Four birthdays today
Gerry Couture: High-scoring center who played two seasons for the Capitals between 1946-48, totaling 50 goals and 43 assists in 76 games. Couture split both seasons between the Caps and Detroit. He had 24 goals in 1947-48, and 26 the following year. After making his NHL debut in the 1945 Stanley Cup playoffs with Detroit, Couture stuck in the NHL through 1951. After that, he split time between the NHL -- with Montreal and Chicago -- and various minor leagues through his retirement as a player/coach with Saskatoon's senior team in 1960. He won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 1950. A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he was born in 1925 and passed away in 1994.
Don Burgess: Left wing who played 82 games for the Racers -- all but three in the 1977-78 season, and the final trio in the aborted 1978 final WHA season. Burgess had 12 goals and 13 assists as a Racer. He played in every WHA season, breaking into the league in 1972 with the Philadelphia Blazers after five years in the EHL with Greensboro. Burgess also played for the San Diego Mariners before joining the Racers, totaling 20 goals twice and 30 goals once. Don retired after the 1979-80 season. A native of Point Edward, Ontario,he is 65.
Mike Neill: Defenseman who played 71 games for the Checkers in 1985-86 -- and also played one postseason game the previous year. The New York Islanders' third-round pick in 1983, Neill broke into pro hockey in 1984-85, shortly after finishing his junior career. He played through 1989, splitting time between the AHL and IHL in the Islanders (Checkers, Springfield Indians) and Blues (Peoria Rivermen) systems. A native of Kenora, Ontario, he is 46.
Ben Albertson: Forward who scored 14 goals and 15 assists for the Ice in their 2008-09 Clark Cup championship season. He played 59 regular-season games that year, and added five goals and two assists in the 13 postseason games. Since, Albertson has moved on to the University of Vermont, where he had six points in 23 games this past season as a sophomore. He has been named to the Hockey East All-Academic team both years. A native of Bow, New Hampshire, he is 22.