In nearly two decades as an NHLer, Steve Thomas played 1,235 regular-season games and scored 421 goals. And, more than a decade after he retired from competition in 2003-04, his son, Christian, scored his first NHL goal Thursday night as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
Twenty-two-year-old Christian Thomas, who'd been held off the scoresheet in his first 14 career NHL games – all but one of which have come with the Habs; the other came with the New York Rangers, who drafted him 40th overall in 2010 – finally broke through late in the first period of Montreal's home game against the Edmonton Oilers. After picking up a loose puck that had ricocheted back into Edmonton's zone, Thomas quickly fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of goalie Viktor Fasth:
The Toronto native was used to seeing his father score goals for the Habs' arch-rival Maple Leafs during his 20 NHL seasons. But the smile and relief on Christian's face made clear it didn't matter what uniform he'd scored in – the fact is, he and his father Steve have now joined such greats as Bobby and Brett Hull, Gordie Howe and his sons Mark and Marty, and Peter and Paul Stastny as members of a rare club: the fathers and sons who can say they've played and scored in hockey's greatest league.