skip navigation

150 Greatest Hockey Moments

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 07/01/17, 8:00AM EDT


Celebrate Canada 150 with a history of greatest moments

Happy Canada Day!

There are so many great moments to celebrate over Canada's 150 years. We have gone through our nation's history and found 150 of the greatest hockey memories.

First Time (1875): The first indoor hockey game takes place at the Victoria Skating Club in Montreal.

On Paper (1877): The rules of hockey are written for the first time.

All for One (1879): McGill University forms the first organized team.

League (1886): Representatives from Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa form the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada.

Debut of Stanley (1892): Hockey's greatest prize is commissioned as the Dominion Challenge Cup, first awarded by Lord Stanley.

Hockey for All (1896): The first women's teams are formed at McGill and in Ottawa.

The Start (1909): The precursor to the NHL, the National Hockey Association forms.

Collection (1910): The first set of hockey cards are released.

Rest and Recover (1910): The game switches from two 30 minute periods to three 20 minute periods.

Formation (1914): Canadian Amateur Hockey Association formed to oversee the game at a national level.

Here to Stay (1917): The National Hockey League forms from the National Hockey Association.

What a Save (1917): Goalies are now allowed to drop to the ice to make saves. It is no longer a penalty.

Still Around (1919): The Memorial Cup debuts and is won by the University of Toronto.

Going for Gold (1920): Hockey debuts at the Summer Olympics in Antwerp and the Winnipeg Falcons capture the first ever gold medal.

Listen Closely (1923): The familiar voice of Foster Hewitt comes across the first radio broadcast of a hockey game from Arena Gardens in Toronto.

Spengler Cup (1923): The trophy is first won by a group of Canadians studying at Oxford University.

The Best (1924): Frank Nighbor of Ottawa Senators awarded the first ever Hart Trophy as the league's best player.

Successful Defence (1924): Canada successfully defends the hockey gold medal at the first ever Winter Olympics.

Another for the Mantle (1925): Nighbor awarded the first ever Lady Byng trophy.

For the Goalies (1927): The Georges Vezina trophy debuts, awarded to the league's top netminder.

Mask On (1927): Elizabeth Graham, a goalie at Queen’s University wears a fencing mask in an organized game, possibly becoming the first goalie to wear one.

Keep it Moving (1927): Forward passes are first allowed, opening up the game and increasing scoring.

That's a Whistle (1929): The offside rule is implemented.

Strategy (1930): Boston Bruins coach Art Ross invents the strategy of pulling the goalie for an extra attacker.

Off the Ice (1932): Table hockey is created by Don Munro.

Coast to Coast (1933): Hockey Night in Canada is broadcasted on radio across the nation.

Timing (1933): A time clock must be visible in every arena.

Keep it Local (1933): The Ontario Hockey League is formed.

Most Exciting Play in Hockey (1934): The penalty shot is introduced.

Mark it Down (1935): The Ontario Minor Hockey Association is formed.

New Faces (1937): The Calder Trophy is established and awarded to the league's top rookie.

Icing (1937): The rule of icing comes into play.

One Step Away (1938): The American Hockey League is formed and still serves as a feeder league to the NHL.

Fresh Sheet (1940): Flooding the ice between periods is made mandatory in NHL.

Artwork (1940): Ken Danby, famous watercolour painter, is born. He created well-known hockey paintings like Lacing Up and At the Crease.

The Legend Begins (1942): Maurice Richard starts his legendary career with the Montreal Canadiens.

Halfway (1943): The centre red line is introduced at middle ice.

Immortalized (1943): The Hockey Hall of Fame is established.

Time Running Out (1945): NHL adopts having the arena announcer call “last minute of play in the period.”

Keeping Pace (1945): Richard scores 50 goals in 50 games.

First Class (1945): The first class is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston.

One of the Greats (1946): Gordie Howe debuts with the Detroit Red Wings.

Best on Best (1947): The first ever NHL All-Star Game takes place with the defending Stanley Cup champions taking on the best of the rest of the league.

Groundbreaker (1948): Larry Kwong, the son of Chinese immigrants, becomes the first minority to suit up in the NHL when he debuts with the New York Rangers.

Safe Spectators (1948): Maple Leaf Gardens becomes the first NHL rink to install rink glass on top of the boards.

Recognition (1948): The OMHA establishes Honour Award. John Ovens is the first ever recipient.

League Leader (1948): The Art Ross trophy is award to the player who leads the league in points.

Extra Periods (1951): The Leafs beat the Habs to win the Stanley Cup in five games in the only Final where all the games ended in overtime.

On the Tube (1952): Hockey Night in Canada is broadcasted on television for the first time, showing a game between the Boston Bruins and the Leafs.

Another First (1953): Fred Saskamoose, a Cree from Saskatchewan, becomes the first aboriginal player in NHL.

Lockdown Rearguard (1954): The Norris Trophy is awarded to the league's top defenceman.

Cleaning the Ice (1955): The first Zamboni debuts at the Montreal Forum.

Stripes (1955): NHL on-ice officials begin wearing black and white vertical stripes as their uniform.

Breaking Barriers (1958): Willie O’Ree breaks the NHL's colour barrier.

New Home (1958): The Hockey Hall of Fame moves from Kingston to Toronto.

Protection (1959): Habs goalie Jacques Plante becomes the first goalie to wear a mask full time.

Reaching Milestones (1961): Howe becomes the first player to break the 1000 games played mark.

New Leader (1963): Howe scores his 545th goal, breaking Richard’s league record.

Keep Them Apart (1963): Maple Leaf Gardens becomes the first rink to create two separate penalty boxes.

New Homes (1963): The first NHL Draft is held. Barrie’s Garry Monahan is selected first overall by Montreal.

New Technology (1965): The first colour broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada.

New Hardware (1965): The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded to the MVP of the playoffs.

Another League (1966): The Western Hockey League forms.

Doubling Up (1967): The first round of NHL expansion. The league doubles its teams from six to 12.

Pushing Through (1968): The Masterton Trophy is awarded to the player who shows qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication.

Familiar Tune (1968): The Hockey Nigh in Canada theme song debuts, written by Vancouver’s Dolores Claman.

East vs. West (1969): New format for the All-Star Game pits the two conferences against each other.

Junior League (1969): The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League forms.

Out West (1970): The Vancouver Canucks make their debut.

Flying (1970): Bobby Orr's famous 'flying goal' is scored to win the Stanley Cup.

Most Outstanding (1971): The Ted Lindsay Award is given to the player who's peers judge to be the best player.

Famous Goal (1972): Paul Henderson scores the game winning goal to help Team Canada win the Summit Series.

Hello Out There (1973): The Hockey Song by Stompin Tom Connors is released and can still heard in rinks today.

Champion Again (1973): Henri Richard wins his 11th Stanley Cup, the most as a player.

Lessons (1973): The Peter Puck cartoon appears on hockey broadcasts to explain the rules to viewers.

Round Two (1974): Canada participates in a second Summit Series, losing 4-1-3 to the USSR.

Behind the Bench (1974): The Jack Adams award is given to the Coach of the Year.

Battle to a Tie (1975): In what some call ‘the greatest game ever played’ the Montreal Canadiens and Soviet Red Army tie 3-3 in an exhibition game at Montreal Forum.

Umbrella (1975): The Canadian Hockey League is founded as the umbrella organization for the WHL, OHL and QMJHL.

Hands Full (1976): Darryl Sittler records 10 points in a game in an 11-4 win, notching six goals and four assists.

First of Five (1976): The first Canada Cup begins.

Names to Faces (1977): The NHL makes it mandatory for all players to have their names on the back of their jerseys.

Both Ends of Ice (1978): The Selke Trophy is awarded to the forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.

Canadian Content (1979): The Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets join the NHL from the World Hockey Association.

Keeping it Safe (1979): Helmets are made mandatory in the NHL on a grandfather clause basis.

Highest Honour (1979): Bobby Orr is awarded Order of Canada.

Helping Out (1979): New York Islanders goalie Billy Smith becomes the first netminder to score a goal.

Hanging Em Up (1980): Howe retires from the NHL for a second time.

New Home (1980): The Flames move from Atlanta to Calgary.

Quick (1981): Jets forward Doug Smail scores five seconds into the game, setting the record for fastest goal (has since been tied twice).

Top Level (1981): Hockey Canada creates the Program of Excellence.

Shattered Pace (1981): Wayne Gretzky sets a new record, scoring 50 goals in 39 games.

First Overall (1981): The Jack Ferguson Award is given to the top pick in the OHL Draft.

First of Many (1981): Canada wins its first World Juniors gold, beating Czechoslovakia.

Decade of Dominance (1983): Oilers win the first of four consecutive Stanley Cups.

Butterfly Effect (1985): Patrick Roy debuts. He's credited with popularizing the Butterfly style of goaltending.

Legendary Connection (1987): Mario Lemieux scores the game winning goal off a pass from Gretzky to beat the USSR and win the Canada Cup. It is one of the most memorable goals in hockey history.

'The Trade' (1988): Gretzky moves west after being traded from the Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings.

New Leader (1989): Gretzky passes Howe to become NHL’s all-time leading scorer with 1,851 points.

Rare Victory (1989): The Flames beat the Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup, the only time that Montreal has lost the clinching game of the final on home ice.

First Ever (1990): Canadian women win gold in the first ever Women’s World Hockey Championship.

Correct Call (1991): Video review is introduced to help referees determine goals.

Nation's Capital (1991): Hockey returns to Ottawa as the Senators hit the ice.

Control Hockey (1991): The first NHL video game is released for the Sega Genesis featuring Glenn Healy on the cover.

Crease Protector (1992): Manon Rheaume becomes the first female to play in an NHL game, suiting up as goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the pre-season.

More Rings (1993): Habs legend Jean Beliveau wins his 17th Stanley Cup (combined as a player and executive).

First of Five (1993): Canada’s National Junior Team dominates the decade, winning the first of five consecutive gold medals.

Canada's Cup Drought (1993): The last Canadian franchise to win the Stanley Cup is the Montreal Canadiens, beating the Kings in five games.

All-Timer (1994): Gretzky scores his 802nd goal to pass Howe as the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Streak Snapped (1994): Team Canada ends a 33-year drought by winning the Men's World Ice Hockey Championships.

It's Official (1994): Ice hockey, along with lacrosse, is recognized as the official sport of Canada.

Luck of the Draw (1995): The NHL Draft Lottery is used to determine which teams gets the first overall pick. Previously, teams with worst record drafted first.

As We Know It (1995): The current Hockey Canada logo debuts.

Going for It (1996): The RBC Cup is established to determine the nation's best, Junior A team.

Never Stop (1997): Howe plays a game for the Detroit Vipers, becoming the only player to play in six different decades.

True Tournament (1998): NHL players are allowed to play in the Olympics for the first time. Canada loses in the bronze medal game.

Global Game (1998): For four years, the NHL switches the All-Star Game format to North America vs. the World.

Making it Safer (1998): STOP (Safety Towards Other Players Program) patches are created by Kevin Stubbington and introduced on the back of minor hockey jerseys in an effort to make the game safer.

The Great One Retires (1999): Gretzky retires from the NHL, holding or sharing 61 league records at the time.

Perfect Smile (2001): The OMHA introduces its policy on mandatory mouthguards.

Lucky Loonie (2002): Perhaps aided by a loonie frozen at centre ice, Canada wins gold at the Olympics for the first time in 50 years.

It's Cold Outside (2003): The first ever outdoor game is held at Commonwealth Stadium between the Canadiens and Oilers.

Hometown Hero (2003): The Bobby Orr Hall of Fame opens in Parry Sound.

Overtime Heroics (2003): Canada breaks a medal-less drought at the World Championships on Anson Carter’s overtime wraparound goal.

Welcome to the Ice (2004): Canada men's national ice sledge hockey team forms.

There Will be a Winner (2005): The NHL eliminates ties and introduces the shootout and a new point system.

Generational Superstar (2005): Sidney Crosby is drafted first overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's won three Stanley Cups since.

Next Heroes (2005): Canada wins first of five straight World Juniors golds.

Rule Changes (2005): Goalies are only allowed play the puck behind the goal in a trapezoid area. Teams that ice the puck are not allowed to change lines. The two-line pass is eliminated. 

Captain Clutch (2007):  Jonathan Toews scores three times in the World Juniors semifinal shootout victory over the United States.

First Pick (2008): OMHA grad Steven Stamkos is drafted first overall in the NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Saturday Song (2008): A new theme song for Hockey Night in Canada debuts.

Double Dip (2009): Jordan Eberle scores two goals, including the game tying notch with seconds remaining in the World Juniors gold medal game.

Number One (2009): OMHA grad Dan Catenacci is selected first overall by the Soo Greyhounds in OHL Draft.

Keeper of the Cage (2009): Martin Brodeur records his 105th career shutout, setting the record.

All-Timers (2009): The OMHA celebrates its 75th year and announces a team of all-time greats.

Golden Goal (2010): Sidney Crosby becomes a new generation's hero, scoring the overtime winner in the 2010 Olympics.

Getting the Call (2010): Angela James becomes the first female inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Coming Home (2011): The Jets return to Winnipeg after the Atlanta Thrashers relocate.

Quick Time (2012): The OMHA introduces the Matt Duchene Shootout Challenge.

New Honour (2012): Hockey Canada establishes the Order of Hockey in Canada. The first class includes Jean Béliveau, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Gordon Renwick.

Ironman (2014): Jay Bouwmeester’s consecutive games played streak ends at 737, the most for a defenceman.

Undefeated (2014): Canada wins gold at the Olympics again, never losing a game.

New Audience (2014): Hockey Night in Canada is regularly broadcasted in Punjabi.

More Ice (2015): Overtime switches from 4-on-4 to 3-on-3.

Back on Top (2015): Canada breaks a five year gold medal drought at the World Juniors, winning on home soil.

New Tournament (2016): The World Cup of Hockey is revived with Canada topping Team Europe in the final.

Patches (2017): Teams sport a NHL 100 commemorative jersey patch to celebrate the league’s 100 years.

Best Ever (2017): The NHL releases its list of the 100 Greatest NHL Players.

Skill Building (2017): Hockey Canada issues mandate for cross-ice hockey.

you may also like

Video Coach
Players Club

Join the Conversation

Share your tips, experiences and thoughts on minor hockey with thousands of other OMHA members!

Subscribe to OMHA Insider Newsletter