Time for Hall of Fame to include Rogie

Rogie Vachon prepares for action in this late 1960s Forum dressing-room photo.
Montreal Star Weekend Magazine

Forgive me if you’ve heard this before, and you have. Not that I’m the first in the Sports section of The Gazette who repeats himself. But former Canadiens goalie Rogie Vachon should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Full disclosure: I’ve been a fan of Rogie since age 10, and yesterday had a chance to spend an hour with a boyhood hero who was attending a sports memorabilia show in Montreal. We talked about many things, from his first save in the NHL – a breakaway stop on Detroit’s Gordie Howe – to his curious exclusion from the Hall of Fame.

Vachon’s not bitter, but the three-time Stanley Cup champion, Vézina Trophy winner and star of his country’s victory in the inaugural 1976 Canada Cup tournament quietly admitted he feels a little stung that he’s not among a lineup of his contemporaries with comparable career statistics who are enshrined.

(Then there’s Vladislav Tretiak, inducted in 1989 for no real reason – regardless of what you’ll hear from Hall selectors – beyond his performance in the 1972 Summit Series that pitted his U.S.S.R. side against Canada.)

Based on career numbers? See below, Rogie the only one on the list not in the Hall of Fame. And he played on some pretty dismal teams in Los Angeles when he was traded to the Kings in 1971:

Rogie Vachon:           GP 795, W 355, L 291, T 127, GAA 2.99
Gerry Cheevers:      GP 609, W 289, L 209, T 96, GAA 2.87
Ken Dryden:        GP 397, W 258, L 57, T 74, GAA 2.24
Eddie Giacomin:    GP 609, W 289, L 209, T 96, GAA 2.87
Tony Esposito:    GP 886, W 423, L 306, T 151, GAA 2.92
Gump Worsley:    GP 861, W 335, L 352, T 150, GAA 2.88

The bottom of the story linked here shows you how to make your voice heard. Hey, this isn’t life and death for anyone. But what’s right is right. See also Robert Lefebvre’s thoughtful case for Rogie’s inclusion.

Many of our readers have signed online petitions for everything from what song the Habs should play after scoring a goal to a desire to bring back Alex Kovalev. Is Rogie worth a petition for someone here?

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