Today in Hockey History: Jan. 29

Column, Devils History, Flyers History, Hockey History, Hurricanes History, Islanders History, Martin Brodeur, Ron Francis, Sabres History, Top Story, Zdeno Chara

One of the greatest goaltenders the National Hockey League had ever seen officially ended his playing on this date. Jan. 29 has also seen a plethora of personal milestones including the No. 1,000 reappearing in different forms. Let’s buckle into THW’s time machine for our daily trip throughout the decades.

Brodeur Hangs Them Up

No matter who you argue is the greatest goaltender in the history of the game, there is no doubt that Martin Brodeur’s name comes up in the debate. On Jan. 29, 2015, a 42-old-year Brodeur officially announced his retirement after seven appearances with the St. Louis Blues. Of course, it was his previous 21 seasons with the New Jersey Devils that made him a legend at the position.

Brodeur retired with a record of 691-397-49-105 with a career 2.24 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and 125 shutouts in 1,266 games. He is the league’s all-time regular-season leader in wins, shutouts, games and minutes played. In the postseason, he is first with 204 career starts and 24 shutouts and his 113 playoff victories are second behind Patrick Roy’s 151. He led the Devils to three Stanley Cup championships in 1995, 2000 and 2003. He won the Calder Trophy in 1994 for being voted the season’s top rookie and he won four Vezina Trophies, given to best goaltender as voted by the hockey writers.  

1,000 & Beyond

Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault played in his 1,000th career game on this date in 1984. He scored two goals and added an assist in the Buffalo Sabres’ 7-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. He became the first player dress in 1,000 games in franchise history. This milestone came exactly 13 years after he scored the first hat trick in team history, on Jan. 29, 1971.  

Bryan Trottier became the 19th player in NHL history to score 1,000 points, on Jan. 29, 1985, in the New York Islanders’ 4-4 tie with the Minnesota North Stars. His two goals helped the Islanders come all the way back from being down 4-0 to earn a point. His 1,000th point come via a shorthanded goal, the first time that had happened in the league.

On Jan. 29, 1998, Luc Robitaille became the sixth left wing in NHL history to score 1,000 career points. He hit this big milestone with two assists to help the Los Angeles Kings beat the visiting Calgary Flames 5-3.

Luc Robitaille Los Angeles Kings
Robitaille scored his 1,000th point on this date in 1998.(Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

Steve Yzerman picked up an assist, on Jan. 29, 2004, in the Detroit Red Wings’ 5-2 win over the Devils. This gave him 1.702 NHL points, moving ahead of the legendary Mario Lemieux for sixth place on the all-time points list.

Francis’ Big Date

Ron Francis finished his great career with 1,798 points, the fifth-most in NHL history. Jan. 29 was a big date in helping hit the top five on the all-time scoring list.

Starting on this date in 1998, he became the 11th player to score 1,400 career points when he had two assists in the Penguin 4-2 win at the Boston Bruins.

Exactly three years later, on Jan. 29, 2001, Francis became just the fifth player in NHL history to score 1,600 points. He had three assists in the Carolina Hurricanes’ 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, who lost their 10th straight game.

Ron Francis Seattle NHL
Francis loved playing on Jan. 29. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

One year later, he had an assist for his 50th point of the season as the Hurricanes tied 2-2 with the Sabres, in Carolina. This made him just the second player to ever score at least 50 points in 21 different seasons.

A Trio of Milestones in ‘97

Jan. 29, 1997, was a big night for three veterans of the league. Starting in Denver, where Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3. This was the 335th career victory for Roy, tying him with Gump Worsley for the eight-most in NHL history.

Al MacInnis scored his 250th career goal and added an assist in the St. Louis Blues 4-0 road shutout at the Toronto Maple Leafs. He just became the seventh defenseman in league history to score 250 goals. He retired with 340 goals, the second-most among blueliners behind only Paul Coffey.

Finally, Rod Brind’Amour took the ice for the 288th straight contest to set the Philadelphia Flyers’ team record for consecutive games played, breaking the old record set by Rick MacLeish. He scored the opening goal in a 2-1 road victory at the Washington Capitals.

Odds & Ends

Maurice Richard had two goals, on Jan. 29, 1953, in the Montreal Canadiens’ 5-2 win at the New York Rangers. This made him the first player to ever score at least 20 goals in each of his first 10 NHL seasons.

A massive blizzard in upstate New York, on Jan. 29, 1977, made it very difficult for the Sabres to travel to Montreal. Only 14 players were able to make the trip to Montreal, but despite the shorthanded lineup, they managed to earn a point in a 3-3 tie with the Canadiens.

One year later, on Jan. 29, 1978, Bobby Clarke became the first player to score 250 goals as a member of the Flyers in a 3-3 tie at the Red Wings.

Bobby Clarke Philadelphia Flyers
Clarke was the first Flyer to score 250 goals. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

Rick Middleton became the third player in Bruins’ franchise history to score 300 goals, on Jan. 29, 1984, in a 7-2 loss on home ice to the rival Canadiens.

Hartford Whalers’ goaltender Mike Liut recorded his 200th career victory, on Jan. 29, 1987, with a 6-3 win over the Bruins. He became the 28th NHL goaltender to join the 200-wins club.

Jeremy Roenick scored two goals and added an assist, on Jan. 29, 1995, in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 6-3 win at the Kings. His three-point night gave him 500 in his career in 430 games.

Rookie defenseman Zdeno Chara scored his first NHL goal and added an assist, on Jan. 29, 1999, to lead the Islanders’ offensive attack in a 4-4 tie with the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.

Glen Murray scored twice, including in overtime, on Jan. 29, 2004, to give the Bruins a 2-1 win over the Islanders. These two tallies gave him 500 points in his NHL career.

On the same night, John Tortorella recorded his 100th career NHL coaching victory as the Lightning beat the Penguins 5-1. This was the first of many milestones in his career as he later became the first U.S.-born head coach to win 500 and then eventually 600 games.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson made history, on Jan. 29, 2015, during the Coyotes’ 3-1 win at the Maple Leafs. He tied the game with a shorthanded goal just five seconds into the third period. This was the fastest shorthanded goal at the start of a period ever scored.

Happy Birthday to You

Three Hall of Famers headline a group of 37 players born on this date; the late Joe Primeau and Pat Quinn and Dominik Hasek, who turns 56 today. Other notable players from this large bunch include Billy Harris (69), Doug Risebrough (67), Mike Foligno (62), Sean Burke (54), Tim Gleason (38), Thomas Greiss (35), Kevin Shattenkirk (32), Jack Roslovic (24), Joel Eriksson Ek (24) and the late Wayne Stephenson.


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