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Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Tonight at my hockey game a friend brought up a name from the past. Rogie Vachon was a goalie most of us forty something Canadian kids know. Almost all of us know of him at the All Star goalie from the Los Angeles Kings.

Growing up in Montreal, and being a big Montreal Canadians fan, I knew that he started his career as a Montreal Canadian. He was actually their number one goalie for 2 or 3 seasons.

That was, until a rookie named Ken Dryden came along.

Because of that, he became the backup and insisted on a trade. That trade brought him to the Los Angeles Kings, where he made his name.

He was actually a star in the famed 1976 Canada Cup series, and if he had gotten his due would be in the Hockey Hall Of Fame by now.

Rogie Vachon was small by goalie standards. Below is an excerpt of an online blog I read:

The story of Rogie Vachon is like a modern Canadian fable. At 5’7” and weighing only 170 pounds, Vachon was one of the smallest goaltenders to play professionally hockey. Vachon made a career of trying to disprove others expectations. A flamboyant goalie, Rogie was able to compensate for his lack of size, by being a superior position goalie that excelled at playing the angles, and matched it with one of the quickest glove hands ever seen in the NHL. What made Vachon so memorable was his unique style that was born out of necessity, and his everyman attitude that was related to by many fans. 

He had to go through many levels of the Montreal Canadians farm system just to get to the NHL, and when he got there he faced a lot of stiff competition for the job, and to keep the job.
When a hotshot rookie named Ken Dryden arrived, he was tall and big and strong and Vachon again had to fight to keep his spot.  He decided to move on, demanded a trade and the rest is history.

Rogie Vachon is the perfect example of someone who really wanted something and never gave up. Because of that, and his talent, and that he believed in his talent, he had a long and successful career as an NHL goalie, then general manager.

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