1975: Jason Allison (full name Jason Paul Allison) is born in Toronto, Ontario. Drafted by the Washington Capitals in 1993, he spent time playing there before coming to the Boston Bruins in 1996-97. It was with the Bruins that he had some of his best seasons, putting together 83 points in 1997-98 and 95 points in 2000-01. After playing two seasons for the Los Angeles Kings, he missed a lot of time due to a concussion and made a return with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He became an unrestricted free agent after one year with Toronto (2005-06) and team ownership decided he wasn’t a good fit at the time. He went to operate a horse farm north of Toronto. Attempting a comeback in 2009, after being given a second chance by Toronto, it didn’t go far–though he did make a splash when, during a fight in an exhibition game, he ripped Darroll Powe’s helmet in half with his bare hands. He’s still technically a free agent, but he hasn’t played since then.
1985: Nathan Horton is born in Welland, Ontario. Drafted third overall in 2003 by the Florida Panthers, he joined Florida in October 2003 and scored his first goal at the beginning of November–adding another goal in the game right after that. He made NHL history as the first rookie to score on a penalty shot in January 2004 (though he was dethroned by Jordan Staal a few years later). Twice denied the chance to play on Team Canada by the non-playoff Panthers, and hindered by injuries in his first two seasons, in 2005-06 he bounced back and even scored his first hat trick on December 13, 2005. He became part of the Panthers’ first line that season. His tendency for overtime heroics began with Florida: in 2008 a Miami Herald writer called him the King of Overtime. His name was often tossed around in trade rumors that eventually came true when he was traded to Boston along with Gregory Campbell in 2010. Rumor had it he’d been unhappy playing in Florida, but with Boston he flourished right away–finishing second on the team for goals and fourth for assists in his first season as a Bruin. The King of Overtime held his crown during the 2011 playoffs in three separate games: Games 5 and 7 against the Montreal Canadiens and Game 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. His run for the Cup ended early after a hit by Aaron Rome of the Vancouver Canucks, but he was able to join the team for Game 7 of the finals and raise the Cup upon the Bruins winning. Good to go for 2011-12, he was doing very well and quite near scoring 20 goals for the season when he was hit again, this time in January 2012 by Tom Sestito of the Philadelphia Flyers, and concussed. He missed the rest of the season and playoffs, though the good news is that the team expects him to be fine again in time for training camp. Interesting fact: Horton’s wife is Tammy Plante, the great-niece of legendary goalie Jacques Plante. Together, they have two sons, Dylan and Zach.
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