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 73)
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 Rosaire "Rogie" Vachon (born September 8, 1945) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League.

Montreal Canadiens (1967–71)[edit]

Vachon entered the National Hockey League in 1966-67 with the Montreal Canadiens, as a backup goaltender to Gump Worsley. He played only 11 games during the season, but played most of the games in the playoffs and led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Finals. They lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Vachon now had a permanent spot on the Canadiens roster. Punch Imlach, the coach of the Leafs, referred to Vachon as a junior B goaltender in an attempt to rattle him during the Stanley Cup finals.

Vachon played 39 games in the 1967–68 season and won 23 of them. He and Worsley won the Vezina Trophy, and they had a combined 2.26 GAA, the lowest since 1958-59. Montreal won the Stanley Cup that season and in 1968–69 as well. During the 1969–70 season, Worsley was traded to the Minnesota North Stars and Vachon got the starting job, but the Canadiens missed the playoffs. Early in 1971–72, after losing the starting job to rookie Ken Dryden, Vachon demanded to be traded and he was soon sent to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Denis DeJordy, Dale Hoganson, Noel Price and Doug Robinson.

Los Angeles Kings (1971–78)[edit]

It was with the Kings that Vachon had the finest moments of his NHL career. He was runner-up for the Vezina Trophy in 1974–75, and he was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1974-75 and 1976-77. He was named the team MVP four times between 1973 and 1977. In one game in 1976–77, it appeared he was due credit for scoring a goal when the New York Islanders scored on themselves during a delayed penalty; however, after video review, the goal was credited 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. 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 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 chosen to play for Canada, along with fellow goaltenders Gerry Cheevers and Glenn Resch. He was given the top spot and played in every game of the tournament. He recorded six wins and one loss, two shutouts and a 1.39 goals against average. Canada won the tournament, and Vachon was selected for the All-Star Team and 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 from the beginning in Detroit. 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, whom the Red Wings had selected first overall in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft, would go to the Kings. McCourt, who had led the Red Wings in scoring as a rookie in the 1977-78 season, refused to report to Los Angeles and sued the league. [5] In his first season with the Wings, Vachon allowed a goal more per game than he had the previous season, and in his second season he continued to struggle, posting numbers below his career averages. To his credit, he gained the distinction of recording the Red Wings' first victory in their new home, the Joe Louis Arena, and also recording the first Wings' shutout in the new building.[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 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 improved his numbers marginally from his time in Detroit; he also won 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 the first game, then gave up six in game two before getting pulled. 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 Moffat in a 7-2 loss to the Quebec Nordiques. He faced just three shots in twenty minutes and allowed a power-play goal to Peter Stastny. Vachon hung up his pads for good 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.[8] After retiring, Vachon served as general manager of the Kings from 1984 to 1992.[9] He was the Kings' general manager in 1988 when they acquired 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 an Honored Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame,[10] and was inducted on November 14, 2016.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Vachon had seven siblings and grew up on a dairy farm.[12] He was persuaded to play senior level hockey at the age of 14 by a coach who was in need of a goaltender.[13] He married Nicole Blanchard on November 30, 1971,[14] and they had three children; Nicholas (who also played professional hockey), Jade and Marie-Joie, as well as three grandchildren.[13][14] Nicole died from brain cancer in February 2016, after 44 years of marriage.[13]

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. ^ Commito, Mike (2016-11-10). "Throwback Thursday: NHL Introduces the Penalty Shot". Vice Sports. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  9. ^ "Rogie Vachon Inducted Into The Hockey Hall Of Fame". NHL.com. 2016-11-14. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Hornsby, Lance (2016-11-14). "Emotions run high at Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  12. ^ Lefebvre, Robert (January 16, 2008). "Habs Goalies: Rogatien Vachon 1966-71". SB Nation. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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