Rogie Vachon

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Rogie Vachon
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2016
Rogie Vachon.jpg
Rogie Vachon pictured in 2008 (photo by Mark Mauno)
Born (1945-09-08) September 8, 1945 (age 72)
Palmarolle, Quebec, Canada
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight 160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for AHL
Quebec Aces
NHL
Montreal Canadiens
Los Angeles Kings
Detroit Red Wings
Boston Bruins
National team  Canada
Playing career 1965–1982

Rogatien "Rogie" Rosaire Vachon (born September 8, 1945) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League. He was the first Red Wing to break $1 million/year.

Montreal Canadiens (1967–71)[edit]

Vachon entered the National Hockey League in 1967 as a backup goaltender to Gump Worsley on the Montreal Canadiens. He played 11 games during the season, but it was in the playoffs that Vachon started to shine. Vachon played the majority of the games and led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Finals. They ended up losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Vachon now had a permanent spot on the Canadiens roster. In a famous quote Punch Imlach, coach of the Leafs, called Rogie a Jr. B goaltender in an attempt to rattle Vachon during the Stanley Cup final.

Vachon started the next season with 39 games played. He won 23 games, and won the Vezina Trophy with Worsley. They had a combined 2.26 GAA, the lowest since 1959. Montreal would win the Stanley Cup that season and the season after that. During the 1969–70 season, Worsley was traded to the Minnesota North Stars. Vachon got the top job, but the Canadiens ended up missing the playoffs. On November 4, 1971 during the 1971–72 NHL season, after losing his number one status to rookie Ken Dryden, Vachon demanded a trade and he was subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Denis DeJordy, Dale Hoganson, Noel Price and Doug Robinson.

Los Angeles Kings (1971–78)[edit]

It was with the Kings that Vachon had his finest moments of his NHL career. He was runner-up for the 1975 Vezina Trophy. He was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1975 and in 1977. Vachon was named the team MVP four times between 1973 and 1977. In the 1976–77 season, he briefly became the first goaltender to be credited with a goal when the opposing New York Islanders scored on themselves during a delayed penalty; however, after video review, the goal was given to Vic Venasky after it was determined that Vachon was the second-to-last Kings player to touch the puck before it went in the net.[1] Vachon also set many goaltending records in Kings history that still stand to this day. His number 30 was the first number retired by the Kings in a ceremony on February 14, 1985. He has since served in a variety of executive positions with the Los Angeles Kings organization.

Rogie Vachon
Medal record
Representing  Canada
Men's ice hockey
Canada Cup
Gold medal – first place 1976 Canada Ice hockey

Canada Cup[edit]

In 1976, Vachon was named to represent Canada. Vachon, along with Gerry Cheevers, and Glenn Resch, were the goaltenders for the Canadian team. Vachon earned the top spot, and played in every game during the tournament. He achieved a record of 6 wins and 1 loss, with 2 shutouts and a 1.39 goals against average. His play helped Canada win the tournament, and he was named to the All-Star Team and was named Team MVP.

Detroit Red Wings (1978-80)[edit]

Vachon became a restricted free agent following the 1977–78 season and signed with the Detroit Red Wings. The five-year deal paid Vachon $1.9 million and made him the league's highest paid goaltender.[2] Vachon struggled right out of the gate in the Motor City. In his first game, he managed just nine saves as the Red Wings peppered the St. Louis net with 42 shots in a game Detroit lost 5-4.[3] As the year wore on, things did not improve for Vachon. Red Wings coach Bobby Kromm told Sports Illustrated: "When we signed Vachon, we thought we'd improved our club and given ourselves a good 1-2 goaltending punch as there was in hockey. But it hasn't worked out that way."[4] Further complicating things was the distraction that Vachon's signing created for the hockey club. Because he was a restricted free agent, the Red Wings were required to give compensation to the Los Angeles Kings, Vachon's former club. An arbitrator ruled that young centre Dale McCourt, who the Red Wings had selected first overall in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft would be the price. McCourt, who had led the Red Wings in scoring as a rookie in the 1977-78 season, refused to report to Los Angeles and ultimately sued the league. [5] This meant that Vachon was playing his first season in Detroit with McCourt as a teammate but also under the cloud that he could be forced to join the Kings because of the Vachon acquisition. He finished his first season in Detroit having allowed more than a goal more per game than he had the previous season and continued to struggle in his second season posting numbers below his career averages though he did become the goaltender of record in the Red Wings first victory in their new home, the Joe Louis Arena. He also recorded the first Red Wings shutout in the new building that season.[6]

Boston Bruins (1980-82)[edit]

After two disappointing seasons in Detroit, the Red Wings traded Vachon to the Boston Bruins in the summer of 1980 for fellow netminder Gilles Gilbert.[7] In Boston, Vachon provided a veteran presence and served as a mentor to rookie goalies Marco Baron and Jim Craig, who had starred for the US National Team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Vachon played 53 games for the Bruins and marginally improved his numbers from his time in Detroit and managed to win more games than he lost for his first time since leaving Los Angeles. However, in the playoffs, things went poorly as the Bruins were swept in three games by the Minnesota North Stars and surrendered twenty goals in the process. Vachon allowed five goals in a Game One loss then coughed six more in game two before getting pulled as the Bruins lost 9-6. He gave up five more goals in Game Three and ended the playoffs with a 5.85 goals against average. In the 1981-82 season, Baron took over the starting job from Vachon who played 38-games as the back-up. Vachon's final NHL appearance came in the 1982 playoffs when he played one period in relief of starter Mike Moffatt in a 7-2 loss to the Quebec Nordiques. Vachon faced just three shots in his twenty minutes of work and allowed a power play goal to Peter Statsny. It would prove to be the last goal Vachon allowed in his career because Vachon hung up his pads for good following the Bruins elimination from the playoffs six days later.

Legacy[edit]

Known for his great reflexes and quick glove hand, Vachon was considered one of the premier one-on-one goaltenders of his era. He never allowed a goal on a penalty shot in his entire career.[citation needed] After retiring, Vachon served as general manager of the Kings from 1984 to 1992.[citation needed] He was the clubs General Manager in 1988 when they made the trade to acquire Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers. He also served as interim head coach of the Kings on three separate occasions.[citation needed] On June 27, 2016, Vachon was named as an Honored Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, along with fellow players Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov, and coach Pat Quinn.[8] He was inducted on November 14, 2016.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Vachon was born on September 8, 1945 in the small town of Palmarolle, Quebec. He had seven siblings, and grew up on a dairy farm.[10] Vachon was persuaded to play senior level hockey at the age of 14 by a coach who was in need of a goaltender.[11] He married his wife, Nicole Blanchard on November 30, 1971.[12] Together the couple had three children; Nicholas Vachon, Jade and Marie-Joie, as well as three grandchildren.[11][12] Nicole died from brain cancer in February 2016, after 44 years of marriage to Rogie.[11]

Achievements[edit]

Los Angeles Kings records[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1963–64 Montreal NDG Monarchs MMJHL 29 1740 71 4 2.45 18 12 6 1080 57 1 3.17
1963–64 Montreal Jr. Canadiens OHA-Jr. 7 400 29 0 4.35
1963–64 Montreal NDG Monarchs M-Cup 10 7 3 600 34 4 3.40
1964–65 Thetford Mines Aces QJHL 13 10 3 0 780 35 0 2.69 5 1 4 300 30 0 6.00
1964–65 Montreal Jr. Canadiens OHA-Jr. 14 840 58 0 4.14
1965–66 Thetford Mines Aces QJHL 39 25 13 1 2340 117 2 3.00 11 7 4 659 31 1 2.82
1965–66 Quebec Aces AHL 10 6 4 0 601 30 0 3.00
1966–67 Houston Apollos CPHL 34 17 12 5 2020 99 2 2.91
1966–67 Montreal Canadiens NHL 19 11 3 4 1137 47 1 2.48 .915 9 6 3 555 22 0 2.38 .926
1967–68 Montreal Canadiens NHL 39 23 13 2 2227 92 4 2.48 .913 2 1 1 113 4 0 2.12 .933
1968–69 Montreal Canadiens NHL 36 22 9 3 2051 98 2 2.87 .902 7 7 1 507 12 1 1.42 .953
1969–70 Montreal Canadiens NHL 64 31 18 12 3697 162 4 2.63 .917
1970–71 Montreal Canadiens NHL 47 23 12 9 2676 118 2 2.64 .914
1971–72 Montreal Canadiens NHL 1 0 1 0 20 4 0 12.00 .765
1971–72 Los Angeles Kings NHL 28 6 18 3 1586 107 0 4.05 .884
1972–73 Los Angeles Kings NHL 52 22 20 10 3120 148 4 2.85 .899
1973–74 Los Angeles Kings NHL 65 28 26 10 3751 175 5 2.80 .904 4 0 4 240 7 0 1.75 .927
1974–75 Los Angeles Kings NHL 54 27 14 13 3239 121 6 2.24 .926 3 1 2 199 7 0 2.11 .929
1975–76 Los Angeles Kings NHL 51 26 20 5 3060 160 5 3.14 .891 7 4 3 438 17 1 2.33 .912
1976–77 Los Angeles Kings NHL 68 33 23 12 4059 184 8 2.72 .903 9 4 5 520 36 0 4.15 .868
1977–78 Los Angeles Kings NHL 70 29 27 13 4107 196 4 2.86 .891 2 0 2 120 11 0 5.50 .784
1978–79 Detroit Red Wings NHL 50 10 27 11 2908 189 0 3.90 .863
1979–80 Detroit Red Wings NHL 59 20 30 8 3474 209 4 3.61 .873
1980–81 Boston Bruins NHL 53 25 19 6 3021 168 1 3.34 .863 3 0 2 164 16 0 5.85 .846
1981–82 Boston Bruins NHL 38 19 11 6 2165 132 1 3.66 .859 1 0 0 20 1 0 3.00 .667
NHL totals 795 355 291 127 46,298 2310 51 2.99 .896 48 23 23 2876 133 2 2.77 .907

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1976 Canada CC 1st, gold medalist(s) 7 6 1 0 432 10 2 1.39


"Rogie Vachon's stats". The Goaltender Home Page. Retrieved 2017-08-06. 

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
Los Angeles Kings 1983–84 2 1 0 1 (59) 5th in Smythe (interim; returned to GM's role)
Los Angeles Kings 1987–88 1 0 1 0 (68) 4th in Smythe (interim; returned to GM's role)
Los Angeles Kings 1994–95 7 3 2 2 (41) 4th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Total 10 4 3 3

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ UPI (1977-02-17). "Vachon Didn't Score Goal". The Montreal Gazette. p. 29. Retrieved 2010-03-24. 
  2. ^ Sports Illustrated. si.com https://www.si.com/vault/1978/12/04/823212/what-has-red-wings-but-wont-fly-sadly-it-is-detroits-millionaire-goalie-rogatien-vachon-he-was-a-standout-at-la-but-so-far-he-has-been-a-dud-in-the-motor-city.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Sports Illustrated". si.com. 
  4. ^ "Sports Illustrated". Si.com. 
  5. ^ "Sports Illustrated". SI.com. 
  6. ^ Windsor Star http://windsorstar.com/sports/hockey/rogie-cherises-his-detroit-memories. Retrieved 30 October 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ www.nhltradetracker.com http://www.nhltradetracker.com/user/trade_list_by_player/Vachon,Rogatien. Retrieved 30 October 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Matsuda, Gann (June 27, 2016). "An Honor Long Overdue: LA Kings Great Rogie Vachon To Be Inducted Into Hockey Hall of Fame". FrozenRoyalty.net. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  9. ^ Hornsby, Lance (2016-11-14). "Emotions run high at Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  10. ^ Lefebvre, Robert (January 16, 2008). "Habs Goalies: Rogatien Vachon 1966-71". SB Nation. Retrieved March 26, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c Elliot, Helen (November 14, 2016). "Former Kings goalie Rogie Vachon has an emotional induction to the Hall of Fame". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Stubbs, Dave (October 26, 2014). "Kings legend Rogie Vachon drops into town where his goaltending career began". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved March 26, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Denis DeJordy
and Glenn Hall
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Gump Worsley

1968
Succeeded by
Glenn Hall
and Jacques Plante
Preceded by
George Mcguire
General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings
1984-92
Succeeded by
Nick Beverley
Preceded by
Don Perry
Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings
1984
Succeeded by
Roger Neilson
Preceded by
Pat Quinn
Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings
1987
Succeeded by
Robbie Ftorek
Preceded by
Barry Melrose
Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings
1995
Succeeded by
Larry Robinson