It happens once every four years. No, we’re not talking about the Olympic Games. Today is February 29 – Leap Year Day.
According to Hockey-Reference.com, nine former NHL players have celebrated birthdays on February 29.
HENRI RICHARD – Born February 29, 1936: A nine-time All-Star and winner of an astounding 11 Stanley Cups (the most of any individual player), Richard suited up for the Montreal Canadiens from 1955-75, and amassed 1,046 points in 1,259 games. He was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.
KARI ELORANTA – Born February 29, 1956: The Finnish defenseman spent parts of five seasons (1981-85, 1986-87) playing in the NHL for the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames. He recorded 116 points (13+103) in 267 games before returning to Europe for the last 10 seasons of his career. He also appeared in three Olympic tournaments for Finland.
JIM DOBSON – Born February 29, 1960: A journeyman right wing, Dobson appeared in 12 NHL games with the Minnesota North Stars, Colorado Rockies and Quebec Nordiques from 1979-83. He also spent three seasons in the AHL with Fredericton (1983-85) and New Haven (1985-86).
DAN DAOUST – Born February 29, 1960: Daoust appeared in four games with the Montreal Canadiens in 1982 before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in December of that year. He went on to play in 518 games with the Maple Leafs over eight seasons. The center finished his NHL career with 254 points (87+167) before playing his last seven seasons in Europe.
LYNDON BYERS – Born February 29, 1964: The 39th overall pick by the Boston Bruins in 1982, Byers spent nine years in Beantown (1983-92), and finished up his career in a San Jose Sharks uniform in 1992-93. The rugged right wing recorded 71 points (28+43) in 279 NHL games, while also appearing in 85 AHL games with Moncton, Hershey and Maine.
DARRYL WILlIAMS – Born February 29, 1968: Williams’ NHL career amounted to just two games with the Los Angeles Kings in 1992-93. The left wing spent four seasons in the AHL with the New Haven Nighthawks (1988-92), and he recorded 59 points (28+31) in 136 games.
SIMON GAGNE – Born February 29, 1980: The 22nd overall pick in 1998 spent 14 seasons in the NHL, the majority of that time in a Philadelphia Flyers uniform. He recorded 601 points (291+310) in 822 games with Philly, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and Boston before retiring prior to this season.
CAM WARD – Born February 29, 1984: Currently tending net in Raleigh, Ward has a 264-206-65 mark with the Hurricanes, captured a Stanley Cup in his rookie season and was the playoff MVP that year.
BOBBY SANGUINETTI – Born February 29, 1988: The New York Rangers selected the defenseman 21st overall in 2006, but he appeared in just five games with the club, and an additional 40 with the Carolina Hurricanes between 2009 and 2013. He spent seven seasons in the AHL with the Hartofrd WolfPack and Charlotte Checkers, recording 170 points (34+136) in 277 games before heading to Moscow for the 2013-14 season. He was an AHL All-Star last season with Utica, and is currently plying his trade with the Rochester Americans.