October 10, 1979
The Mother of All NHL Debut Nights
Although NHL expansion in 1967 doubled the size of the league, many of the players on the six new teams had a taste of NHL action previously. The same cannot be said for the amalgamation of the NHL and WHA in 1979. The single greatest night of NHL debuts was Oct. 10, 1979, when 45 players appeared in their first NHL game, including future Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Michel Goulet.