From "Junior B" Goalie to the Hockey Hall of Fame
A Journey into Hockey
Rogie Vachon will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 14, 2016.
But before he became "Rogie", the first local hero in Los Angeles, he was Rogatien Vachon - a rookie who burst suddenly onto the scene in 1967 with 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 Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Finals. They ended up losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a series also recalled for the famous Punch Imlach taunt describing called Vachon as nothing more than "a Jr. B goaltender" in an attempt to rattle rookie.
Vachon went on to play a total of 4 1/2 years in Montreal. During that time he was on three cup winners and co-shared a Vezina Trophy with Gump Worsley.
The arrival and ascent of Ken Dryden resulted in Vachon's trade to Los Angeles. He was missed by Canadiens fans but soon found a home on the West Coast. And, that's the narrative you are hearing most about now as Rogie enters the Hall.
Back in Montreal Vachon was never forgotten. A favourite of former Montreal Gazette writer Dave Stubbs, Vachon was honoured by Canadiens in a pre-game ceremony on November 10 in a game against L.A. He was there at centre ice wearing a Canadiens jersey again as his name and iamge were added to a "Ring of Honour" for former Canadiens inducted into the Hockey of Fame.
So, again was included in a group along with the likes of former teammates Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Serge Savard and Jacques Lemaire.
He may be most remembered for his play with the Kings and Team Canada. But he was also a cherished Canadien.