Most Famous Moment in Every NHL Arena
The NHL is full of historic moments. The history of the league is all about players reaching to achieve something that makes them great.
Whether that is the Stanley Cup or some kind of milestone in their career, each NHL arena has provided the backdrop for some great moments.
Here is a great moment that has come from every single NHL arena.
As always, if you have another moment that you think is the best one, feel free to add it on in the comments below.
Anaheim Ducks: Honda Center
The Honda Center has been the home of the Anaheim Ducks since the team began, though it has gone through a few name changes.
The most famous and memorable moment does not revolve around Anaheim's winning the Stanley Cup, but rather around their first-ever appearance in the finals.
In Game 6, Paul Kariya received an absolutely vicious elbow from Scott Stevens that, in today's version of the game, might have earned Stevens an ejection from the game and should have been a penalty even then.
Kariya lay on the ice motionless and had to be helped off the ice by his teammates. At that point, everybody had to be thinking the same thing: that Kariya was done and the Ducks' season was finished.
A few minutes later, Kariya was back on the bench and then out on the ice. What resulted was one of the most famous moments in Stanley Cup playoff history when Kariya went streaking down the left wing and unleashed a huge slap shot for a goal past Martin Brodeur.
No, the Ducks did not win the Stanley Cup that season, but that series was one for the ages, and Paul Kariya's moment is one that will live on when anybody talks about the toughness of hockey players.
Boston Bruins: TD Garden
One of the deciding factors in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Aaron Rome's hit on Nathan Horton saw him suspended for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Finals and also became a rallying point for the Bruins.
The Bruins would outscore the Canucks 17-3 when playing on Boston ice from there on out, and they outscored Vancouver 21-4 from Game 3 on.
While this was a moment that was horribly scary to watch, it might have also been the biggest turning point in the series.
If this moment hadn't happen, I don't know if Boston would have won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Buffalo Sabres: First Niagara Center
A case where the most famous moment doesn't result in a happy ending for the home team, the Buffalo Sabres lost Game 6 of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals on a play that people still debate.
This season is probably best remembered for how many goals were called back due to a player having a skate in the crease.
Well, on this play, Brett Hull punches home the Stanley Cup winning goal with his skate very clearly still sitting in the crease.
The play was reviewed and the goal was held up, awarding the Dallas Stars their first Stanley Cup championship.
Though still debated, this ruling was actually a correct ruling and was explained here. Not many people really knew about the concept of a player possessing the puck and its affect on the crease rule because so much had been made about a skate in the crease meaning no goal.
Calgary Flames: Scotiabank Saddledome
In the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals, the Calgary Flames stood one game away from once again hoisting the Stanley Cup.
It also looked like Martin Gelinas had put the puck past Tampa Bay goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
The play was reviewed and no goal was given to the Flames. Martin St. Louis went on to score the game-winning goal in the game's second overtime to send the series back to Tampa Bay, where the Lightning went on to win their first-ever Stanley Cup.
Unfortunately for the Flames, not all of these famous moments result positively for the home team.
Carolina Hurricanes: PNC Arena
The Carolina Hurricanes won the 2006 Stanley Cup against the Edmonton Oilers in seven games.
This was an amazing series that was started by one of the craziest first games in my memory. The Oilers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead only to see the Canes score four straight goals to take the lead.
Ales Hemsky tied the game late in the third, and it looked like things were destined for overtime. But then a few things went wrong.
First, Dwayne Roloson, who had carried the Oilers on their magical run to the Finals, was injured by his own player.
He was replaced by Ty Conklin, who, in what has to be the most memorable moment in the history of what is now called the PNC Arena, essentially handed the puck to Rod Brind'Amour with about 30 seconds left in the game for an empty net gimme.
Though Edmonton fought hard to bring the series to seven games, this one moment might have been the biggest deciding factor in the series that gave Carolina their first-ever Stanley Cup.
Chicago Blackhawks: The United Center
The United Center has been the location for a lot of fantastic hockey throughout the ages, but this moment sticks out the most in my mind.
The Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks played an incredibly tight series in the 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs that saw the Blackhawks leading in the best-of-seven series 2-1 going into Game 4.
This game ended up being a marathon that saw multiple overtimes and a Jeremy Roenick breakaway in one of them.
Roenick was pulled down from behind and never was able to get a clean shot away on Roy. Nothing was called, and the Avalanche ended up winning the game in the third overtime.
This was a very contentious moment as it could have put Chicago up in the series 3-1 instead of going back to Denver tied 2-2.
It also gave us the opportunity to hear one of the greatest quotes in the history of NHL trash talk.
Colorado Avalanche: The Pepsi Center
As if there was any doubt for which moment would come for The Pepsi Center in Denver, Ray Bourque's triumphant lifting of the Stanley Cup is one of the greatest moments in the history of hockey.
Don't forget that on this same evening, Patrick Roy became the only person in the history of the NHL to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for a third time, but this night was all about Ray.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Nationwide Arena
The Columbus Blue Jackets haven't really had that many fantastic moments throughout their existence.
But one that definitely stands out as the highlight was the team's first-ever venture into the playoffs. Here is their introduction for their first home playoff game.
Dallas Stars: American Airlines Center
When you think about the Dallas Stars in recent history, it all comes back to one guy: Brenden Morrow.
Morrow has been the heart and soul of the Dallas Stars for a long time, and there really isn't any mystery as to why. The guy simply gives absolutely every last ounce of effort he has every single time he steps on the ice.
This effort helped the Stars clinch a tough series against the favored San Jose Sharks during the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Morrow ended the series on a goal that came in the fourth overtime of Game 6 the propelled the Stars to the Western Conference Finals.
I don't think I've ever heard Dallas fans explode quite like they did after this goal.
Detroit Red Wings: Joe Louis Arena
Joe Louis Arena has seen several moments worthy of a list like this one, but the one that sticks out the most to me is the moment that solidified one of the greatest rivalries in hockey.
The year the Red Wings put up the best record in the history of the NHL they were unable to complete the deed and win the Stanley Cup, losing in the Western Conference Finals to the Colorado Avalanche in six games.
Game 6 not only saw the end to an intense and physical series, it saw a very ugly moment when Claude Lemieux checked Kris Draper face-first into the boards by the player benches.
In this famous moment in hockey history, Darren McCarty got his retribution for his teammate and one of the greatest rivalries ever began.
Edmonton Oilers: Rexall Place
The building now known as Rexall Place has played home to the Edmonton Oilers under several names since 1974, which means it has seen some of the greatest hockey ever.
So it's fitting that the most famous moment in the building goes to the most famous Oiler ever, Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky holds several records, but perhaps the most impressive is his 50 goals in 39 games. He is the fastest player ever to reach 50 goals.
What makes this more impressive was that Gretzky achieved this feat on a night that he started five goals shy of the 50-goal mark.
Gretzky tallied five goals, one of the four times in his career that he did this, to reach this mark.
I have to admit that I was very tempted to put the very memorable Patrik Stefan video up again, but that can't hold a flame to Gretzky's 50 goals in 39 games.
Florida Panthers: BB&T Center
A very recent moment in Panthers' history, this season marked the first time in the history of the franchise that the Florida Panthers won a division title.
They did this on home ice after more than a decade of missing the playoffs.
Los Angeles Kings: Staples Center
Also a recent moment, the Los Angeles Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup Championship, largely thanks to this moment courtesy of Steve Bernier.
Bernier took a major penalty for boarding Rob Scuderi in the first period and was ejected from the game.
The Kings seized the momentum and scored three goals on the ensuring major power play that propelled them to their first-ever Stanley Cup.
Minnesota Wild: Xcel Energy Center
At the 4:50 seconds mark, you can find the most famous moment for the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild.
The Dallas Stars returned to Minnesota for the first time since leaving the state of hockey.
Not only did the Wild give their hometown fans a reason to cheer, they absolutely destroyed the old tenants of St. Paul with a 6-0 thrashing.
Montreal Canadiens: Bell Centre
The great history of the Montreal Canadiens stretches back for longer than The Bell Centre, formerly known as The Molson Centre, but it has housed some great moments in time.
For this particular building, it was hard to choose. The history of the Montreal franchise followed the Canadiens into this building which gives one a lot of moments to choose from.
Still, there might not be a moment in this particular building that united the team more than the one that occurred on the evening of April 9, 2002.
After missing 79 games from the 2001-2002 season, Saku Koivu returned to the ice after winning his battle with cancer.
The moment that he stepped out on the ice was incredibly emotional for him, the team and all of the fans present as the crowd would not stop cheering for the return of one of the franchise's most beloved captains.
You can see the whole clip here.
Nashville Predators: Bridgestone Arena
Nashville is a team that has worked its way up from fledgling expansion team to Western Conference contender. It took a while to get there, and it took a while for them to get this.
Nick Spaling scored the game-winning goal Game 6 of the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals, which ended up being the series clinching goal.
This was the first playoff series victory in the history of the Nashville Predators, and it came on home ice.
New Jersey Devils: The Prudential Center
The Devils have had a great history, but their arena is still quite young, so it is pretty easy to pick the most famous moment.
Martin Brodeur broke the all-time wins record on March 17, 2009.
This one takes the cake, no doubt about it.
New York Islanders: Nassau Veterans Memorial Colliseum
I hate to do this to Islanders fans, but this particular moment is the first one that jumps to my head when I think about the home of the New York Islanders.
It is perhaps one of the most infamous moments in the history of hockey and certainly in the careers of Pierre Turgeon and Dale Hunter.
After a bad giveaway by Hunter, Turgeon put away the fifth goal of the game and iced a series for the New York Islanders.
Hunter then laid what is one of the worst cheap shots in the history of the game on Turgeon and dislocated his shoulder.
It's hard for something to be more memorable than a team that won 16 straight playoff series like the old Islander dynasty did, but something like this sticks out even more.
New York Rangers: Madison Square Garden
How does one try to find the best moment from Madison Square Garden? That place has been home to so many events that not only include the NHL, but also the NBA, the WWE and a cornucopia of other special events.
As far as hockey is concerned, it's hard to top these two.
When I think huge hockey moments in MSG, two come to mind from the same playoff run for the Rangers.
The first is obviously their eventual triumph over the Vancouver Canucks to claim their first Stanley Cup title in 40 years.
It's hard to shake the picture of Mark Messier so ecstatically holding the Stanley Cup with Gary Bettman, moments after jumping up and down on the ice like he was 10 years old again.
Then again, that moment wouldn't even be possible without one of the greatest calls in Madison Square Garden history from the previous series.
There might not have been a celebration in New York that year had it not been for "Matteau, Matteau, Matteau!"
Ottawa Senators: Scotiabank Place
This was the first Stanley Cup Finals game to be played in Ottawa in 80 years, so the environment was absolutely crazy.
It helped that the Senators went on to win this game, even if the goal scored by Daniel Alfredsson was a bit on the controversial side.
Great win for the franchise. Too bad for the Senators that the series still ended up going to the Ducks in five games.
Philadelphia Flyers: Wells Fargo Center
Scott Stevens shows up again in the list, but this time for what is perhaps his most famous hit of his career.
In the Eastern Conference Finals of 2000, Scott Stevens absolutely destroyed Eric Lindros in what was another in a long line of concussions for Lindros.
Lindros had so much talent; it was a shame that his career was cut short by all the concussions he had.
Phoenix Coyotes: Jobing.com Arena
Another recent piece of history for the Phoenix Coyotes, and it would be a different one had the Coyotes won their first playoff series in franchise history or clinched their first division title on home ice.
It was a season of firsts for the Coyotes, as just mentioned, winning their division, playoff series and appearing in the Western Conference Finals for the first time.
This hit by Dustin Brown will live in Coyotes infamy as it is almost immediately followed by the series-clinching goal by Dustin Penner.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Consol Energy Center
The most famous moment to come in the new hockey house in Pittsburgh came when Sidney Crosby returned to the lineup for the first time after a year of fighting concussion symptoms.
Not only did he play fine, but he also had four points in the game.
San Jose Sharks: HP Pavilion
The San Jose Sharks have worked very hard to emerge as one of the best perennial teams in the Western Conference.
Though they have never had the postseason triumphs to match their regular-season success, they have still put together some impressive highlights.
The most famous moment from HP Pavilion came back in 2007. Detroit ran out fast to a 3-0 lead, which is usually a pretty safe one even in today's game.
Well, San Jose scored each of the next goals and won the game. No, not the next four goals. San Jose scored the next nine goals of the game en route to a thrashing of the Detroit Red Wings.
While it might not be a Stanley Cup winner, this is certainly a moment that I would want to watch over and over again if I were a Sharks fan.
St. Louis Blues: Scottrade Center
For the St. Louis Blues, their moment came back in the year 2000. This was the best regular season in the history of the franchise.
On April 5, 2000, the Blues did a couple of special things.
Their 6-5 victory over the Calgary Flames gave St. Louis 51 wins, which was the most in the history of the franchise and clinched St. Louis their first-ever President's Trophy, given annually to the NHL team with the most points at the end of the regular season.
I could not find this moment on video, so if anybody has it somewhere and can link it in the comments, please do.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Tampa Bay Times Forum
Another team that has worked hard to shed the label of basement dweller after their expansion years, the Tampa Bay Lightning reached the top of the mountain in 2004.
They won their first-ever Stanley Cup on home ice back when it was the St. Pete Times Forum.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Air Canada Centre
This one may be one that some people disagree with, and that's fine, but since the Maple Leafs moved into The Air Canada Centre, there have been a lot of moments that were just so close.
The moment that might be the hardest for people to top is the way the Maple Leaf fans welcomed Mats Sundin back into the Air Canada Centre when he was a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
Sure, fans were angry that Sundin didn't finish out his career with the team that he had dedicated so much to, but they still recognized all of the things that he did for that franchise and gave him a huge thank you.
What is funnier, if you find a longer clip, is that as soon as he takes this faceoff, Sundin is immediately booed by the crowd when he gets possession of the puck. Still, Mats scored a shootout winner in this game to get the last laugh.
Vancouver Canucks: Rogers Arena
The most famous moment for the Rogers Arena has nothing to do with the NHL, even though there were only NHL players involved in it.
Vancouver, British Columbia, played host to the 2010 Winter Olympics, and if there was one gold medal that Canada absolutely had to have, it was ice hockey.
After storming out to a 2-0 lead, the Canadian team seemed like they would easily make their way to a gold medal. But the U.S. team would not go easily into the night and stormed back to tie the game in the last seconds.
This led to one of the greatest finishes in Canadian hockey history when Sidney Crosby managed to sweep in the game-winning goal in overtime to recapture the gold medal for Canada.
Washington Capitals: Verizon Center
The Washington Capitals are defined by one man, Alexander Ovechkin.
While Ovechkin still has a while to go before he catches all-time Capitals' scoring leader Peter Bondra, he is still one of the greatest scorers of our day.
Never did he show that better than when he led the NHL in scoring with the 65 that he tallied in the 2007-2008 season.
With these goals, Ovechkin set a new record for goals scored by a left-winger in one season, breaking Luc Robataille's record. He also became the first left wing to lead the NHL in scoring since Bobby Hull did it back in the mid-1960s.
Winnipeg Jets: MTS Centre
The 2011-2012 season was a season of redemption for the city of Winnipeg. After years of waiting for another chance after their beloved team left for Phoenix, Winnipeg finally got their team back.
The MTS Centre had played home to the AHL Manitoba Moose for several years, but you can bet the walls of this building were shaking like they had never shaken before when the Jets came back to town.
The video is a little long, but it was opening night in Winnipeg and the excitement couldn't be dulled by anything, not even the eventual 5-1 loss for the home team.
I'm sure there will be more memorable moments that come along with the Jets back in Winnipeg, but this isn't a bad place to start.
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