The Hockey Hall Of Fame announced their 2023 class of inductees on Wednesday and for those who believed that the goaltending fraternity had been overlooked over the years, the selection committee righted that wrong by selecting three netminders.
Henrik Lundqvist, Mike Vernon, former Buffalo Sabres Tom Barrasso and Pierre Turgeon, and Caroline Ouelette were selected, along with longtime head coach Ken Hitchcock and GM Pierre Lacroix in the builder’s category.
Tom Barrasso grew up playing on an outdoor rink in Stow, Massachusetts eventually jumping from high school hockey straight to the NHL and played in the NHL for 20 seasons and 777 games! #LetsGoBuffalo #LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/K0BnnipGzv
— The Hockey Samurai 侍 (@hockey_samurai) March 31, 2021
Barrasso was the Sabres first-round pick (fifth overall) in 1983 out of Acton-Boxborough(Mass) HS, won the Calder and Vezina Trophies and was named NHL First Team All-Star at 19 years old. He played five-plus seasons in Buffalo before being traded to Pittsburgh in 1989, where he won consecutive Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992. In 777 career games for the Sabres, Penguins, Ottawa, Carolina, Toronto, and St.Louis, he finished with 369 victories.
Turgeon was the Sabres top overall pick in 1987 and played four-plus seasons in Buffalo before being dealt to the New York Islanders in 1991 in the massive seven-player deal for Pat Lafontaine. He played 1294 NHL games with Buffalo, New York, Montreal, St. Louis, Dallas, and Colorado, and scored 515 goals and 1327 points, but never won a Stanley Cup.
Mogilny: Wait Till Next Year
Surprisingly, former Sabres winger Alexander Mogilny was passed by. The sniper retired in 2006 after playing nearly 1000 games, averaging more than a point per game (473 goals, 559 assists), and posting not only an impressive career in North America, but winning an Olympic, World Junior, and World Championship gold medal for the Soviet Union.
Mogilny defected from the Soviet Union in 1989 and played six of his 16 seasons with Buffalo and holds the franchise record for goals in a season with 76 in 1993. He was dealt to Vancouver in 1995 for Mike Peca, Mike Wilson, and a first-round pick (Jay McKee) and went on to play for New Jersey (where he won a Stanley Cup in 2000) and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 54-year-old has been eligible for over a decade and it was thought that with forwards who put up comparable career statistics (Daniel Alfredsson, Paul Kariya, and Martin St. Louis) inducted in recent years, his time was due.