The announcement of the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2022 was headlined by three former Vancouver Canucks.
Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Roberto Luongo will enter the Hall as first-ballot inductees, enshrining their legacies for every visitor to see.
However, there’s another former Vancouver Canuck who has yet again been passed up for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Alexander Mogilny has been eligible since 2009 to be selected, and yet, the Russian forward still finds himself on the outside looking in.
It’s hard to say why. Yes, there have been better players up for induction in these past 13 years, but for a player of Mogilny’s calibre to sit this long without a sniff at entering the Hall? It just feels extraordinarily odd.
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Mogilny’s NHL statistics show that he is, at the very least, on par with some Hall of Fame inductees. His total of 1,032 points puts him 81st in league history, and he ranks 56th in goals with 473. Mogilny’s point-per-game pace of 1.04 puts him ahead of other enshrinees like Guy Carbonneau, Martin St Louis, Paul Kariya and even Class of 2022 member Daniel Alfredsson.
The Russian forward had eight 30-goal seasons, including a memorable 76-goal campaign in 1992–93 with the Buffalo Sabres. Mogilny tied with Teemu Selanne for the league lead, but did it in seven fewer games. In fact, his career goals-per-game rate beats Selanne, Joe Sakic, and Steve Yzerman.
In terms of individual accolades, Mogilny only has one Lady Byng to his name. If the Rocket Richard trophy existed during his career, he would also have earned one in the 92-93 season. While that does look a little bleak, consider that Paul Kariya also has only one Lady Byng trophy.
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Mogilny also owns a couple of NHL records. The winger holds the most winning-goals scored in a season with 11, as well as the fastest goal to start a game at 5 seconds.
Mogliny was part of the 1988 gold medal-winning USSR team at the Calgary Olympics, the youngest forward in the lineup. He won World Junior gold in 1989, playing on a fearsome line with Hall of Famers Pavel Bure and Sergei Fedorov. Then, just a couple months later, Mogilny claimed gold at the World Championships. He would later become part of the exclusive Triple Gold Club after winning the Stanley Cup in 2000 with the New Jersey Devils.
Mogilny was a trailblazer for Russians in the NHL as well. He was one of the first players to defect from the Soviet Union and was the first Russian to captain a NHL club. By virtue of being part of the first wave of defectors, Mogilny was also the first Russian named an NHL All-Star.
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Statistically and historically, Mogilny made a huge impact. To this point, it hasn’t been enough for him to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Maybe Mogilny wasn’t the most dominant player in the league at any given point of his career. But that should not discount the success that he was able to achieve, both individually and with his teammates. A player doesn’t just stumble to eight 30-goal seasons and two 100-point campaigns, let alone over 1000 career points. Nor does just any player feature in the Triple Gold Club, a group of only 30 players.
Alexander Mogilny demonstrated legitimate excellence during his playing days, combining a high peak with longevity and impressive accomplishments.
It’s a shame that he still finds himself outside the Hockey Hall of Fame after thirteen years.
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