On October 10 in Rangers history: Witnesses to the end of a streak

What happened on October 10 in the history of the New York Rangers

On this date in 1987 the Rangers played the Hartford Whalers at the Civic  Center.  It was a 6-2 win for New York as the Blueshirts scored six straight goals after falling behind 2-0. In the lineup for Hartford was center Doug Jarvis, playing his 964th consecutive game, an NHL record.

Little did anyone know, but that was the last game of Jarvis’ record setting iron man streak.  The season after Jarvis broke Garry Unger’s consecutive game streak and winning the Masterton Trophy, the Whalers decided that his career was over and they sent him to their minor league affiliate, the Binghamton Whalers.

Jarvis was 32 years old and he played 24 games for Binghamton before deciding to hang it up and retire. His record still stands, though Keith Yandle of the Philadelphia Flyers is only 43 games away from breaking it.

Al Arbour’s coaching debut

On this date in 1970, Al Arbour made his coaching debut, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-1 win over the Rangers in St. Louis.  It was a harbinger of things to come as Arbour would become the coach of the New York Islanders in 1973 and would lead them to four Stanley Cups, tormenting the Rangers in the process.

Arbour would end up fifth all-time with 782 wins and win the Jack Adams Trophy in 1978-79, ironically the year that the Rangers would upset the Islanders in the playoffs and make it to the Final.

Arbour had become Blues coach after playing for the team for four years.  With a 2-6-5 record , the Blues would fire Arbour 13 games into the 1972-73 season.  The Blues’ loss was the Islanders’ gain as he took on the task of coaching the hapless expansion team in their second season.

Today’s birthdays

24 NHL players have been born on October 10 with four former Rangers in that mix, including one controversial Hall of Famer.

Edgar Laprade was born on this date in 1919 in Port Arthur, Ontario. He was a New York Ranger for ten years, winning the Calder Trophy in 1946,  his rookie season and the Lady Byng Trophy in 1950.  Over 500 NHL games he scored 108 goals and 280 points and was on the team that lost the 1950 Stanley Cup Final.  His most notable feat was playing three NHL seasons without taking a penalty.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993 by the Veterans Committee and his  selection has been criticized as unworthy.  It’s one reason why the Veterans Committee selections were eliminated in 1998.

Dallas Smith was born on this date in 1941 in Hamiota, Manitoba.  He was a defenseman who played 15 years for the Boston Bruins, winning two Stanley Cups.  In 1977 he was signed as a free agent by the Rangers and played one season for the Blueshirts.  His signing was championed by his old teammate Phil Esposito, but he was way past his prime and never looked like he was a fit in a Rangers jersey.

Mike Donnelly was born on October 10, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan. The Rangers signed him an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State University. The left winger played 22 games over two seasons for New York before he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres. He went on to play nine more years in the NHL, finding some success with the Kings scoring 29 goals in two straight seasons. He’s one of the few players who has played for all three New York State teams as he ended his career with the Islanders.

Gerry Carson was born on this date in 1905 in Parry Sound, Ontario.  He was a defenseman who played six years in the NHL for the Rangers and Montreal Canadiens.  He was loaned to the Rangers by Montreal in the 1928-29 season and played eight games for the Rangers.