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Daren James Puppa (born March 23, 1965) is a former professional ice hockey goaltender in the NHL. During his career he played for the Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He won the 1985 NCAA Championship with the RPI Engineers. He is the cousin of NHL hockey player, Ralph Backstrom.

Daren Puppa
Born (1965-03-23) March 23, 1965 (age 54)
Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Right
Played for Rensselaer Engineers
Buffalo Sabres
Toronto Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL Draft 74th overall, 1983
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 1985–2000
Website DarenPuppa.com

Career biographyEdit

Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Puppa started his professional career in 1985, splitting time between the Buffalo Sabres and the AHL's Rochester Americans. Aged 20 years, 223 days, he made his NHL debut on November 1, 1985, and posted a 2-0 shutout win over the Edmonton Oilers[1][2] He was the starting goalie for the Amerks in the 1986-1987 season when the team won the Calder Cup. Following the trade of Buffalo's all-star goaltender Tom Barrasso to the Pittsburgh Penguins early in the 1988–89 season, Puppa battled Jacques Cloutier to establish himself as the Sabres' number one goalie,[3][4] and the following season Puppa led the league with 31 wins in 56 games.[5] In the 1992–93 season he was traded to the Maple Leafs, but played only eight games for them before being claimed by the Lightning via the Panthers in the 1993 NHL Expansion Draft. In 1995–96. Puppa's stellar goaltending was a major factor in the Lightning earning their first playoff berth in team history. The team took the heavily favoured Philadelphia Flyers to six games before losing in the first round. Daren's solid goaltending in the 1995-96 season earned him his second Vezina nomination; he was second runner-up behind the ultimate winner, Jim Carey.[6]

However, the next season Puppa developed chronic back trouble, and only played six games for the entire season. He only played 44 more games over the next four years, and he was forced to retire midway through the 1999–2000 season.

In addition to his 1996 nomination, Puppa also was the runner up to Patrick Roy for the 1989–1990 Vezina Trophy, awarded to the best NHL goaltender each year.

Puppa and his wife, Meg have three children. The family resides in Tampa, Florida.

In 2019, Puppa returned to the ice in a game for the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team while on a visit to Buffalo. Puppa, whose back problems and lingering effects from a 1989 shoulder injury still limit his mobility (he had not played hockey at any level since 2001 because of those injuries), led the Sabres alumni to a win.[7]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1981–82 Kirkland Lake Legion 87s GNML
1982–83 Kirkland Lake Legion 87s GNML
1983–84 RPI Engineers ECAC 32 24 6 0 1816 89 0 2.94
1984–85 RPI Engineers ECAC 32 31 1 0 1830 78 0 2.56
1985–86 Rochester Americans AHL 20 8 11 0 1092 79 0 4.34 .873
1985–86 Buffalo Sabres NHL 7 3 4 0 401 21 1 3.14 .886
1986–87 Rochester Americans AHL 57 37 14 2 3129 146 1 2.80 .900 16 10 6 944 48 1 3.05
1986–87 Buffalo Sabres NHL 3 0 2 1 185 13 0 4.22 .835
1987–88 Rochester Americans AHL 26 14 8 2 1415 65 2 2.76 .906 2 0 1 108 5 0 2.78
1987–88 Buffalo Sabres NHL 17 8 6 1 874 61 0 4.19 .870 3 1 1 140 11 0 4.70 .836
1988–89 Buffalo Sabres NHL 37 17 10 6 1908 107 1 3.36 .889
1989–90 Buffalo Sabres NHL 56 31 16 6 3241 156 1 2.89 .903 6 2 4 370 15 0 2.43 .921
1990–91 Buffalo Sabres NHL 38 15 11 6 2092 118 2 3.38 .885 2 0 1 81 10 0 7.42 .783
1991–92 Rochester Americans AHL 2 0 2 0 119 9 0 4.54 .830
1991–92 Buffalo Sabres NHL 33 11 14 4 1757 114 0 3.89 .878
1992–93 Buffalo Sabres NHL 24 11 5 4 1306 78 0 3.58 .890
1992–93 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 8 6 2 0 479 18 2 2.25 .922 1 0 0 20 1 0 3.00 .857
1993–94 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 63 22 33 6 1472 165 4 2.71 .899
1994–95 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 36 14 19 2 2013 90 1 2.68 .905
1995–96 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 57 29 16 9 3189 131 5 2.46 .918 4 1 3 173 14 0 4.85 .837
1996–97 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 1 1 0 0 62 3 0 2.90 .864
1996–97 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 6 1 1 2 325 14 0 2.58 .907
1997–98 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 26 5 14 6 1456 66 0 2.72 .900
1998–99 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 13 5 6 1 691 33 2 2.87 .906
1999–2000 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 5 1 2 0 249 19 0 4.58 .853
NHL totals 429 179 161 54 23819 1204 19 3.03 .897 16 4 9 785 51 0 3.90 .871

Awards and honorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://kuklaskorner.com/hockey/comments/nhl-short-notes135
  2. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/news/ducks-gibson-records-shutout-nhl-061408637--nhl.html
  3. ^ http://articles.chicagotribune.com/keyword/daren-puppa/featured/4
  4. ^ http://sabreslegends.blogspot.ca/2013/07/daren-puppa.html
  5. ^ http://www.goaliesarchive.com/sabres/puppa.html
  6. ^ https://www.hockey-reference.com/awards/voting-1996.html#all_vezina_stats
  7. ^ http://www.buffalohockeybeat.com/return-to-ice-special-for-former-sabres-goalie-daren-puppa-family/
  8. ^ "Men's Ice Hockey Award Winners" (PDF). NCAA.org. Retrieved June 11, 2013.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Adam Oates
ECAC Hockey Most Outstanding Player in Tournament
1985
Succeeded by
Doug Dadswell