|Alexander Mogilny (Photo: Getty Images) |
There are two numbers that are synonymous with Alexander Mogilny.
No. 89: due to the sweater he wore in six seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, the overall pick he was taken with in the NHL Draft (89th overall in 1988), and the year, 1989, that the Soviet forward decided to defect to the United States to play for the team.
No. 76 was a result of what followed.
Mogilny established himself as a 30-goal scorer through his first three seasons in the NHL. Netting only 43 points in his rookie year, his production steadily increased as he adapted to a new league and country.
While the arrivals of fellow Europeans - including Yuri Khmylev and Richard Smehlik - made the transition easier, it was the addition of an American that made all the difference.
Namely, Pat LaFontaine.
When the forward was traded to Buffalo from the New York Islanders, the duo became a force. Playing on the same line they were nearly unstoppable, combining for a total of 275 points in the 1992-93 campaign.
|Watch last week's classic clip, featuring the 1975 Super Series against the Russians. |
1975 Super Series
It was in that season that Mogilny broke the franchise’s single-season goal record. Shattering the previous marker of 56 goals, set by Danny Gare in 1980, Mogilny exploded to register 76 goals in 77 games.
On April 15, 1993 he net his final tally of the season, goal No. 76, against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Bob Errey left a loose puck behind the net and Mogilny was there for an easy wrap-around past goaltender Tommy Soderstrom.
Click play to watch the goal below.