||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2012)|
February 18, 1969 |
Khabarovsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)|
New Jersey Devils
Toronto Maple Leafs
New Jersey Devils
|National team|| Soviet Union
|NHL Draft||89th overall, 1988
Alexander Gennadevich Mogilny (Russian: Александр Геннадиевич Могильный; born February 18, 1969) is a former Russian professional ice hockey player, currently the general manager of Admiral Vladivostok of the Kontinental Hockey League.
In the National Hockey League, Mogilny played for the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the New Jersey Devils. He tied for the NHL lead in goals in the 1992-93 NHL season with 76, and became a member of the Triple Gold Club by winning the Stanley Cup in 2000 with the New Jersey Devils.
- 1 Playing career
- 2 International Play
- 3 Awards and achievements
- 4 Career statistics
- 5 International play
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
In the Soviet Union, Mogilny played on a line with center Sergei Fedorov and winger Pavel Bure. He represented the Soviet Union in 1988 and 1989 at the World Junior Championships, winning the Best Forward award in 1988. Mogilny was also part of the 1987 junior squad that competed in the World Championships known as the "Punch-up in Piestany" after both the Canadian and Russian juniors were disqualified after a bench clearing brawl in the gold medal match. Mogilny played for the senior Soviet Team that won a gold medal at the 1988 Winter Olympics. After the medal ceremony of the 1989 World Championships, he left the Soviet team and defected to North America with the help of representatives of the Buffalo Sabres, the NHL club that had drafted him, 89th overall, a year earlier in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft.
Mogilny chose the number 89 in recognition of both the year he defected and his place in the draft, wearing #89 for his entire playing career. As a rookie, Mogilny struggled adapting to the North American culture and language, but produced a respectable amount of offense with 43 points in 65 games. His offensive production steadily improved over the next three years, largely credited to playing on the Sabres top line with Pat Lafontaine, until he tied Teemu Selänne for the most goals scored in the 1992–93 NHL season, scoring 76 goals in 77 games. In that same season he scored his 50th goal in his 46th game; however, it does not count as an official 50 goals in 50 games because his 50th goal came in his team's 53rd game. Mogilny's production faltered after a long-term injury befell linemate Lafontaine, though he continued to be a key component of the Sabres offense, scoring 126 points in 110 games over the next two seasons. With the injury to Lafontaine, Mogilny was named interim team captain, becoming the first European in NHL history to captain a team.
Due to financial restraints brought about by the contractual demands of Lafontaine and Dominik Hasek, the Sabres were forced to trade Mogilny along with a 5th round draft pick (Todd Norman) to the Vancouver Canucks for Mike Peca, Mike Wilson, and a 1st round draft pick (Jay McKee) on July 8, 1995.
Mogilny began the season playing with his former linemate from junior, Pavel Bure on what was expected to be one of the NHL's premiere offensive combinations. Bure would miss almost the entire season with a torn ACL, but Mogilny would find chemistry with Cliff Ronning and Martin Gelinas, scoring 107 points in his first season with the team. He would lead the team in scoring again in the 1996-97 season. However, his success would not last as minor injuries, reduced ice time, and inconsistent effort would drop his production to 128 points in 157 games over the next three seasons. Due to a lack of team success, and the perception that the trade with the Sabres had been a loss (as Mike Peca and Jay McKee would become star players in the Sabres organization), Mogilny was traded to the New Jersey Devils for Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson on March 14, 2000.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils acquired Mogilny in the weeks leading up to the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs in hopes of him providing offense on a primarily defensive team. Though he struggled, only scoring 4 goals in 24 games, the Devils won the Stanley Cup which would be Mogilny's first and only NHL championship.
Mogilny would regain his form the following season, scoring 83 points - his highest total in five seasons. The Devils would again advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, this time losing to the Colorado Avalanche in seven games. Mogilny would score 16 points in 25 playoff games.
Toronto Maple Leafs
During the 2001 offseason, Mogilny signed a 4 year, $22 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 3, 2001, and quickly became one of their top players. Despite nursing a knee injury and missing 16 games of the season, Mogilny was able to score 24 goals and 57 points to place him 2nd in team scoring. He would elevate his play during the post-season of the same year. During the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs, with team captain Mats Sundin injured for much of the playoffs, Mogilny stepped up his game and was instrumental in the team's run to the conference finals, scoring 8 goals, including 2 goals in each of the game 7s versus the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators. The Leafs however, would fall in 6 games in the conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Mogilny emerged as the Leafs top scorer in the 2002–2003 NHL season, becoming the only player to dethrone Leafs captain Mats Sundin as the team's leading scorer since his Leafs debut, beating him by 7 points in 2002–03 and finishing in the top-15 in league scoring with 79 points. In game 1 of the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs, Mogilny recorded his first career playoff hat trick against the Philadelphia Flyers. He finished the year winning the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. In the 2003–04 season, he injured his hip and had to have major surgery and missed most of the season, but returned late to helped the Leafs finish with their best record in franchise history. On March 15, 2004, versus the Buffalo Sabres, Mogilny became the second Russian player in NHL history to ever to score 1000 career points in the NHL when he assisted on the game-tying goal by Gary Roberts. The Leafs would complete the comeback, after trailing 5–2 in the third period, and win 6–5 in overtime when Mogilny set up Tomas Kaberle for the game-winning goal.
Return to New Jersey
After recovering over the lockout cancelled 2004–05 season, he re-signed with New Jersey in August 2005, agreeing to US$7 million for two years. Mogilny was placed on waivers by the New Jersey Devils, and was assigned to the Albany River Rats, the Devils minor league affiliate at the time, in order to make salary cap room for Patrik Eliáš' return. His 473 career NHL goals at the time were the most ever for a player entering the AHL. Mogilny played 19 games for the River Rats, and retired at the end of the season.
Alexander Mogilny was the first player to defect from the Soviet Union in May 1989, the first non-North American to lead the league in goals scored (along with Teemu Selänne from Finland), the first Russian to be named to the NHL All-Star Team, the first non-North American to be named captain of an NHL team, and is (as of the end of the 2012–13 season) the second all-time Russian scorer in the NHL. Mogilny was the second Russian player to score 1000 points in the NHL, reaching the milestone just a few days after former linemate Sergei Fedorov.
In the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, Team Russia had played five preliminary games in order to set the groupings for the main tournament stage. Russia was the only team that went undefeated (winning against U.S.A (Detroit), Sweden (Stockholm), Finland (Moscow), Germany (Landshut) and tied against Team Canada (Calgary). The U.S.A, Sweden and Finland games saw the pairing line of "Bure-Fedorov-Mogilny", for the first and only time internationally on the senior level, and was considered "perhaps the best forward line on earth" at the time. Mogilny and Fedorov played on the same line and both led the team in scoring, but they lost in the semi-finals against U.S.A, after defeating Finland 5-0 in the quarterfinals.
A natural right-winger, Alexander Mogilny profiles the classic Russian winger: An off-wing sniper with elusive skating ability, shiftiness, smooth puck skills and a deadly shot. Training under the CSKA Moscow hockey program, Mogilny developed elite skating and shooting capabilities to become one of the most talented Russian prospects to graduate from the Central Army. He had explosive acceleration, which helped him generate numerous breakaways and the ability to blast through defenders. Listed at 6' and 200 pounds, he possessed a strong combination of agility, balance as well an uncanny ability to be evasive in checks. Mogilny was particularly adept at creating quick-strike offence from his right-wing. He preferred to rush in on his off-wing, make a quick deke into the slot and fire a quick wristshot. If he was covered, Mogilny was more than capable of making crisp accurate passes to an open teammate off the rush to create an unpredictable offence. Although he was blessed with tremendous speed, Mogilny was also very skilled at slowing down his game to create half-ice offence because of his excellent hockey sense. He had outstanding on-ice awareness and was proficient in quarter-backing his team's offence from the half-boards. "Alexander is a conscientious player who sees the ice with considerable clarity" Pat Quinn once described Mogilny. He was generally a very structured, calculated player, utilizing his patience, physicality, and creative passing plays to generate offense. Offensively, Alex often drifted within a designated area in the offensive zone and would rely particularly on plays from the right side and behind the net; his anticipation, meanwhile, permitted him to retrieve loose pucks and create second opportunities from behind the opposing net. He utilized his shot and side-to-side movement, as well as sneaky tactics to generate chances and would generally return to a number of preferred locations in the offensive zone if he was out of position. If he was freewheeling, however, Mogilny's skill set allowed him to at times perform remarkable feats with the puck. His combination of raw hockey skills and his willingness to not shy away from physical play made him, at the time, one of the most complete offensive players of the game.
A poised player with the puck, and gifted with incredible vision, Mogilny generated an abundance of remarkable plays. In addition, his stick handling skills were excellent, and his skating was terrific. While he was not as explosive a skater as Bure, Mogilny's tremendous agility allowed him to navigate smoothly throughout the open ice. His speed was also very admirable. As a result, when carrying the puck into the offensive zone, he could frequently cut across the slot or maneuver into an open space to unleash his shot. Occasionally, though, he would catch the opponent unprepared, and would swiftly stickhandle through the defender. Defensively, his ability to send pucks cross-ice was useful when his team needed to transition quickly.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin once called Mogilny the "best player he's ever played with". The two were teammates during Mogilny's tenure with the Maple Leafs. Sundin described Mogilny as "gifted, skilled, and a natural hockey player". Two-time Jack Adams Award winner and former coach of the Canadian Olympic hockey team Pat Quinn called him "the most talented player that he's ever coached". Mogilny was characterized by Quinn as "having good size and wonderful skating ability. He can play any kind of game." Igor Larionov who played with him briefly when Mogilny was a rookie with the Central Army team, was quickly impressed by the young Russian from Khabarovsk. When asked about Mogilny, Larionov said "He was such a talented guy. Really good with the stick, and smart. He was a natural"  Often the offensive catalyst for his line and his team, Mogilny has led his team in scoring various times . As his career progressed and injuries began to mount, he evolved into a cerebral playmaker to generate his offence. Mogilny has always been a strong two-way player thanks to a high level of hockey instincts and a tremendous sense of anticipation. His preferred move on a breakaway is a quick snapshot to catch the goalie off-guard. The 5-hole is also Mogilny's favourite spot to shoot.
Awards and achievements
|Men's ice hockey|
|Competitor for Soviet Union|
|Gold||1988 Calgary||Ice hockey|
|Gold||1989 Sweden||Ice hockey|
|World Junior Championship|
|Silver||1988 Soviet Union||Ice hockey|
|Gold||1989 USA||Ice hockey|
- NHL All-Star Game(s) – 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2003 (Injured)
- NHL Second All-Star Team – 1993, 1996
- NHL Stanley Cup Champion – 2000 with the New Jersey Devils
- 1992–93 NHL Season – Goal Scoring Leader (76) (*tied) (since 1999, this distinction has been awarded the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy)
- 2002–03 NHL Season – Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
- (NHL) 1992–93 Season - Game-Winning Goals (11) (1st)
- Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame (Inducted on January 1, 2011)
Bolded numbers indicate season/ playoff leader
|1999–00||New Jersey Devils||NHL||12||3||3||6||4||23||4||3||7||4|
|2000–01||New Jersey Devils||NHL||75||43||40||83||43||25||5||11||16||8|
|2001–02||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||66||24||33||57||8||20||8||3||11||8|
|2002–03||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||73||33||46||79||12||6||5||2||7||4|
|2003–04||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||37||8||22||30||12||13||2||4||6||8|
|2005–06||New Jersey Devils||NHL||34||12||13||25||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Albany River Rats||AHL||19||4||10||14||17||—||—||—||—||—|
Played for the Soviet Union in:
- 1988 Winter Olympics (Gold Medal)
- 1988 World Junior Hockey Championships (Silver Medal)
- 1989 World Junior Hockey Championships (Gold Medal)
- 1989 World Ice Hockey Championships (Gold Medal)
Played for Russia in:
|Junior Int'l Totals||20||19||16||35||10|
|Senior Int'l Totals||21||5||9||14||4|
- List of NHL players with 1000 points
- List of NHL players with 100 point seasons
- List of Eastern Bloc defectors
- Lapointe, Joe (1996-08-25). "Russians Mix and Match for World Cup". The New York Times.
- Lapointe, Joe (1996-08-29). "Matchup of Power Players". The New York Times.
- Lapointe, Joe (1996-08-18). "Superpowers Lace Up To Take On the World". The New York Times.
- "Bure's back on blades". Toronto Star. 1996-08-15.
- Lapointe, Joe (1996-08-18). "Superpowers Lace Up To Take On the World". The New York Times.
- Alexander Mogilny's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Alexander Mogilny's player profile at NHL.com
- Alexander Mogilny – player profile and career stats at European Hockey.Net
|Buffalo Sabres captain
|NHL Goal Leader
(tied with Teemu Selanne)
|Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy