This Day in Hockey History

Thomas Drance

1977 - Nordiques win AVCO World Trophy

On this day in 1977, the Quebec Nordiques defeated the Winnipeg Jets in seven games to win the Avco World Trophy - awarded to the champions of the World Hockey Association. Serge Bernier was Quebec's leading playoff scorer that season, while "King" Richard Brodeur backstopped the club to the WHA championship trophy.

You can watch the final moments and the trophy celebration in the video below:

1992 - Whalers hire Brian Burke 

On this day in 1992 the Hartford Whalers hired player agent Brian Burke to be their general manager. Burke replaced Ed Johnston, who had held down the Whalers job for three seasons and presided over the alienation and trade of Ron Francis.

Burke would only serve as Whalers general manager for a single season before he left to take a job in the league's front-office, but in his one season at the draft table he selected Chris Pronger (2nd overall), Marek Malik (73rd overall) and Manny Legace in eighth round. That's a pretty solid haul for a rookie general manager...

1997 - Canadiens hire Vigneault

It's funny to think about it from the vantage point of today, what with the unending war of words between Alain Vigneault and the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference final the past week, but Vigneault got his start as an NHL head coach with les habitants on this day 17 years ago.

A career depth defenseman who only appeared in 42 contests, Vigneault worked as a head coach in the QMJHL and as an assistant with the expansion Ottawa Senators (with long-time colleague and Tampa Bay Lightning assistant Rick Bowness) prior to being hired by the Canadiens.