On This Day January 8th.

January 8:  On this day in 1944, Leaf defenseman Babe Pratt set an NHL record that has since been tied but never beaten. Pratt became the first NHL defenseman to record six assists in one game as the Leafs hammered the Boston Bruins 12-3. Pratt shares the record with five other Hall-of-Fame defensemen, including Bobby Orr. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966, the year before his son, Tracy, entered the National Hockey League for his first of 10 seasons in the league.

Irvine "Ace" Bailey insisted that Ellis wear his retired number 6 because he admired his high-caliber yet clean style of play.
January 8   On this day in 1945, Ron Ellis was born in Lindsay, Ontario. Ellis spent his entire career as a Leaf between 1964 and 1981. In 1980, he became just the fourth Leaf in team history to play over 1,000 games in a Leaf uniform. Ellis was on the Leaf's Cup winning team of 1967. He started his Leaf career wearing #11. Then after a few seasons wearing jersey number 8, Ellis was bestowed a great honour when Hall-of-Fame Leaf Ace Bailey suggested the Leafs unretire his jersey number 6 and let Ellis wear it. In all, Ellis played 1,034 NHL games as a Leaf and scored 332 goals. He added 308 assists for a career total of 640 points. Along with Paul Henderson, Ron Ellis represented the Leafs on Team Canada for the Canada-Russia Summit series of 1972 and he was one of only 7 players to play in all 8 games.   

January 8:  On this day in 1947, Howie Meeker of Toronto became the first rookie in NHL history to score 5 goals in one game as the Leafs trounced the Chicago Black Hawks 10-4. Former Leafs goaltender Paul Bibeault was his victim. As of 2008, the feat has been equalled only once, by rookie Don Murdoch of the New York Rangers in 1976.

Miroslav "Opava" Frycer
January 8:  On this day in 1986, the Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers combined to come within 1 goal of an all-time NHL record for most goals by both teams in one game. The final score was 11-9 in favour of the Leafs. Miroslav Frycer netted four goals for the Blue and White. Gretzky had 3 goals and 3 assists. Chronic injuries affected his game in Detroit and his days in the NHL were clearly numbered. But one last trade to Edmonton postponed the inevitable for a while. He retired from the NHL in 1989. 

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