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  • Writer's pictureDerek Ochej

The history of goalie goals

A position dedicated solely to keeping pucks out of the net, goaltenders have scored 15 goals in the modern history of the NHL. Billy Smith of the New York Islanders was the first goalie to have been credited with a goal, accomplishing the feat on November 28, 1979 when Colorado Rockies defender Rob Ramage’s errant pass found the way into the Rockies’ empty net.


Ron Hextall, featured in this post, was the first NHL goalie to directly score into the opponent’s net, making the feat on December 8, 1987. He then doubled his career goal total two seasons later, scoring against Washington in the 1989 playoffs. Hextall still holds the record for most goals directly scored by a goalie, although Martin Brodeur has scored three, but only one was the result of a direct shot.


In honour of goalie goals, check out the list below of goaltenders to have scored or been credited with a goal:

  • Chris Osgood - March 6, 1996. The second goalie to ever directly score a goal, he did so against Hartford in Whalers’last season as a franchise.

  • Martin Brodeur - April 17, 1997. The second playoff goalie goal, Brodeur did so against Montreal in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals.

  • Damian Rhodes - January 2, 1999. Rhodes makes history as the first goalie to be credited with a goal and record a shutout in the same game, courtesy of an errant Lyle Odelein pass on a delayed penalty. Fun fact: I was at this game and it was nuts when he scored.

  • Martin Brodeur - February 15, 2000. This first goalie goal to end up as the game winner, Brodeur’s second career goal came courtesy of poor puck handling from former teammate Valeri Zelepukin in the second period of a 4-2 win.

  • Jose Theodore - January 2, 2001. Theodore’s backhanded scoop was the icing on the cake in a 3-0 Canadiens’ win, two years to the day after Damian Rhodes’ goal.

  • Evgeni Nabokov - March 10, 2002. Nabokov scored the first power-play goal in goalie history, firing the puck the length of the ice in a 7-4 win over Vancouver.

  • Mika Noronen - February 14, 2004. The legendary Rick Jeanneret has the call on Noronen’s goal, courtesy of a bullet Robert Reichel pass that goes the full 200 feet into the empty net.

  • Chris Mason - April 15, 2006. Mason gets credit for an errant pass that skipped over the stick of a Coyotes’ defender, even if coach Wayne Gretzky thinks it was tipped by a Nashville player (it wasn’t).

  • Cam Ward - December 26, 2011. Ilya Kovalchuk scored 443 goals in his NHL career, but his own goal late in the game is in that count, with credit going to Canes’ goalie Cam Ward.

  • Martin Brodeur - March 21, 2013. Brodeur’s third career goal came courtesy of an errant bank pass in the first period of a game against Carolina.

  • Mike Smith - October 19, 2013. The first true goalie goal in 11 years, Smith barely beats the clock against Detroit, scoring with less than a second left on the clock.

  • Pekka Rinne - January 9, 2020. The longest gap in this list between goalie goals, Rinne bounced one home in a 5-2 win over Chicago.

Just days before I wrote this article, Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers just missed scoring the 16th goalie goal in NHL history.


Card 327 - Ron Hextall

















Goaltender Hextall was drafted 119th overall by Philadelphia in 1982. He played two seasons with Brandon in the WHL following his draft year, turning pro in 1984-85. In the 1985-86 season, Hextall was named the AHL rookie of the year and a first-team all-star.


His success in the minors led to him earning the starter’s role in Philadelphia for the 1986-87 season, becoming a third generation NHLer. And did Hextall start his career off with a bang. He led the league in wins (37), games played (66), saves (1739), save percentage (.902) and minutes. Hextall was named to the first-all star team, all-rookie team and won the Vezina Trophy. Surprisingly he did not win the Calder, finishing second to Luc Robitaille by 20 points. Hextall’s success paced the Flyers to second place finish in the NHL in the regular season, and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing in seven games to the Edmonton Oilers. His role in guiding the Flyers to the finals was recognized with a Conn Smythe Trophy win as playoff MVP.


While hard to top such a standout season, Hextall won 30+ games the next two seasons, and the Flyers made it to the 1989 Prince of Wales Conference Finals, losing to Montreal in six games. As many know, Hextall had a infamous temper, and during his first three NHL seasons he recorded penalty minutes totals of 89, 104 and 113, the three top individual penalty amounts in a single season for a goalie in NHL history.


1989-90 saw Hextall sat out the start of the season in a contract dispute. Upon returning to the team he injured himself trying to get in shape, playing only eight NHL games that season. In his absence the tandem of Ken Wregget and Pete Peeters took over, and Hextall played in only 36 games in the 1990-91 season. The following season he regained the starter’s role, playing in 45 games and winning 16.


June 1992 saw Hextall traded to Quebec as part of the blockbuster deal that landed Philadelphia future superstar Eric Lindros. He won 29 games in his one season in Quebec, as he was traded to the New York Islanders for Mark Fitzpatrick and a swap of first round picks (those picks turned into Adam Deadmarsh and Todd Bertuzzi).


Hextall lasted one season on Long Island, winning 27 games before a trade back to Philadelphia in September 1994 for Tommy Soderstrom. He posted consecutive 31 win seasons, leading the NHL with 2.17 goals against in 1996-97. The Flyers made the Cup Finals in 1997, getting swept by Detroit, with Hextall playing only eight playoff games compared to 12 for backup Garth Snow. Hextall played one final season as starter, with 1998-99 his final year as back-up to John Vanbiesbrouck.


In 13 NHL seasons he played in 608 games, posting a 296-214-69 record, 2.98 goals against and .895 save percentage. Hextall is the all-time leader for goalie penalty minutes. In retirement he has become heavily involved in the management side of the NHL, working as a scout and director of player personnel with the Flyers until 2006, when he left to become assistant general manager and vice president of hockey operations for Los Angeles. He returned to Philadelphia in 2013-14 as assistant GM, being promoted to GM in 2014-15. Hextall was let go by the Flyers in 2019, returning to Los Angeles as a senior adviser until he was hired by the Flyers' archrival Pittsburgh Penguins as GM in 2021, a role he holds as of today.

YouTube clip: becoming the first goalie to score a goal by shooting the puck the length of the ice, on December 8, 1987. He scored his second goal two years later in the playoffs against Washington.


Card 328 - Mathieu Schneider

















A defenceman, Schneider was drafted 44th overall by Montreal in 1987; he played two additional seasons with Cornwall in the OHL, playing in four games with the Habs in 1987-88. In 1989-90 saw Schneider turn pro, splitting time between the AHL and Montreal, recording 21 points in 44 games with the Habs.


He made the NHL full-time in 1990-91, and over the next four seasons he scored 10+ goals three times and 40+ points twice, scoring 20 goals in 1993-94. Schneider also won his first Stanley Cup in 1993. Late in the 1994-95 season he was traded to the New York Islanders in a five player swap that landed Montreal Pierre Turgeon. Schneider played 88 games with the Isles before being traded to Toronto in a six player deal that saw Wendel Clark return to the Leafs. Split between the two teams, Schneider scored 13 goals and 54 points and played in the all-star game.


He played only 27 games in the 1996-97 season due to a groin injury, and after parts of three seasons in Toronto was traded to the New York Rangers at the start of the 1998-99 season for Alex Karpotsev. Schneider played two seasons with the Rangers, scoring 30+ points each season. In 2000 he was claimed by Columbus in the expansion draft, but as a free agent signed with Los Angeles. His first season with the Kings he scored 51 points and in 2003 was traded to Detroit for first and second round draft picks, Sean Avery and Maxim Kuznetsov.


Schneider’s four seasons in Detroit were arguably his best, and unusual for most players, came in his mid-30s. In 2003 he played in his second all-star game and in the 2005-06 season he led NHL defencemen with 21 goals, adding 59 points and finishing sixth in Norris Trophy voting. Unfortunately the Wings were between Stanley Cup dynasties, and were upset in early rounds during Schneider’s time with the team.


In 2007-08 he signed with Anaheim, playing one season with the Ducks before a trade to Atlanta for three players. Schneider lasted 44 games with Thrashers before a trade back to Montreal. 2009-10 would be his final NHL season, starting with Vancouver before a trade to Phoenix, 25 games in total, plus eight games with Manitoba in AHL.


In 21 NHL seasons he played in 1289 games, scoring 223 goals and 743 points. He ranks 22nd all-time in scoring by a defenceman, and notably recorded hat tricks in back-to-back seasons (2005-06, 2006-07). Schneider was named to the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017 and since retiring has worked for the NHL Players’ Association, currently as special assistant to executive director Don Fehr.


YouTube clip: scoring in Game 3 of the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, giving the Habs a 3-0 lead over Los Angeles.


Card 329 - Bryan Trottier

















Trottier, a centre, was drafted 22nd overall by the New York Islanders in the 1974 amateur draft. He had played two seasons in the WCJHL, and played a third after the draft, scoring 144 points in his final season with Lethbridge.


Trottier made the NHL as a 19-year old, scoring 32 goals and 95 points in the 1975-76 season, winning the Calder Trophy as best rookie. The following two seasons saw his offensive production dip slightly, but from 1977-78 to 1983-84 he developed into one the best players in the NHL, as evident by this long list of accomplishments:

  • 40+ goals five times, including 50 goals in 1981-82;

  • 70+ assists five times, leading the league in two seasons, with a career-high 87 in the 1978-79;

  • 100+ points six times, winning the Art Ross in 1978-79 with 134 points;

  • Four time all-star (two first-team and two second-team selections);

  • Hart Trophy finalist four times, winning in 1978-79;

  • Selke Trophy runner up in 1983-84; and

  • +76 rating in 1978-79, leading the NHL.

Alongside Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin and Billy Smith, Trottier was a key component to the Islanders dynasty that won four straight Stanley Cups and a record 19 straight playoffs series in the early 1980s. Individually he led the playoffs in assists and scoring twice, and goals once, winning the Conn Smythe in 1980. As the dynasty began to wind down through the mid-1980s, Trotier continued to contribute, earning three straight 80+ point seasons, winning the Calder Trophy in 1989.


After 15 seasons on Long Island, Trottier signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent for the 1990-91 season. Bringing experience and a winning pedigree, Trottier helped guide the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cups in his first two seasons, scoring seven points in back-to-back playoffs as he won his fifth and sixth Stanley Cups. He did not play in the 1992-93 season, returning to play 41 games in 1993-94 and scoring 15 points before retiring for good.


In 18 NHL seasons Trottier played in 1279 games, scoring 524 goals (36th all-time), 901 assists (19th), and 1425 points (17th). He played in eight all-star games and ranks ninth all-time in career plus/minus (449). Trottier is one of only eight players to record multiple five-goal games, and not surprisingly was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.


Upon retiring he became an assistant coach with the Penguins, leaving in 1997-98 to become head coach with Portland in the AHL. From 1998 to 2002 he was an assistant coach with Colorado, working as head coach with the New York Rangers briefly in the 2002-03 season. In 2006 he returned to the Islanders as director of player development, and most recently was an assistant coach with Buffalo in 2014-15. Trottier, who is of Cree descent, currently works with Indigenous youth across Canada.


YouTube clip: highlight video from being named one of the NHL’s 100 greatest players.


Card 330 - Kris King

















A left winger, King was drafted 80th overall by Washington in 1984. A veteran of four seasons with Peterborough in the OHL, King signed as a free agent with Detroit in March 1987. In 1987-88 he turned pro, scoring 53 points and recording 337 penalty minutes with AHL Adirondack. King also played three games with the Red Wings that season, scoring his first NHL goal.


In 1988-89 he made the NHL full-time, scoring five points and 168 penalty minutes in 55 games. That proved his final season in Detroit, as King was traded to the New York Rangers just prior to the 1989-90 season. In his first season with the Rangers he recorded a career-high 286 penalty minutes, then scored a career-high 11 goals and 25 points the following season.


Following another season-and-a-half with New York, King was traded just after Christmas 1992 to Winnipeg with fellow pugilist Tie Domi for Ed Olczyk. He played four seasons with the Jets, winning the King Clancy Trophy in 1995-96 while captaining the Jets during their final NHL season. King played one season with Phoenix before signing as a free agent with Toronto for the 1997-98 season. He lasted three seasons with Toronto, two as assistant captain, and recorded his tenth season of 100+ penalty minutes in 1998-99.


After playing part of the 1999-2000 season in the IHL, King signed with Chicago in October 2000, playing 13 games before retiring in December of that season. In 14 NHL seasons he played 849 games, scoring 66 goals and 151 points. A noted fighter, King recorded 2030 penalty minutes and 169 total fights in his career. He currently works for the NHL as senior vice-president of hockey operations, responsible for organizing major events such as the Winter and Heritage Classics.


YouTube clip: fighting Matthew Barnaby during 1999 playoffs. King fought Barnaby four times in his career, his second most frequent dance partner after Gino Odjick.


Card 331 - Daniel Marois
















A right winger, Marois was drafted 28th overall by Toronto in the 1987 draft. He played one additional season in the QMJHL as well as some games in the AHL before turning pro in the 1988-89 season. Marois recorded 31 goals and 54 points in his rookie season with the Leafs, finishing sixth in Calder Trophy voting. His sophomore year he recorded career-highs for goals (39) and points (76), finishing second on the Leafs in goal scoring.


Marois offensive numbers decreased to 21 goals and 30 points the following season and in March 1992 he was traded to the New York Islanders in a four player swap. He played 40 games with the Isles over two seasons before a March 1993 trade to Boston. In Marois' one full season with the Bruins, 1993-94, he played in 22 games, scoring seven goals and 10 points.


He did not play during the 1994-95 season, signing with Dallas for the 1995-96 season, and playing primarily in the IHL while getting into three games with the Stars. 1996-97 saw Marois start in North America with Quebec and Utah in the IHL before heading to Switzerland and winning a league title. He stayed in Europe until 2002-03, playing in Germany, Switzerland and Finland, with a brief return in 2001-02 with Saint John in the AHL. Marois rounded out his pro career playing semi-professional with Verdun in the LNAH in his home province of Quebec.


In seven NHL seasons Marois played in 350 games, scoring 117 goals and 210 points. From 2016 to 2020 he coached high level youth hockey in Quebec.


YouTube clip: scoring against Montreal during a December 1990 game with the Maple Leafs.


Card 332 - Shayne Stevenson


















A right winger, Stevenson was drafted 17th overall by Boston in the 1989 draft. A veteran of two OHL seasons, he played an additional two with Kitchener, leading the OHL in playoff scoring in 1990.


Stevenson turned pro in 1990-91, playing primarily in the AHL with Maine while managing 14 appearances with Boston, recording zero points and 26 penalty minutes. The following season he played five games with the Bruins, recording his first career point. In 1992 Stevenson was selected by Tampa Bay in the expansion draft, and would play the final eight NHL games of his career that season, recording one assist.


He began in 1993-94 season playing in Italy, returning to North America to play in the IHL and Colonial League. From 1994 to 1998 Stevenson played for four different Colonial League franchises, moving to San Angelo of the Western Professional Hockey League in 1998-99. He played his final pro season in the UK with the Ayr Scottish Eagles in 1999-2000.


Over three NHL seasons Stevenson played in 27 NHL games, scoring two assists and 35 penalty minutes. Post pro hockey career he has worked in the automotive industry and currently works as a fishing guide in Ontario.


YouTube clip: getting bloodied by Ken Baumgartner in a fight during a 1991 game in his second of three career fights.


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