On This Date in 1994, Pierre McGuire is fired as head Coach of the Hartford Whalers.
Here are a few excerpts from the Hartford Courant report on McGuire's termination:
"In 15 years of covering the NHL, we had never seen a coach so universally disrespected and disliked within his own organization.
McGuire fancied himself two parts Scotty Bowman and one part Bob Johnson. It turned out to be a superhuman leap of faith on his part.
At 32, McGuire was the youngest head coach in the NHL. He never had been a head coach at any level. And it showed. He is book smart and X's and O's smart, but often not people smart.
When a young man is so headstrong, so emotional, so calculating, such a control freak, so full of ambition and so full of himself, he will either rocket to the top or crash."
"In a blistering post-mortem, captain Pat Verbeek called McGuire's firing the best thing that could have happened to the Whalers. He said other teams mocked their coach. He said his own teammates had no respect for McGuire. He said a number of players wouldn't have wanted to play in Hartford anymore."
On this date in 1980 hockey legends Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull play their last regular season NHL game vs Detroit. Howe scores his 801st and final NHL regular season goal.
In 1996 Whalers and State of Connecticut announce the "Save the Whale" season ticket drive to sell 11,000 tickets in 1 month, while announcing an average ticket price increase of $6.
On This Date In 1991 Pat Verbeek becomes the only NHL player to lead team in goals scored and penalty minutes for the second straight year.
On this date in 1997, the Whalers announce that they will leave Hartford at the conclusion of the 96/97 season.
On this date in 1994 Whalers players Pat Verbeek, Chris Pronger, Geoff Sanderson, Marc Potvin, Mark Janssens, Todd Harkins, and assistant coach Kevin McCarthy are arrested in a 3:00AM wild post-curfew nightclub brawl in Buffalo, NY.
On this date in 1980 Gordie Howe starts his 1st NHL game at center, with sons Mark on right wing and Marty on left in Detroit.
On this date in 1984: Ron Francis scored four goals, Greg Malone chipped in a hat trick and Greg Millen stopped all 28 shots thrown his way as the Whalers registered an 11-0 victory over the eventual Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers.
The Whalers set 23 team records and had a sellout crowd of 14,817 celebrating into the night.
First Period 1 - HAR : Francis 17 (Neufeld, Johnson) (PP) 1:26
2 - HAR : Francis 18 (Sulliman, Stoughton) (EV) 3:55
3 - HAR : Turgeon 29 (Johnson, Dunn) (EV) 18:34
Penalties - EDM - Coffey 0:33 ; EDM - Gregg ( (maj)) 6:09 ; HAR - Neufeld 6:09 ; HAR - Neufeld ( (maj)) 6:09 ; EDM - Lindstrom 12:14 ; EDM - Messier 15:50 ; HAR - Crombeen 15:50 ; EDM - Coffey 19:43 ; EDM - Linseman 19:56 ; HAR - Johnson 19:56 ;
Second Period 4 - HAR : Malone 12 (Crawford, Francis) (PP) 1:35
5 - HAR : Malone 13 (Crawford, Currie) (PP) 9:20
6 - HAR : Neufeld 21 (Johnson, Siltanen) (PP) 10:21
7 - HAR : Francis 19 (Malone, Currie) (PP) 11:22
8 - HAR : Kotsopoulos 2 (Dunn, Currie) (PP) 13:26
Penalties - EDM - Hughes 0:59 ; HAR - Millen 4:28 ; EDM - Mcclelland ( (maj)) 8:29 ; HAR - Quenneville 13:39 ; HAR - Paterson 17:24 ;
Third Period 9 - HAR : Francis 20 (EV) 0:08
10 - HAR : Malone 14 (Siltanen, Crawford) (EV) 17:52
11 - HAR : Crawford 23 (Malone, Currie) (EV) 18:28
Penalties - EDM - Hughes 4:24 ; EDM - Hughes 13:00 ; HAR - Dunn 13:00 ; HAR - Neufeld 14:05 ; HAR - Quenneville 19:44 ;
Shots On Goal 1 2 3 T Edmonton Oilers 6 12 10 28 Hartford Whalers 13 11 6 30 Powerplay Conversions Edmonton Oilers : 0 of 0
Hartford Whalers : 0 of 0
Goaltenders Fuhr (EDM) (L) 16 saves on 23 shots - 30:00 mins
Moog (EDM) 3 saves on 7 shots - 30:00 mins
Millen (HAR) (W) 28 saves on 28 shots - 60:00 mins
On This Date in 1980 the Hartford Whalers are "Home At Last" as they play the first-ever NHL game at the "New" Hartford Civic Center. (They were in Springfield for 2 years and 19 days due to the roof collapse at the original Hartford Civic Center.)
The Whalers went on to beat the LA Kings 7-3. Mark Howe led the way with two goals. The Kings Mike Murphy scored the first goal in the new building and Blaine Stoughton was the first Whaler to tally.