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John Vanbiesbrouck: Misc


Ice Hockey

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

Position Goaltender
Caught Left
5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
176 lb (80 kg)
Teams New York Rangers
Florida Panthers
Philadelphia Flyers
New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
Nationality USA
Born September 4,1963,
Detroit, MI, U.S.
NHL Draft 72nd overall, 1981
New York Rangers
Pro Career 1981 – 2002

John Vanbiesbrouck (born September 4, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan) is a retired American professional goaltender, who was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007. He's played for the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders, and New Jersey Devils.

During his National Hockey League career, Vanbiesbrouck compiled a record of 374 wins, 346 losses, 119 ties, and 40 shutouts. He is considered one of the best American goaltenders in the history of hockey. His total victories rank him 9th on the NHL's all-time list. He won the Vezina Trophy in 1986, was selected to the NHL All-Star Team in 1986, 1994, 1996, and 1997. He played in the 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1989 IIHF World Championships, along with the 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups, and was selected for the 1996 World Cup of Hockey which was won by the Americans. twice went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, and 2001, and was the back-up goaltender for the United States in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.


Early life

John Vanbiesbrouck grew up in Detroit. He was unclaimed in the Ontario Hockey League Midget Draft as a 15 year old, so his father drove him to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to try out with the Greyhounds. Vanbiesbrouck made the team, and for three years he was the number one goalie for the Greyhounds. By the time he was eligible for the NHL Entry Draft, there was no doubt that he would be selected. In 1981 the New York Rangers chose him in the 4th round (72nd overall), and just a few months later he made his professional debut with the Rangers as an emergency call-up.

Playing career


New York Rangers

On December 5, 1981, he beat the Colorado Rockies 2–1, at 18 years of age. The Rangers then returned him to Sault Ste. Marie to develop. For two years he played goal for the United States at the World Championships. In 1982, he won the Terry Sawchuk Award (with Ron Scott) for Best Goalie. The following year in 1983, he was awarded the Ivan Trophy as the Canadian Hockey League (CHL)’s Most Valuable Player. In the fall of 1984 he made the Rangers full time. But the New Yorkers were eliminated quickly from the playoffs in the spring of 1985, and Vanbiesbrouck gladly accepted an invitation to represent the U.S. team at the World Championships in Prague. In 1986, he had his first 30 win season, where he finished the year netting 31 victories for New York.

He stayed the Rangers' number one goalie until Mike Richter arrived and established himself as an equal but younger talent. The two became one of the best duos in the game, The Rangers traded him to the Canucks for future considerations (Doug Lidster) and then the Canucks left him exposed in the 1993 NHL Expansion Draft. He was drafted by the Florida Panthers.

Florida Panthers

His career exploded during his years with the Panthers. During the 1994 season, John played in nearly 60 games, and ended the year with the 2nd best save percentage in the league. The following year, Vanbiesbrouck played a key role in Florida staying in the playoff hunt until the end of the 1994–1995 season. He recorded 33 victories and his performance earned him the runner-up in the Hart Trophy and Vezina Trophy. In 1996, he backstopped the Panthers to their only Stanley Cup Finals appearance, upsetting the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins before losing in a four game sweep to the Colorado Avalanche. He finished third in voting for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

In 1997, Vanbiesbrouck recorded his 300th career victory, and tied his career high for longest undefeated streak at nine games. However, a long Panthers losing streak caused him to be booed off the ice later in the 1997–1998 season.

Philadelphia Flyers

Before the start of the 1998–1999 season, Vanbiesbrouck signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. His first season with Philadelphia was very successful. He posted a 2.18 GAA, and notched 6 shutouts before rotating the starting goaltending job with Ron Hextall and then Brian Boucher.

New York Islanders & New Jersey Devils

On Draft Day in 2000, John was traded to the New York Islanders, who brought him aboard to groom rookie netminder Rick DiPietro. But he didn't finish the season with the Islanders. In March, he was traded to the New Jersey Devils for Chris Terreri, where he became the backup netminder for Martin Brodeur. He recorded his 40th shutout, and won every game he appeared in with New Jersey. During the 2000–01 season, the Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second year in a row. This was Vanbiesbrouck's second trip to the finals, though he played only a total of four minutes this time. The Devils played the Colorado Avalanche and lost in seven games. Vanbiesbrouck promptly retired on June 9, 2001 after the game had ended. On February 4, 2002, he agreed to terms with the Devils to come out of retirement. He was the back-up for the rest of the season, and then retired for good from professional hockey on May 25, 2002.


Internationally, he played in the 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1989 IIHF World Championships. He participated in both the 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups for the U.S. team. Although he did not play in the inaugural 1996 World Cup of Hockey due to shoulder surgery, he was selected as one of the goaltenders for the U.S. team, and made the final cut on July 11th 1996. He teamed again with Mike Richter at the Nagano Olympics in Japan in 1998 when the NHL shut down to allow all its pros to participate. However, the U.S. sixth-place finish was considered a disappointment.

On October 12, 2007 Vanbiesbrouck was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

Post playing career

When he retired from the NHL, he took the position of head coach and general manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. There, he admitted he used a racial slur to describe a black player, Greyhounds captain Trevor Daley (now plays with the Dallas Stars). Daley quit the Ontario Hockey League team and returned home to Toronto after being told that Vanbiesbrouck used the slur while talking to other players. Vanbiesbrouck apologized and resigned his positions as coach and general manager, saying that he would sell his 25% ownership stake in the team immediately. "I used the N-word instead of calling him Trevor," Vanbiesbrouck told the Sault Ste. Marie Star on Sunday. "I used it just not thinking."


  • Holds New York Rangers all-time franchise record for most assists in a single season by a goaltender (5).
  • Holds New York Rangers all-time franchise record for most career assists by a goaltender (25).
  • Holds Florida Panthers all-time franchise record for most games played by a goaltender (268).
  • Holds New Jersey Devils all-time franchise record for best GAA by a goaltender (1.75).
  • Holds NHL all-time record for most victories as an American born goaltender (374).
  • Holds NHL all-time record for most shutouts as an American born goaltender (40).

External links

  • John Vanbiesbrouck's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
Preceded by
Pelle Lindbergh
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
Succeeded by
Ron Hextall
Preceded by
Craig Hartsburg
Head Coach of the Soo Greyhounds
Succeeded by
Marty Abrams
Preceded by
Scott Stevens and Steve Yzerman
EA Sports NHL Cover Athlete
NHL '97
Succeeded by
Peter Forsberg
Preceded by
Tony Granato
Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award Winner
1989–90 NHL season
Succeeded by
Jan Erixon
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at John Vanbiesbrouck. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

This article uses material from the "John Vanbiesbrouck" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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