NHL: Zdeno Chara and the 20 Most Unlikely Hat Tricks

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2011

NHL: Zdeno Chara and the 20 Most Unlikely Hat Tricks

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    A hat trick is when a player scores three goals in a game.

    They can be scored in any manner, but the player has to score three goals in the period in between the opening faceoff and the closing siren.

    Wayne Gretzky holds the record for most hat tricks with 10 in one season and most in a career with 50.

    Then there are the other guys.

    The following list is of the guys who had no business netting three but somehow did it anyway.

    Some are good players who were never known for scoring, and some you’ve never heard of but all were surprises.


Ed Jovanovski

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    Ed Jovanovski is not an offensive defenseman.

    In 16 NHL seasons, Jovanovski has only scored more than 12 goals once and was never a potent shooter.

    On November 3, 2010, the NHL world got rocked by an Ed Jovanovski hat trick against the Nashville Predators.

    Jovanovski set the Nashville Predators defensive squad back 10 years with his efforts that day.

    “It was nice to get the win and nice to contribute offensively,” the 34-year-old defender said after the game. “We have forwards who can score, but we are encouraged to jump up into the play, and I guess I had a little puck luck tonight. They went in.”

Real Cloutier

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    Real Cloutier was a good offensive player that entered the NHL with the Québec Nordiques.

    It didn’t take long to make his mark.

    On October 10, 1979, Cloutier made his NHL debut and scored all three of his team's goals in a 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Flames.

    He was only the second player in the history of the NHL to score three goals in their NHL debut.

Joe Corvo

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    On March 16, 2008, Joe Corvo earned his first career hat trick against his former team, the Ottawa Senators.

    In nine NHL seasons, Corvo has only scored over 10 goals twice.

    He is not a goal scorer by any means, but on that day, he took the game over.

    The hockey world still hasn’t recovered from the whole situation.

Alex Smart

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    You may not know who he is, but that’s ok; you’re still hockey smart.

    Alex Smart was a player in the 1940s and 1950s but he wasn’t the greatest player of the generation so his name gets lost in the mix.

    Smart’s claim to fame came on January 14, 1943.  Smart became the first player in league history to score a hat trick in his NHL debut.

    Now you know!

Eric Boulton

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    Eric Boulton has no business on this list.

    Boulton is a fourth line winger that is more known for his aggressive play and fighting skills then his offensive prowess.

    To further explain the shock this hat trick caused, in 524 career games, Boulton has 26 goals.

    On December 18, 2010, the winger shocked the Devils and posted one of the most outlandish hat tricks ever.

Gordie Howe

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    Gordie Howe scored a ton of goals. 

    The man had plenty of real hat tricks, but one in particular caught my eye.

    In 1979, at the age of 51 (yeah I said 51!), Howe scored three goals while playing with the Hartford Whalers.

    That proved even further the man was one of the best pure hockey players to ever grace the ice.

Fabian Brunnstrom

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    When Fabian Brunnstrom was a rookie for the Dallas Stars, he scored a hat trick in his first NHL game.

    The rookie scored three goals on October 15, 2008, including the game winner, in the Stars 6-4 victory over the Nashville Predators.

    Brunnstrom became just the third player in league history to score a hat trick in his first NHL game.

    Another stud Toronto had to have.

Tom Bladon

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    On December 11th, 1977, Flyers defenseman Tom Bladon had the night of his life, scoring four goals and adding four assists.

    Bladon was the first Flyers defenseman to ever conquer the feat, and he wasn’t even the best offensive defenseman on the team.

    On that night, Bladon also set the NHL record for points in a game by a defender.

Ian Turnbull

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    On December 12, 1981, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Ian Turnbull scored the second hat trick in his career by potting four goals against Vancouver. 

    It was the first time a defender scored more than one hat trick in his career.

    Turnbull’s first NHL hat trick came when he was in Toronto, but the trick in LA was far more impressive because he scored four goals.

Chris Kelly

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    Chris Kelly averages 12 goals a season and is not known for his offensive prowess.

    On December 5, 2010, Kelly shocked the New York Rangers by scoring all three of the team’s goals.

    On that fateful night, Chris Kelly beat the Rangers almost by himself.

    Take that Rangers fans!

Dave Schultz

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    Dave Schultz scored two hat tricks in his career, but the second wasn’t nearly as shocking as the first.

    On January 3, 1974, Schultz scored three of the four goals the Flyers scored in a 4-3 victory against the New York Rangers.

    Seven days later, Schultz recorded his second hat trick of his career, and everyone was perplexed.

Derek Stepan

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    The Rangers love to pick up junk players.

    They are hoping Derek Stepan isn’t one of those players.

    New York Rangers' rookie center Derek Stepan scored three goals in his NHL debut, becoming just the fourth player in the history of the league to do so.

    Even more impressive was that Stepan accomplished the hat trick against last year's Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller.

    “You dream of playing an NHL game,” Stepan said. “But you don’t dream about a game like this.”

Dana Murzyn

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    In over 800 NHL games, defender Dana Murzyn scored 52 goals and never had more than nine goals in a season.

    On February 22, 1990, Murzyn notched a hat trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  He finished that season with just seven goals.

    You can’t tell me anyone expected that.

Nicklas Lidstrom

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    It didn’t take long for Nicklas Lidstrom to score his first NHL hat trick.

    Oh, wait. Yes it did!

    The iron man that seems to have done it all hundreds of times over, just recently potted his first NHL hat trick on December 15, 2010.

    Nicklas Lidstrom has four Stanley Cup rings, six Norris Trophies and an Olympic gold medal.

    After 19 NHL seasons and 1,441 games, Lidstrom now has his hat trick.

Mike Bossy

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    Mike Bossy was one of the greatest hockey players of all time, and he knew how to score.

    That is not why he is on this list.

    Bossy is on this list because for three games during the 1980-1981 season, Bossy ruled the world.

    During the span, Bossy scored a hat trick in three straight games.  He is the only player since World War II to achieve the feat and the last person since 1920 to ever accomplish the feat.

    Mike Bossy was never heralded because it always seemed the NHL wanted to push a different player or team.  The Islanders were just as good as Edmonton was in the 1980s.

Theo Fleury

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    Theo Fleury had one of the wildest hat tricks ever.

    On March 9, 1991, The Calgary Flames played the St. Louis Blues and won 8-4.

    During the game, forward Fleury proceeded to score three goals. It was a wonderful hat trick, but it was made all the more special because of how he scored the goals.

    Fleury is the only player in the history of the NHL to score his hat trick with all shorthanded goals.

    It is hard enough to score one shorthanded, let alone three!

Bill Mosienko

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    Bill Mosienko may not be known by a lot of hockey fans but he should.

    On March 23, 1952, Mosienko scored three goals in 21 seconds as his Blackhawks beat the Rangers.

    Stories say that the goalie for the Rangers was a dud and that the game didn’t matter, but the record is real, and it has stood since that day.

    Another piece of hockey history we can’t let go.

Uli Hiemer

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    Uli Hiemer was a forgettable defender who never really found his niche in the NHL.

    What he did during the 1984-1985 season is unforgettable.

    On Halloween night, Hiemer scored three goals against a decent Pittsburgh Penguins team.

    I bet he is somewhere in Germany right now telling the story.

Darryl Sittler

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    It is hard to fathom what Darryl Sittler did on February 7th, 1976.

    On that day Sittler, scored 10 points in one game including six goals (or two hat tricks!).

    The game itself was amazing to watch as it seemed Sittler could do whatever he wanted against Boston that night.

    Video of the game

Zdeno Chara

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    After 892 career games, defenseman Zdeno Chara netted his first career hat trick

    On January 17, 2010, the Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 7-0, while Zdeno Chara netted his trifecta.

    The big defenseman always had a booming shot but this was the first time he ever accomplished this feat.

    "It’s a very humble feeling and mostly a happy feeling," Chara said. "But you know, when I look at it, some of the greatest players, for example Nicklas Lidstrom just got his first career hat trick after 1,300 or 1,400 games.”