The Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame Selection Committee today announced the induction of two new members into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. Based on their outstanding contributions to the sport of hockey and the Buffalo Sabres organization, the Class of 2011 consists of Alexander Mogilny and Jim Kelley. The enshrinement ceremony will take place on Saturday, January 1, 2011, prior to Buffalo’s 7 p.m. game against the Boston Bruins.
|Alexander Mogilny (Photo: Getty Images) |
The Buffalo Sabres took a chance when they drafted Russian right wing Alexander Mogilny in the fifth round of the 1988 NHL Entry draft, 89th overall -- the highest a Russian player had ever been drafted. But in 1989 the Khabarovsk native made headlines when he snuck out of Russia and left the Soviet national team to join the Sabres, becoming the first Soviet player to defect for the United States.
Dubbed “Alexander the Great,” Mogliny spent the first six of his 16 NHL seasons in Buffalo (1989-95), scoring 444 points (211+233) in 381 games. His 211 goals rank 10th all-time among Sabres skaters. He still holds three Sabres’ single-season records, all set during the 1992-93 season. In 77 games, he scored a franchise-record 76 goals, including 11 game-winners (T-1st, Danny Gare) on a franchise-record 360 shots.
Along with center Pat LaFontaine, Mogily made up one of the most lethal combinations in Sabres history. The pair combined for 275 points (LaFontaine-148, Mogilny-127) in 1992-93, holding the top two spots in the Sabres’ single-season record book in that category.
Mogilny’s 76 goals in the 1992-93 season tied him with Teemu Selanne for a league-high, marking the first time a Russian player had ever led the league in goals. Other Russian firsts include first to be named to an NHL All-Star team (six times) and first to be named captain of his team. After leaving the Sabres, Mogilny spent time in Vancouver, New Jersey and Toronto. He is the second-leading all-time Russian scorer in NHL history behind Sergei Fedorov and was the second Russian to notch 1,000 points in his career, achieving that milestone on March 15, 2004.
Mogilny became the ninth member of the vaunted “Triple Gold Club” in 2000 after winning the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils. This exclusive club denotes players who have won gold medals at the Olympics and World Championship, as well as a Stanley Cup. Only 24 players and one coach in hockey history have achieved this accomplishment to this day.
Jim Kelley is a professional sports news columnist whose 30-plus year career has focused primarily on the Buffalo Sabres and the National Hockey League. He started covering the Sabres in 1979 for the Buffalo News, staying with the News through 2000. In his time in Buffalo Kelley was a three-time president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. He also won the 1994–95 New York State Publisher's Award for Sports Writing Excellence, and was named one of the top five hockey writers in North America by ESPN. He was chosen as a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Media Selection Committee, and was a Staff Consultant to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. In 2004, Kelley earned one of hockey's highest honors, receiving the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, and induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. A year later, he was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. From there Kelley went on to national prominence with FoxSports.Com and ESPN, concentrating on NHL issues. Over his career, Kelley has covered 26 Stanley Cup Finals and has earned a reputation among Sabres fans and the hockey world alike as a thorough, knowledgeable, entertaining and sincere writer.
Kelley has also ventured into other media. He originated the weekly "Hockey Night in Buffalo” radio show as well as "Sharpshooters" on WNSA with partner Mike Robitaille. His experience and knowledge of hockey led The Hockey News to proclaim him in 2002-03 as one of the "100 People of Power and Influence in Hockey.” His move to FoxSports was one of the first instances of a print reporter moving full time to the Internet, giving a new degree of recognition to what was then a fledgling industry. He is currently a columnist for Sports Illustrated, and writes a hockey column for Sportsnet.ca.
Kelley is a graduate of Bishop Timon High School in South Buffalo and Canisius College and continues to reside in Western New York.
The selections were made by the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame Selection Committee: Robert O. Swados, Wayne Redshaw, Bill Hajt, Scotty Bowman, Seymour Knox IV, Peter Andrews, Michael Gilbert, Ed Kilgore, Archie Katzman, Kevin Gavagan, John Murphy and Jim Lorentz. Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame Members
Class of 1980
Frank Christie, Roger Crozier, George “Punch” ImlachClass of 1982
Tim Horton, Fred T. HuntClass of 1986
David Forman, Don Luce, Craig RamsayClass of 1989
Richard Martin, Gilbert Perreault, Rene RobertClass of 1994
Danny GareClass of 1995
Jim Schoenfeld, Robert O. SwadosClass of 1996
Ted Darling, Seymour H. Knox, III, Northrup R. KnoxClass of 1998
Jack Gatecliff, Larry Playfair Class of 2000
Don Edwards, Bill Hajt, Wayne Redshaw, Robert “Rip” SimonickClass of 2001
Jerry Korab, Mike Racicot, Mike RamseyClass of 2005
Mike Foligno, Dick Johnston, Pat LaFontaine, Rudy Migay, Robert E. Rich, Jr., George StrawbridgeClass of 2007
Phil HousleyClass of 2009
Dave Andreychuk, Milt EllisClass of 2010
Joe Crozier, Jim Lorentz