Alexander Mogilny played in 990 games over 16 seasons with four teams. He finished his career with 473 goals and 559 assists for 1032 points. The Russian Rocket also had 66 game winning goals and finished with a plus/minus rating of +81. He is also a Stanley Cup Champion. Yet somehow he is still not in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
In 1988 Mogilny helped the Soviet Union win the Gold Medal at the Winter Olympics. Later that same year he would help the Soviets win the Silver Medal at the World Junior Championship. Mogilny also helped the Soviets win two Gold Medals in 1989. They won gold at the 1989 World Championship and at the World Junior Championship
Mogilny Drafted by Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres drafted Mogilny in the 5th round (89th overall) at the 1988 NHL draft. He did not join the Sabres until 1989 when he became the first NHL draftee to defect from the Soviet Union to North America. Mogilny was given the jersey number 89 in honour of the year he defected and being picked 89th overall in his draft year.
He played his first NHL game on October 5th, 1989 and scored his first NHL goal on his very first shift. Mogilny spent six years playing for the Sabres, playing 381 games and recording 211 goals, 233 assists for 444 points. His biggest season with the Sabres was during the 1992-93 season when he recorded 76 goals and 51 assists for 127 points.
Mogilny Traded to Vancouver
On July 8th, 1995 the Sabres traded Mogilny and a 5th round pick (Todd Norman) to the Vancouver Canucks. Mogilny made a very good first impression with his new team by scoring 55 goals and 52 assists for 107 points. 40 of his 55 goals and 71 of his 107 points were scored at even strength.
His second year with the Canucks he scored 31 goals and 42 assists for 73 points in 76 games. His final three seasons with the Canucks were less productive due to injuries. He scored 45 points or less in each of those seasons.
Mogilny Traded to New Jersey
The Canucks traded Mogilny to the New Jersey Devils at the 2000 trade deadline. Mogilny scored 6 points in 12 games with the devils to end that 2000 season. He would then go on to help the Devils defeat the Dallas Stars in 7 games to win the Stanley Cup.
His second season with the Devils was much more productive. He scored 43 goals and 40 assists for 83 points in 75 games. Mogilny would help the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Final for a second year in a row. They would end up losing to the Colorado Avalanche in seven games.
Mogilny Signs in Toronto
On July 3rd, 2001 Mogilny signed a four year contract with the Maple Leafs. He got off to a great start by scoring two goals in his Maple Leafs debut. Although he had to battle through some injuries in his first year as a Maple Leaf, he still scored 24 goals and 33 assists for 57 points in 66 games.
In his second season with the Maple Leafs, Mogilny played with team captain Mats Sundin. The two combined for 151 points. Mogilny finished that season with 33 goals and 46 assists for 79 points. The following season was not so kind to Mogilny. He spent most of the season injured and had to undergo hip surgery. Somehow he managed to return late in the season and was able to score his 1,000th NHL point. The milestone also happened to come against the team who drafted him, the Buffalo Sabres.
Mogilny did not get to play in his final season with the Maple Leafs due to the NHL lockout in 2004-05.
Mogilny Returns to New Jersey
On August 16th, 2005 Mogilny signed a two year deal with the Devils. He would only end up playing 34 games as his injuries just became too much to overcome. He spent the entire 2006-07 season on Long Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) and retired at the end of the season.
Another year of eligibility has come and gone with no call from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Mogilny surely belongs in the hallowed Hall, but once again is snubbed by the selection committee. Some would say “maybe next year”, but that again is no guarantee. Next year’s group of eligible players will include Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Rick Nash and Henrik Zetterberg.
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