|Hockey Hall of Fame, 2016|
Rogie Vachon pictured in 2008 (photo by Mark Mauno)
September 8, 1945 |
Palmarolle, Quebec, Canada
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Weight||160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)|
Los Angeles Kings
Detroit Red Wings
Rogatien "Rogie" Rosaire Vachon (born September 8, 1945) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League.
Vachon entered the National Hockey League in 1967 as a backup goaltender to Gump Worsley on the Montreal Canadiens. He played 11 games during the season, but it was in the playoffs that Vachon started to shine. Vachon played the majority of the games and led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Finals. They ended up losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Vachon now had a permanent spot on the Canadiens roster. In a famous quote Punch Imlach, coach of the Leafs, called Rogie a Jr. B goaltender in an attempt to rattle Vachon during the Stanley Cup final.
Vachon started the next season with 39 games played. He won 23 games, and won the Vezina Trophy with Worsley. They had a combined 2.26 GAA, the lowest since 1959. Montreal would win the Stanley Cup that season and the season after that. During the 1969-70 season, Worsley was traded to the Minnesota North Stars. Vachon got the top job, but the Canadiens ended up missing the playoffs. On November 4, 1971 during the 1971-72 NHL season, after losing his number one status to rookie Ken Dryden, Vachon demanded a trade and he was subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Denis DeJordy, Dale Hoganson, Noel Price and Doug Robinson.
It was with the Kings that Vachon had his finest moments of his NHL career. He was runner-up for the 1975 Vezina Trophy. He was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1975 and in 1977. Vachon was named the team MVP four times between 1973 and 1977. In the 1976-77 season, he briefly became the first goaltender to be credited with a goal when the opposing New York Islanders scored on themselves during a delayed penalty; however, after video review, the goal was given 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. Vachon also set many goaltending records in Kings history that still stand to this day. 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 Los Angeles Kings organization.
In 1976, Vachon was named to represent Canada. Vachon, along with Gerry Cheevers, and Glenn Resch, were the goaltenders for the Canadian team. Vachon earned the top spot, and played in every game during the tournament. He achieved a record of 6 wins and 1 loss, with 2 shutouts and a 1.39 goals against average. His play helped Canada win the tournament, and he was named to the All-Star Team and was named Team MVP.
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. Vachon struggled right out of the gate in the Motor City. 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. 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." 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, who the Red Wings had selected first overall in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft would be the price. McCourt, who had led the Red Wings in scoring as a rookie in the 1977-78 season, refused to report to Los Angeles and ultimately sued the league.  This meant that Vachon was playing his first season in Detroit with McCourt as a teammate but also under the cloud that he could be forced to join the Kings because of the Vachon acquisition. He finished his first season in Detroit having allowed more than a goal more per game than he had the previous season and continued to struggle in his second season posting numbers below his career averages though he did become the goaltender of record in the Red Wings first victory in their new home, the Joe Louis Arena. He also recorded the first Red Wings shutout in the new building that season.
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. In Boston, Vachon provided a veteran presence and 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 marginally improved his numbers from his time in Detroit and managed to win 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 a Game One loss then coughed six more in game two before getting pulled as the Bruins lost 9-6. 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 Moffatt in a 7-2 loss to the Quebec Nordiques. Vachon faced just three shots in his twenty minutes of work and allowed a power play goal to Peter Statsny. It would prove to be the last goal Vachon allowed in his career because Vachon hung up his pads for good following the Bruins elimination from the playoffs six days later.
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. After retiring, Vachon served as general manager of the Kings from 1984 to 1992. He was the club's General Manager in 1988 when they made the trade to acquire Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers. He also served as interim head coach of the Kings on three separate occasions. On June 27, 2016, Vachon was named as an Honored Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, along with fellow players Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov, and coach Pat Quinn. He was inducted on November 14, 2016.
Vachon was born on September 8, 1945 in the small town of Palmarolle, Quebec. He had seven siblings, and grew up on a dairy farm. Vachon was persuaded to play senior level hockey at the age of 14 by a coach who was in need of a goaltender. He married his wife, Nicole Blanchard on November 30, 1971. Together the couple had three children; Nicholas Vachon, Jade and Marie-Joie, as well as three grandchildren. Nicole died from brain cancer in February 2016, after 44 years of marriage to Rogie.
|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||--|
|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||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
"Rogie Vachon's stats". The Goaltender Home Page. Retrieved .
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|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|
and Glenn Hall
|Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Gump Worsley
and Jacques Plante
|General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings
|Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings
|Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings
|Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings