On September 8 in Rangers history: Hall of Fame day for 6 Blueshirts

What happened on September 8 in the history of the New York Rangers

For years, early September was the time for induction ceremonies into the Hockey Hall of Fame.  Now, the ceremony takes place in November, after the start of the season.   September 8 was a big day in 1960, 1980 and 1982 when it comes to the New York Rangers.

In 1960,  Brigadier General John Kilpatrick was inducted into the Hall in the Builders category.  Kilpatrick ran the Rangers and Madison Square Garden from 1935 to 1960.  He was in charge when the team won the Stanley Cup in 1940.

In 1980, the Hall inducted three former Rangers,  Gump Worsley, Lynn Patrick and Harry Lumley.  Worsley is recognized as one of the greatest goalies to play in the NHL, a two-time Vezina Trophy winner and four time Cup champion.  Unfortunately his greatest years came after the Rangers traded him to the Montreal Canadiens for Jacques Plante.

Lynn Patrick was a member of hockey royalty, the Patrick family and he played his entire 10 years in the NHL with the Rangers and he also coached the team for two years. The forward won a Cup with the Rangers in 1940 and was a high scorer on the team’s top line with Bryan Hextall and Phil Watson.  He received the Lester Patrick Award in 1989, posthumously.

Harry Lumley makes the list of Rangers in the Hall of Fame, but the goalie played only one of his 803 games with the Blueshirts.   He was a two time All-Star and Vezina Trophy winner with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 1982, the Hall inducted two legendary Blueshirts, Rod Gilbert and Emile Francis.  Gilbert, known as “Mr. Ranger” played all 18 NHL seasons with the Rangers, a member of the famous GAG line with Jean Ratelle and Vic Hadfield.  He leads all Rangers with the most goals (406), points (1,021) and game-winning goals (52) and his 1,065 games played is the most of any Ranger forward.

Emile Francis was a player, coach and general manager of the Blueshirts. He was a goalie known as “The Cat” for his quickness, and he played parts of four seasons in New York.  He was inducted in the Builders category for his tenure as general manager from 1965 to 1977.  He also coached the team for 778 games, leading them to the Stanley Cup Final in 1972.

A devastating loss for Canada in the Summit Series

The Canadian portion of the 1972 Summit Series ended on this date with a 5-3 loss in Vancouver.  The Canadian team was booed off the ice as they finished the first four games with a record of 1-2-1, outscored 16-14 and thoroughly outplayed in this game.

Canada was missing two of its best defensemen in Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe and Bill Goldsworthy took two costly penalties in the first period.  Boris Mikhailov scored on both power plays as the Soviet Union jumped out to a 4-1 lead.  Canada got as close as 4-2, but the Soviets iced the game on a late third period goal.

As for the Rangers, defenseman Rod Seiling was back in the lineup along with Rod Gilbert and Vic Hadfield as Jean Ratelle sat out the game.  Gilbert had a second period goal disallowed with the ref ruling it was kicked into the net.  Brad Park was also in the lineup, the only Ranger who had played in all four games.

The Rangers had not distinguished themselves in the first four games.  Ratelle had one goal and Park had two assists among the five Blueshirts named to the team.   Vic Hadfield was on the verge of quitting the team after playing only twice in the first four games.   The teams had two weeks off before the series would resume in Moscow.

The Soviets had taught the Canadians a lesson in the four games they played.   Despite outshooting the Soviets 147 to 107, their opponents had the better scoring chances and scored more goals.  The idea of holding onto the puck and waiting for the best scoring chance was still a foreign concept in the NHL, something that would change in the following years.

But on this date in 1972, an entire nation was despondent and humiliated by a series of four games that had to be considered a disaster.  Things would change, beginning on September 26 when the series resumed, but that’s for another date.

Today’s birthdays

17  NHL players have been born on September 8 with three obscure former Blueshirts in that number.

Bill Gooden was born on this date in 1923 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  A left winger, he played 53 games in the NHL, all for the Rangers, in the war years from 1942-44.   He had a long, distinguised career in the AHL, but could never duplicate his minor league scoring and make it back to the NHL.

Bud Maracle was a left winger, born on this date in 1904 in Ayr, Ontario.  He played 11 games for the Rangers in 1930-31 scoring one goal and four points.  After that one season he was traded a minor league team in the Bronx.

Pierre Sevigny was born on this date in 1971 in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.  A left winger, he was drafted by Montreal and played three seasons with the Canadiens before signing with the Rangers as a free agent in 1997.  He was scoreless in three games with the Rangers, playing most of the season with the Wolf Pack.