jersey Devils select Niedermayer with the third pick in the 1991 NHL Draft; he becomes a regular in 1992 and plays on three Stanley Cup-winning teams with New Jersey and another with the Anaheim Ducks before his retirement in 2010. Niedermayer is a member of the Triple Gold club, having won a World Championship and an Olympic gold medal to go along with his four Stanley Cup championships. He is also a member of teams that win the World Junior Championship, the Memorial Cup and the 2004 Canada Cup. Niedermayer finishes his career with 172 goals and 740 points in 1,263 NHL games; he wins the Norris Trophy in 2004and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2007.

1995: The New York Rangers acquire left wing Luc Robitaille and defenseman Ulf Samuelsson from the Pittsburgh Penguins for center Petr Nedved and defenseman Sergei Zubov. Robitaille scores 23 and 24 goals in two seasons with the Rangers before being traded back to the Los Angeles Kings, his first NHL team. He retires in 2006 and is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame three years later.

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