To refresh your memory, here are some other things that happened in 1996:
- MLS played their first game ever (DC United lost 1-0 to San Jose).
- Chess computer "Deep Blue" defeats world chess champion Garry Kasparov for the first time.
- Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski was arrested in his Montana shack.
- The Colorado Avalanche won their first Stanley Cup since moving to Denver.
- U.S. Mafioso John Gotti is found guilty of murdering Paul Castellano.
- A tiny girl stole our hearts with a vault jump on a bum ankle winning the gold medal for the US Gymnastics team in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Rent opens on Broadway (years later my wife makes me watch the DVD, there is 3 hours of my life I can't have back).
- Boris Yeltsin was sworn in for his second term as Russian President.
- The scoreboard in Buffalo's HSBC arena falls to the ice just hours before a game, no one injured.
- Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell, is born at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland.
- Nintendo 64 was released in the United States.
- Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is murdered in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colorado.
- The first version of Java programming language is published.
- And the L.A. Kings fire head coach Barry Melrose.
Over a decade later, apparently Melrose has gained some magical new coaching skills sitting in a Connecticut studio. His job is to return the Lightning to greatness after the new ownership group has the pressure on for their new acquisition, claiming "failure is not an option."
Melrose joins 2 other new coaches in a Southeast Division that only sent one team to the playoffs last season. The dynamics of the division didn't take long to change, and it will be interesting to see if any of the changes help teams that need the help. One thing is for sure, the Capitals will have a tougher time repeating. There should be no reason that they shouldn't.