Today a look at Ron Tugnutt.
Position: G ▪ Catches: Left
Height: 5-11 (180 cm)
Weight: 160 lbs. (73 kg)
Born: October 22, 1967 (Age 48.197) in Scarborough, Ontario
Draft: Quebec, 4th round (81st overall), 1986 NHL Entry
Amateur Teams: Peterborough Petes
For complete stats visit: www.hockey-reference.com/players/t/tugnuro01.html
Tugnutt was born in Scarborough, Ontario and played three successful seasons with the OHL Peterborough Petes. During that time, he won the F. W. "Dinty" Moore Trophy for the rookie with the best goals against average, followed by the Dave Pinkney Trophy for Top Team Goaltending, and was named to the OHL All-Star team in 1987.
It was during the 1990-1991 Season when Ron appeared in 56 games for the league-worst Nordiques, that he began to establish himself as a solid net-minder.
On March 21, 1991, Ron entered the NHL record books as he managed to stop 70 of 73 shots the Boston Bruins fired his way, which was good for second-most saves made in an NHL game.
The next few seasons presented many professional challenges for Tugnutt as he bounced around a few different Franchises (Edmonton, Montreal, Anaheim). Not quite living up to the expectations that were placed on him.
After being passed over for several starting jobs and not gaining the full trust of the teams he played for Ron contemplated retirement.
That was until 1995 when Tugnutt experienced a career resurrection of sorts.
NHL teams took notice and Ron signed with the Ottawa Senators.
Ron really started to hone his skill with the assistance of Sens goaltending coach Phil Myre.
developing a new sense of confidence to match his improved playing abilities.
Ron went from competing for a backup job with future Pens Goaltending Coach Mike Bales to splitting the starting duties with Damien Rhodes.
The Sens ended up shipping Rhodes to the Thrashers, which left the starting position on the table for Ron to claim.
After losing the confidence of the Senators Brass. Tugnutt and Janne Laukkenen were traded to the Pens in exchange for proven playoff performer Tom Barrasso on March 14, 2000.
Tugnutt quickly made an impact between the Penguins pipes, stealing the starting job away from Jean-Sébastien Aubin and leading Pittsburgh deep into the playoffs that season.
He was in goal for the May 4, 2000, playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers. A game where he made 70 saves on 72 shots. The final score was Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 1, after 152:01 minutes, the longest NHL game since the 1930s.
Following his remarkable performance with the Pens, Ron was set to become a free agent. Pittsburgh was interested in resigning him, but not interested in ponying up the cash it would take tp get a deal done. Ron and his agent knew that he had earned a hefty pay raise and they were right.
On his time in Pittsburgh: "I really enjoyed my time in Pittsburgh," Tugnutt said. "I mean, I really, really felt comfortable there.
Three teams came calling when the free agency window opened. The Rangers, Flyers and expansion franchise The Columbus Blue Jackets were all interested in acquiring Ron's services, with Ron electing to sign with the Blue Jackets.
Both Pittsburgh and Ottawa were interested but dropped out of the race fairly early due to the escalating cost of the contract.
On Signing with the Blue Jackets:
"My agent warned me that once July 1 got here, this stuff would happen pretty quickly. What can I say? It didn't take very long. We listened to Columbus and liked what we heard, especially the length of the contract."
He signed a 4 year 10 Million dollar deal. Not too shabby, if you ask me. Ron went from making a little over 550,000 a year to 2.5 million a year. A nice raise by any standards.
Ron was finally in the position he had always wanted to be, a solidified number 1 goalie.
During the Blue Jackets inaugural season, Ron broke an NHL record putting up 22 wins, most at the time for an expansion team.
Tugnutt's second season did not go as well and Ron found himself in another battle for the starting job with the up and coming rookie Marc Denis.
The Blue Jackets management elected to go with Denis as their number 1 and "Tugger" found himself traded to the Dallas Stars.
Ron spent the next two seasons split between the Dallas Stars and their AHL affiliate the Utah Grizzlies. Serving as a backup to Marty Turco and taking the reigns when needed. After an ankle injury sidelined Turco in January 2003 Ron started the next 20 games going 15-10-5 and posting 4 shutouts.
Ron Retired at the conclusion of the 2003-04 season and appeared in close to 540 NHL games.
Post Playing Career:
Following the lockout of the 2004 - 2005 season Tugnutt joined CBC as a color commentator for Hockey Night in Canada. Following his television days, Tugnutt served as the goaltending coach for the OHL's Oshawa Generals and then became a goaltending consultant for the 2010 Canadian World Junior team. Tugnutt joined the Peterborough Petes coaching staff for the 2010-11 season and served as a consultant with Hockey Canada until 2013. Tugnutt then moved behind the bench of his sons' team the Kemptville 73's.
Although he never was able to hold a starting job for more than a season or two, Ron Tugnutt can be considered one of the best back up goalies to ever strap on the pads.
Thanks For Reading.