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Mike Vernon's hockey history

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames
Untitled Document

Born and raised in Calgary, Mike Vernon lived out a childhood dream by winning a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989.

Vernon played in Calgary's minor hockey system and then played junior for the Calgary Wranglers in the Western Hockey League. In 1983, he was added to the roster of the Portland Winter Hawks for the Memorial Cup and starred in the tournament as the Hawks won the Memorial Cup.

During his junior career he was twice named WHL goalie of the year.

The Flames drafted Vernon 56th overall in the 1981 Entry Draft. Although he made two appearances for the Flames during the 1982-83 season, Vernon's full impact would not be felt until the 1985-86 season when he was handed the starting goaltending duties for the playoffs.

Vernon had spent most of the regular season playing for the Flames affiliates in Moncton and Salt Lake City but he played plenty in the playoffs, 21 games in all, as the Flames went to the Stanley Cup final, losing to Montreal.

From that point until 1993-94 Vernon was the Flames No. 1 goalie and, in 1987 Vernon won 39 games and helped the Flames win the President's Trophy for most points in the regular season with 105. The Flames lost in the playoffs to rival Edmonton but returned the following season to again win the President's Trophy and defeat Montreal in the Stanley Cup.

Vernon was a big part of the championship and Flames fans will remember his save in the first round, Game 7 against Vancouver when he stopped Stan Smyl on a breakaway in overtime.

Vernon would post a 16-5 record with three shutouts as the Flames would go on to defeat Los Angeles, Chicago and, finally, Montreal in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Vernon continued as the Flames top goaltender until he was traded to Detroit in 1994 for defenceman Steve Chiasson. He went to the Stanley Cup finals with the Red Wings, but lost to the New Jersey Devils.

In 1996-97 Vernon played most of the regular season as a back-up to Chris Osgood in Detroit but when the playoffs began, Detroit coach Scotty Bowman gave Vernon the starting job and the Red Wings went on to win their first Stanley Cup in 42 years. Vernon received the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.

The following season Vernon was traded to San Jose where he spent two full seasons before being traded to the Florida Panthers.

In 2000, he was claimed by Minnesota in the waiver draft but the Wild turned around and traded him to Calgary where he played in 59 games over the next two seasons before officially announcing his retirement on Sept. 13, 2002.


Mike Vernon Awards Mike Vernon career transactions
WHL First All-Star Team (1982, 1983)
WHL Goaltender of the Year (1982, 1983)
WHL Player of the Year (1982, 1983)
Hap Emms Memorial Trophy (Memorial Cup Tournament Top Goaltender) (1983)
CHL Second All-Star Team (1984)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1989)
William M. Jennings Trophy (1996) (shared with Chris Osgood)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1997)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993)
Traded to Detroit by Calgary for Steve Chiasson, June 29, 1994.
Traded to San Jose by Detroit with Detroit's 5th round choice in 1999 Entry Draft for San Jose's 2nd round choice in 1998 Entry Draft and San Jose's 2nd round choice in 1999 Entry Draft, August 18, 1997.
Traded to Florida by San Jose with San Jose's 3rd round choice in 2000 Entry Draft for Radek Dvorak, December 30, 1999.
Claimed by Minnesota from Florida in Expansion Draft, June 23, 2000.
Traded to Calgary by Minnesota for Calgary's 8th round choice in 2001 Entry Draft and the rights to Dan Cavanaugh, June 23, 2000.
Officially announced retirement, September 13, 2002.
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