Rogie Vachon came to accept the notion he’d likely never get the call he received Monday from the Hockey Hall of Fame.
To say the honor is overdue is a gross understatement, considering he made his last save 34 years ago.
The fiery, 5-foot-7 goaltender was the reason some average-at-best Los Angeles Kings teams won more than they lost during his time there. When he retired in 1982 after 16 seasons, Vachon’s 355 career wins (171 with LA) ranked fifth all-time.
Five times his save percentage, an unofficial statistic then, was .914 or better.
In other words, he dominated long before “The Dominator.”
Why the long wait for Vachon? Sadly, location.
He starred for a West Coast team during an era where hockey was more popular east. If he played his entire career in Montreal (where he won three Stanley Cups and a Vezina his first five-plus seasons) or in the east – he would have received the Hall call long ago.
At least, he’s finally getting his due.