Happy birthday to …
Gerry Couture: Capitals center from 1946-48. In 76 games, he had 50 goals and 43 assists. He split each of those two seasons with the Red Wings, with whom he broke in during the 1945 playoffs and played with through 1951. He also played for Montreal and Chicago from 1951-53, and played minor league hockey through 1958. He had 86 goals in 385 NHL games, winning the Stanley Cup in 1950. A native of Saskatoon, he was born in 1925. He passed away in 1994 at age 68.
Don Burgess: Racers winger in 1977-78 and briefly in the shortened 1978-79 season. He played 82 games for the Racers, with 12 goals and 13 assists. He suited up in all seven WHA seasons, with the Philadelphia/Vancouver Blazers, San Diego Mariners and the Racers, tallying 107 goals and 229 points in 446 games. He had 50 goals in his first two WHA seasons, including a 30-goal, 66-point season for Vancouver in 1973-74. He retired after the 1983-84 season. A native of Point Edward, Ont., he is 68.
Mike Neill: Defenseman for the Checkers in the 1985-86 season. He joined the team for the playoffs after completing his junior career in 1985, and then played 71 games for the Checkers in 1985-86, with 13 points and 117 penalty minutes. Neill split the next two seasons with the Islanders’ top affiliate in Springfield and in the IHL with Peoria, and retired after the 1988-89 season. He was the Isles’ third-round pick in 1983. A native of Kenora, Ont., he is 49.
Ben Albertson: Ice forward in the 2008-09 season. He had 14 goals and 15 assists in 59 games, and contributed five goals during the team’s Clark Cup playoff run. He went from the Ice to a four-year career at the University of Vermont, graduating in 2013. A native of Bow, NH, he is 25.