Monday, October 24, 2022

Alexander Mogilny’s brilliance and his curious absence from the Hall of Fame

In the century-plus history of the NHL, only six players have ever scored more than 75 goals in a season. It’s an almost incomprehensible feat, especially in today’s era when a player even nudging 60 is seen as a stunning achievement. To get there, a player needs to score nearly a goal per game over the course of a full season, a level of production that even legendary scorers like Mike Bossy, Alexander Ovechkin, Pavel Bure and Jaromir Jagr never reached.

Of the six players to top 75 goals, five are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Three of them — Phil Esposito, Teemu Selanne and Brett Hull — made it in as soon as they became eligible. Two more, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, made it even sooner, with the Hall waiving its three-year waiting period to induct them early.

The sixth member of the 75-goal club isn’t in the Hall of Fame at all. Not yet, anyway, despite over a decade of eligibility. It stands as one of the Hall’s most inexcusable oversights, and we need to talk about it. But to tell the story of Alexander Mogilny — who comes it at No. 89 on our list of the top 100 players in modern NHL history — we have to go back further than that monster 1992-93 season. We need to go back to the beginning, to the story of how a 20-year-old phenom changed the NHL forever.

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