April 20, 2016

Benoit Hogue

Benoit Hogue had a loyal following of fans when he played for the Buffalo Sabres. A gritty player with explosive speed, the smallish Hogue was an entertaining player. Although he was not a polished puck handler or shooter, Hogue was always expected to contribute offensively, thanks largely to his speed and a willingness to get his nose dirty. But he was also a responsible defensive player, particularly on the penalty kill.

The Sabres selected Benoit Hogue 35th overall in the second round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. Hogue played three years in the QMJHL with the St. Jean Castors. In his final year of junior, Hogue had 54 goals and 108 points.

The Sabres did not rush Hogue to the NHL, allowing him to apprentice with the Rochester Americans for the better part of two seasons. Following a strong training camp in 1988-89, Hogue earned a spot with the Sabres and played 69 games with the club, scoring 14 times while accumulating 44 points. He added a nice degree of zest to the roster as well, picking up 120 penalty minutes.

A competent player at all three forward positions, the popular #33 saw injuries limit his play to just 45 games the following year. But Hogue returned 1990-91 to play a full season, scoring a career high 19 goals and 47 points.

The Sabres liked what Hogue brought to the team, but always expected a little bit more offense from him. After just three games with the Sabres in 1991-92, Hogue was traded to the New York Islanders in the Pierre Turgeon/Pat Lafontaine blockbuster. The Islanders were astutely rewarded with their insistence that Hogue be included in the deal, as Hogue achieved the offensive expectations projected for him on Long Island. He enjoyed three seasons scoring over 30 goals and twice had 75 points.

Despite his success with the New York Islanders, Hogue was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the lock-out shortened 1994-95 campaign. It marked the beginning of a frequent period of address changing for Hogue. He would move on to play for the Dallas Stars three times, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Phoenix Coyotes, the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. The highlight of his many journeys came during his second stint in Dallas as he helped the Stars win the Stanley Cup in 1999, oddly enough at the expense of the Buffalo Sabres.

After sitting out the 2002-03 season, Hogue attempted a come back but failed to make the Columbus Blue Jackets on a 2003-04 training camp try-out. He left the NHL with 222 goals, 321 assists, and 543 points in 863 career contests.

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