Calgary Flames legend Mike Vernon inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame
By Mike Gould2 months ago
Longtime Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Vernon has finally been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2023.
Vernon, 60, has been eligible to enter the Hall of Fame since 2005. He backstopped the Flames to two Stanley Cup Final appearances against the Montreal Canadiens, losing in 1986 and winning in 1989, and he’ll forever be remembered in Calgary for his iconic overtime glove save on Stan Smyl in Game 7 of the Flames’ quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks during their championship run.
Later in his career, Vernon helped the Detroit Red Wings reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1995 and 1997. He was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1997 as the Red Wings swept the Philadelphia Flyers to win their first championship since 1955.
The Hall of Fame named five players (Tom Barrasso, Henrik Lundqvist, Caroline Ouellette, Pierre Turgeon, and Vernon) and two builders (Ken Hitchcock and Pierre Lacroix) to its Class of 2023 on Wednesday afternoon.
The Flames originally selected Vernon, a Calgary product and a former Calgary Wrangler, in the third round (No. 56 overall) of the 1981 NHL Draft. The five-foot-nine goaltender made his NHL debut with the Flames during the 1982–83 season before establishing himself as the starter during the 1986 playoffs.e
Vernon spent parts of 11 seasons with the Flames before being traded to Detroit in 1994. He posted a stellar .927 save percentage in 20 playoff games with the Red Wings during their 1997 Stanley Cup run, although his most memorable moment as a Red Wing might be his energetic fight with Patrick Roy at the height of the Detroit/Colorado rivalry.
After brief stints with the San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers, Vernon was traded back to Calgary in 2000. Wearing No. 29 instead of his usual No. 30 (which was later retired by the Flames), Vernon appeared in 59 more games with his hometown team over the 2000–01 and 2001–02 seasons before announcing his retirement on Sept. 13, 2002.
Vernon appeared in 781 career games over 19 NHL seasons with the Flames, Red Wings, Sharks, and Panthers, posting a 385–273–92 record and an .890 save percentage. He was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 1989 and shared the William M. Jennings Trophy with Chris Osgood in 1996.
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