New On HockeyTalk: Rogie Vachon Speaks About Career, Hall Exclusion
Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty chimes in once again on his regular column at HockeyTalk.biz about Rogie Vachon’s exclusion from the Hockey Hall of Fame. This is a very important article to read in that, as fans, we need to make our voices heard and get Rogie where he needs to be…in the Hall. Read on.
LOS ANGELES — Many hockey fans in the Los Angeles area have at least heard of Rogie Vachon. They may know that he was the best goaltender ever to wear the jersey of the Los Angeles Kings. But few know of his accomplishments with the Kings and with the Montreal Canadiens prior to his arrival in Southern California.
Even fewer know that Vachon’s accomplishments rank him among the greatest goaltenders to have ever played the game, yet he continues to be denied the honor of being inducted into the hallowed halls of the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF).
A close look at Vachon’s career statistics shows that he ranks ahead of a considerable number of goaltenders who were inducted into the HHOF years ago (for details, see Time To Right A Wrong: Hockey Hall of Fame Must Induct Rogie Vachon).
“If there was anyone who deserves to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame who is not—if you look at his numbers, a Vezina Trophy, three Stanley Cups, and the fact is, he wasn’t just the second fiddle on that [Montreal Canadiens] team,” said Brian Kennedy, who featured Vachon in his new book, Living The Hockey Dream. “He shared the goaltending duties with Gump Worsley in that Vezina season and they won the Cup that same season, let alone everything he did for the Kings in the mid-Seventies.”
“There is no way we can keep that guy out of the Hockey Hall of Fame,” added Kennedy.
Vachon got his start in the National Hockey League with the Canadiens in the 1966-67 season, back when the league still consisted of its Original Six teams.
“They called me up with nineteen games to go and, at that time, the coach never told you who’s going to play that night,” said Vachon. “The tradition was that the trainer would come in just before the warm-up and give the puck to the goalie who plays.”
“That night, the trainer gave me the puck, so that was a bit of a shock,” added Vachon. “Especially during the warm-up when I was trying to settle down. On top of that, my first shot in the National Hockey League was a breakaway from Gordie Howe from the blue line in.”
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