Usually, the NHL's preseason is something that fans and others can't wait to speed through to get closer to the regular season. It's fair to feel that way, as it can drag on for too long, and games don't count for two points. But, sometimes, preseason games create moments and memories that are worth watching:
Pavel Bure's Skate To Stick Goal
Pavel Bure scored 437 times in his NHL career, but one of his most incredible goals that get replayed continuously will never count to his career totals.
During the 1996-97 preseason, Bure, fresh off of changing his number from 10 to 96 to honor his arrival to North America (September 6th, 1991, get it? 9/6/91) in a game against the Boston Bruins, was sprung on a breakaway and proceeded to do this:
Over 25 years later, it's still one of the more skilled plays you'll ever see pulled off in a game.
Rob Schremp's Lacrosse Moves Make Him An Internet Legend
A player pulling off a lacrosse-style goal in hockey is now commonplace in the game -- heck, the move is getting remixed to the point that it's being used as an aerial assist thanks to Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano.
Not all that long ago, though, it was still a move that had you wondering how anyone could do it.
Let's go back to the ye ol' distant past of 2007. Charlie Bit My Finger was a fresh video on YouTube, apps such as Instagram and Snapchat were still years away from being launched to the public.
During the dawn of social media and viral videos, Edmonton Oilers prospect Rob Schremp would be the talk of the hockey world with his lacrosse-style moves in shootouts. Tracking down his most viewed exploits in an Oilers jersey is getting harder and harder to find, but this video briefly looks at the 10-second mark of what sent the internet on fire in the late 2000s.
Fast forward to 2022, and moves like Schremp's are being emulated at every level of the game, but some 15 years ago, what he pulled off felt like something that was near impossible.
Manon Rhéaume Makes NHL History
Thirty years ago, history was made when Manon Rheaume of the Tampa Bay Lightning stepped in between the pipes and became the first woman to play in an NHL game. In one period of action on September 23rd, 1992, Rhéaume would make seven saves on nine shots against the St. Louis Blues.
The moment would not be the first time she'd shatter the glass ceiling in the hockey world. Before her time in an NHL net, Rheaume already became the first woman to play in the Quebec Pee Wee tournament and the first woman to play in the QMJHL.
A trailblazer through and through, Rheaume would continue to break barriers in the hockey world as she'd go on to play for the Atlanta Knights of the IHL and various other men's minor pro teams.
In 1998 Rheamue would also win a silver medal in women's hockey as a part of Team Canada at the inaugural women's hockey tournament at the Nagano Olympics. Rhéaume's accomplishments in the game are some that should never be forgotten as she broke numerous barriers in the game.
The 2005-06 Preseason Was a Time for Experimenting
In 2005, we stepped into a new NHL after a yearlong lockout. There were plenty of new rules, and the game moved forward for the better. One of the new things that rose out of the lockout was the league doing away with ties in favor of a shootout to settle games still deadlocked after overtime.
In the 2005-06 preseason, there was a shootout to test out the rule after every game, and it gave fans a little bonus hockey no matter the game's final score. In a Toronto Maple Leafs-Buffalo Sabres game that went to the shootout well after the Sabres had won the game 5-2, then Leafs' coach Pat Quinn sent out tough guy Tie Domi as one of his shooters, and the Air Canada Centre crowd went wild.
The reaction of Ryan Miller letting in the goal as if that had just cost Buffalo a playoff spot is almost as funny as the marker itself. This is easily one of the better moments of the shootout era.
The NHL vs The WHA Games
We know about the boardroom battles with the NHL and the rival upstarts, the WHA, but did you know that during the 1970s, the two leagues played against each other? In 1974 and then from 1976-78, the two sides would square off in preseason play.
The WHA would have the better overall record with a mark of 34-22-7, with the then New England Whalers winning nine times against NHL opposition. The games showed that certain WHA teams could survive and thrive in games against the decades-long established league.