Today in THW’s goalie news, we wish happy birthday to a nineties great, take a look at Ben Bishop’s wild night, and see what one player got in exchange for his sweater number.
Happy Birthday, Tugger
Few goalies worked as hard or traveled as many miles in the 1990s as the Scarborough, Ontario native who was born 52 years ago today, Ron Tugnutt. Among other accomplishments, including playing in over 500 NHL games and wearing one of the most recognizable masks of the 90s, Tugnutt was the first-ever goalie in Columbus Blue Jackets history.
Starting the first NHL game in Columbus wasn’t the greatest night of Tugnutt’s career, however. That came on March 21, 1991, at the Boston Gardens when he joined a very exclusive group of NHL goalies to make 70 saves or more in a single game.
Even more impressively, 19 of those shots came from Hockey Hall of Fame Boston Bruins defenseman Ray Borque, who set an NHL record that stands to this day. Tugnutt made maybe his best save of the entire night on Bourque, a sprawling glove save that preserved the tie for his Quebec Nordiques in overtime.
Tugnutt’s career spanned parts of three decades, from 1987-2004. After playing his final game with the Dallas Stars, he tried his hand as a color commentator for Hockey Night in Canada. Then he went on to coach at various stops around the OHL and other Canadian Junior Leagues. Most recently, he was president, governor, and head coach of the Kemptville 73’s, where his son played. Happy birthday, Tugger! We hope it’s a good one!
Bishop’s Bad Night
In Monday’s rumors article, we talked about the powerful tornado that ripped through Dallas, Texas and destroyed Tyler Seguin’s home. Apparently, Seguin wasn’t the only Dallas Stars player affected by the cyclone.
The Stars thrust Anton Khudobin into action after finding out that starting goaltender Ben Bishop was awake through the night. The tornado severely damaged their home, and he and his family spent the evening with Jamie Benn.
We’re all good, thankfully. Obviously, it was a scary night last night… I feel very thankful that everybody is okay. It came pretty quick and to think that it was just one street away. It could have been a lot worse. I’m thankful that I could be here tonight and be with the family.Ben Bishop on his terrifying night
Thankfully, it sounds like all the Bishops and all the Stars were okay. Khudobin stepped up to the plate in a big way, saving 19 shots and propelling the Stars to their third win of the seasons. THW sends our well-wishes to everyone in Dallas affected by the storm.
Thanks for the Rolex, Bob
It’s a tradition as old as time: when the new star comes to town, he gets his sweater number, but only once he’s given you the proper compensation.
When the Florida Panthers signed Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year, $70 million contract this summer, Frank Vatrano probably knew that his days wearing the number 72 were, well, numbered. Bobrovsky is the only active two-time Vezina Trophy winner and is now one of the faces of the franchise. Plus, he had plenty of money to spend on compensation, so a deal was struck.
Apparently, Vatrano is a man of high taste. In exchange for the number, Bobrovsky gave him a double quarter pounder from McDonald’s, a nice bottle of wine, and the Rolex watch that is a fairly standard element of these exchanges. As one Instagram commenter said, though, we’re fairly certain he would have done it for just the burger.
Vatrano had a breakout season with the Panthers in 2018-19, but both players are struggling to adjust to the new season. Bobrovsky is 2-2-2 with a 4.07 goals against average (GAA) and a .872 save percentage (SV%). Vatrano has just two points in eight games. It’s been a bumpier start than the Panthers had hoped, but with Vatrano now well-nourished and more punctual, perhaps the whole team will start to get in a groove.
Stephen Ground is an author with The Hockey Writers and is co-host of the Two Guys No Cup Podcast. He enjoys studying the numbers and providing fresh looks at various stories.