Skip to main content

Remembering Guy Hebert

It may be hard to believe, but the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Anaheim Ducks have been in the National Hockey League for 20 years now. 

Yes, even hockey's new teams are building storied histories in their own right. And of course the Ducks top the list with a Stanley Cup championship.

Goaltender Viktor Fasth is celebrating the 20th anniversary by having his mask painted nearly identical to the mask worn by Guy Hebert, the Mighty Ducks goaltender back in 1993:

There are not too many people who come from upper New York state and attend little known NCAA Division II school Hamilton College who go on to become big game goalies in the NHL. In fact I can name just one - Guy Hebert.

Guy Hebert, pronounced the French way despite his American birthplace, was drafted by St. Louis 159th overall in 1987. After completing his college career in 1989 he apprenticed with three seasons with the Blues farm affiliate in Peoria. By 1992 he had made the big leagues, playing 24 solid games behind star netminder Curtis Joseph.

At the conclusion of the 1993 playoffs the NHL welcomed the expansion Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Florida Panthers into the NHL. Hebert was left unprotected by the Blues in the expansion draft, and he was quickly plucked by the Ducks.

Hebert did not mind in the least. All he wanted as a chance to play, something that would never happen in St. Louis with Joseph starring as one of the league's best goalies. Hebert certainly made the most of his opportunity, immediately giving Anaheim a genuine measure of respectability in goal. He would continue to do exactly that for the better part of the decade.

Hebert was very good at stopping pucks, squaring up to the shooter and deadening any rebounds. Hebert really worked on perfecting his angles, because it was obvious he grew up playing as reflex goalie. This made him a bid of hybrid between the reflex goalies and square up goalies. While the butterfly stance and making yourself look big were the new norms of goaltending, Hebert always knew he could rely on his quick hands and feet. His only real weakness was his inability to stickhandle the puck. He would rarely wander from his net to help out his defensemen, allowing the opposition to set up a dump and chase strategy.

If I had to describe Guy Hebert in just one word, it would have to be consistent. Thanks to his great attitude and work ethic and unbreakable concentration, year after year he kept the young Ducks in games and rarely suffered long lapses. Often playing on an expansion team can really wear mentally on a goalie, but Hebert showed no such signs in seve years in Anaheim.

Ultimately Guy Hebert was the perfect choice for the Ducks expansion years. He was a great teammate and a leader in the dressing room. His attitude and work ethic were contagious. Most importantly he gave the Ducks chances to win games by being a very competent goalie.

Ultimately though, he was not the goalie who would be able to take the Ducks to the next level. He was replaced with the arrival of the man who would - Jean Sebastien Giguere.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M