Rogie Vachon goes into the Hockey Hall of Fame this weekend.
Vachon's resume is impressive, obviously. He played 795 NHL regular-season games and had 355 wins, a 2.99 goals-against average and 51 shutouts. In 48 playoff games he had 23 wins, two shutouts and a 2.77 GAA.
He is most famous as one of the all time greats of the Los Angeles Kings, where he was very much a puck chasing pioneer in California. He continued that on as a long time manager of the Kings, but make no mistake, Vachon is going in as a player and not a builder. Twice in LA he was a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player.
Though he played most of his career in relative anonymity, people forget Vachon won a couple of Stanley Cups early in his career with Montreal
Vachon's most famous work (at least for hockey fans outside of California) probably came in international hockey. Vachon helped Canada to victory in the 1976 Canada Cup with a .940 save percentage, a 1.39 goals-against average and two shutouts in seven games. He was selected to the All-Star team, named the tournament's best goaltender and Canada's most valuable player.
A lot of people feel Vachon's inclusion is grossly overdue. Vachon, for what it is worth, says it was worth the wait.
I don't want to rain on Mr. Vachon's parade, but I was perfectly fine with him being previously excluded. Crass I know, but I loved that the bar was set so high for goaltenders. It is similar for defensemen. It is the complete opposite forwards, and that has led to many complaints about some question choices.
Vachon was a heck of a goalie. So were Tom Barrasso, Mike Richter, and Mike Vernon. They probably deserve to be in, too, but they are not. I think Ron Hextall should be, but that's more questionable. Curtis Joseph? Chris Osgood? Andy Moog?
These goalies will all get some renewed consideration with Vachon's inclusion.