Former Kalamazoo Wing Ron Hextall First Goalie To Score A Goal
Ron Hextall probably doesn't have time to celebrate and reflect on what he did 32 years ago yesterday. It's NHL trade deadline day and he's busy getting his new team, Pittsburgh, into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Hextall hired on to be the general manager of the Penguins a few months ago.
Hextall, in a November 1987 game, scored a goal. Goalies don't do that, but Hextall's style was aggressive and he flung a loose puck the length the ice, into an empty net and became the first NHL goalie to score FOR his team.
(SportsNet via YouTube)
Then the following season, on April 11th, 1989, Hextall did it again, this time the first goalie to score in a playoff game. (BTW, in the video, there's Red Wing Chris Osgood scoring a goal in the 90's.)
Hextall, whose family is a part of NHL history, (plenty of Hextalls in the NHL record books) began in professional career in Kalamazoo in 1984-85 with the Kalamazoo Wings. His record wasn't very good (6-11-1) but he was only 20. He got promoted to Hershey that same season. Two years later, 22 year old Hextall was backstopping the Philadelphia Flyers to within one game of winning the Stanley Cup. Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and the Edmonton Oilers had more fire power, but Hextall was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner (playoff MVP), one of the few to win it from the losing team.
Now, before you go looking things up, don't be confused by seeing the name Billy Smith. The Islander goalie got "credited" with a goal, but it was actually Rob Ramage of Colorado Rockies (the team eventually became the New Jersey Devils) who put the puck in his own net, but Smith was the last opposing player to touch it, so he got credit for the goal. Hextall's the first goalie to actually shoot and score.
And, here's something. Hextall not even the leading goal scorer for goalies. New Jersey's Martin Brodeur (from the Rent-a-Car commercials) had three in his Hall of Fame career.