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Calgary Flames

Former Flames Goalie Vernon To Join Hockey Hall of Fame



The goaltender who backstopped the Calgary Flames to its first and only Stanley Cup is headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Mike Vernon will join Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso, Caroline Ouellette and Pierre Turgeon in the players’ class of 2023, announced by Vernon’s 1989 Cup-winning teammate Lanny McDonald (chair of the Hall’s board) and Mike Gartner (chair of the Hall’s selection committee) on Wednesday in Toronto.

Ken Hitchcock and Pierre Lacroix are also headed to the Hall in the builders’ category.

Debate the selections all you want, but Vernon was a battler who won Stanley Cups nearly a decade apart with two different NHL franchises and has a Conn Smythe trophy to his credit.

At 5-foot-9 and 170 lb., Vernon relied on athleticism, positioning and determination to make his mark with the Flames in two stints — from 1982-94 and then again from 2000-02. He helped the Flames to the Stanley Cup Final in 1986 and again in 1989 when the franchise claimed its Cup.

It was especially meaningful to Vernon because he was born and raised in Calgary and rose the hockey ranks as a member of the Western League’s Calgary Wranglers before being drafted in the third round of the 1981 NHL Draft.

He was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in 1994 and made an immediate impact. Vernon helped the Wings to the Cup Final in 1995 and again in 1997, winning the championship in the latter — with Vernon named playoff MVP and taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy.

That snapped a Cup drought of more than 40 years in Detroit, and Vernon cemented his folk hero status and Hall of Fame career. He didn’t win a Vezina but remains hugely popular in Calgary.

Without the Cup wins and strong playoff performances, Vernon may not have made it to the Hall. He played in 781 career games over 19 NHL seasons — including short stints with the San Jose Sharks, and Florida Panthers — with a 385–273–92 record and .890 save percentage.

Vernon was traded back to Calgary in 2000 before retiring in September 2002.

The Calgary Flames later retired his No. 30 jersey, which hangs in the Saddledome rafters today.

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