Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Vachon's Wait for Hockey Hall of Fame Finally Ends; No Former Blue Picked

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Vachon's Wait for Hockey Hall of Fame Finally Ends; No Former Blue Picked

Article excerpt

Players become eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame three years after playing in their last game. Rogie Vachon played his final NHL game in 1982, meaning he was eligible for the Hall starting in 1986.

Thirty years later, he finally got the call.

Vachon, who won three Stanley Cups and a Vezina Trophy with the Montreal Canadiens and then became one of the early stars for the Los Angeles Kings, was one of four players elected to the Hall on Monday. He joins Flyers forward Eric Lindros, Russian great Sergei Makarov and longtime coach and executive Pat Quinn.

"I sort of resigned myself that I don't think it's going to happen after all these years," said Vachon, now 70. "It was a total surprise. I didn't even know I was going to be on the list. Looking back, it was really worth the wait. It looks like it's going to be something that will really change in your life. I wish my wife could be here. (Nicole died in February.) I wanted to share this with her. She would be proud."

The Blues, who have had eight former players chosen to the Hall over the past nine seasons, had no one selected this time. After the selection of Chris Pronger last year, the most likely former Blues now eligible for induction are goalie Curtis Joseph, who has more wins than any goalie not in the Hall, and forward Paul Kariya.

Quinn began coaching in the NHL as an assistant with Philadelphia in 1977 and spent 40 years as a coach or an executive, being behind the bench with Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton. His 684 career wins are the sixth most in NHL history. He reached the Stanley Cup Finals twice but never won, and he led the gold-medal winning Canadian team at the 2002 Olympics. He died in 2014.

Lindros, a prototypical power forward, averaged more than a point a game over his career 372 goals and 493 assists in 760 games, mostly with the Flyers. He won a gold and silver medal at the Olympics.

Vachon, who recalled Monday that the first shot he ever faced in an NHL game was a breakaway by Gordie Howe (Vachon made the save), played seven seasons with the Kings before finishing his career for Detroit and Boston. …

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