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"The Beezer" Joining U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Former Rangers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, who played the first 10 seasons of his long NHL career with the Blueshirts, was one of four men chosen for induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday.


John Vanbiesbrouck was the Rangers' No. 1 netminder from 1985 to 1990 before he began splitting the duties with Mike Richter in the 1990-91 season.
Joining Vanbiesbrouck in the Class of 2007 is another former Ranger, Bobby Carpenter, who spent three months with the team during the 1986-87 season. The other inductees are Aaron Broten and John MacInnes.

USA Hockey made the announcement on Wednesday morning, and the honorees will be formally inducted into the Hall at a dinner ceremony on Friday, Oct. 12, at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks, N.D.

"The members of the Class of 2007 represent the highest standard of excellence and accomplishment," said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. "It is my great pleasure to congratulate and welcome them into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame."

A fourth-round pick of the Rangers in 1981, Vanbiesbrouck went on to play pro hockey for more than two decades, and his 20-year (1981-82/1983-2002) NHL career represents the longest tenure for an American-developed goaltender in NHL history. Over that span, he played in 882 games and recorded 374 wins, the most ever for an American-born netminder. In addition, he posted 40 career shutouts and a 2.98 goals-against average.

A regular on the roster from 1984 to 1993, "The Beezer" still holds Blueshirts records for career assists by a goalie (25), career penalty minutes by a goalie (212) and assists by a goalie in one season (5). During his years in New York, he won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie in 1985-86 – making him the last Rangers player to win that award. His 31-21-5 record that season also earned him the Rangers MVP, Players' Player Award and Boucher Trophy as the team's most popular player.

Vanbiesbrouck also spent time with the Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, and played in three NHL All-Star Games (1994, 1996, 1997).

Vanbiesbrouck ranks as the NHL's all-time winningest American-born goaltender with 374 career victories.
He was also a member of the 1991-92 Rangers team that won the Presidents' Trophy and led the 1995-96 Panthers to the Stanley Cup Finals in only their third year of play. Internationally, Vanbiesbrouck played in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, four world championships, two Canada Cups and two world junior championships.

Carpenter was the first player to make the jump from high school straight to the NHL in 1981. During his professional career, he played for the Washington Capitals, Rangers, L.A. Kings, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils. During his 19 seasons in the NHL, Carpenter amassed 728 points (320-408) in 1,178 games. He was the first American to score more than 50 goals in a season when he tallied 53 during the 1984-85 campaign with the Capitals.

Carpenter played in the 1985 NHL All-Star Game, was a member of the 1989-90 Bruins that won the President’s Trophy before falling in the Stanley Cup finals and won the Stanley Cup with the 1994-95 Devils. During his playing career, he also represented the United States at one world championship, a pair of Canada Cups and one world junior championship. Following his retirement in 1999, he served as both an assistant and head coach in the American Hockey League with the Albany River Rats and won Stanley Cup rings in 2000 and 2003 as an assistant coach with the Devils.

Broten enjoyed a highly successful two-year playing career (1979-81) at the University of Minnesota before joining the professional ranks. At Minnesota, he set a record for points by a rookie (25-47—72) en route to being named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Freshman of the Year. The following season, he recorded a still-standing Gopher-record 106 points (47-59) to lead the team to the WCHA title and the NCAA championship game.

The late John MacInnes is one of the most renowned college hockey coaches in U.S. history. After playing two seasons (1945-46/1949-50) at the University of Michigan in goal and three years (1946-49) in the Detroit Red Wings system in the International Hockey League, he became the league director of the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Amateur Hockey League. There, he initiated the first Bantam classification. After four years in Ann Arbor, he headed to Michigan Tech University, where he began a historic 26-year (1956-82) head-coaching career.

While at Tech, MacInnes led the Huskies to three NCAA championships and seven WCHA championships, and was named the NCAA Coach of the Year twice and the WCHA Coach of the Year six times. He has already been inducted into the University Michigan Hall of Honor, Michigan Tech University Sports Hall of Fame, State of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame. He was honored with the NHL’s prestigious Lester Patrick Award in 1986 and the Legend of College Hockey Award in 1999.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are chosen on the basis of accomplishments in the game of hockey, sportsmanship, character, contributions to their team(s) or organization(s) and contributions to the game of hockey in general. A nominee must have distinguished him/herself by exceptional performance and outstanding character reflecting favorably upon the game of hockey.
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