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Ronald Frederick Bradley Tugnutt (born October 22, 1967) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey goaltender. He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with several teams from 19872004 and is formerly the president, governor and head coach of the Central Canada Hockey League's Kemptville 73's.[1]

Ron Tugnutt
Born (1967-10-22) October 22, 1967 (age 52)
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for AHL
Fredericton Express
Halifax Citadels
Portland Pirates
NHL
Quebec Nordiques
Edmonton Oilers
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Pittsburgh Penguins
Columbus Blue Jackets
Dallas Stars
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 81st overall, 1986
Quebec Nordiques
Playing career 1987–2004

Playing careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Tugnutt was born in Scarborough, Ontario. As a youth, he played in the 1980 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Toronto.[2]

Tugnutt played three seasons with the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League, and 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.[citation needed]

NHL beginningsEdit

He was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 4th round (87th overall) of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft. He was primarily used as a backup during his first three pro seasons, bouncing up and down between the AHL's Halifax Citadels and the parent club in Quebec City. During 1990–91 NHL season, Tugnutt played what would be a career high 56 games for Quebec and established himself as a quality NHL starter despite playing for what was then the worst team in the league.

On March 21, 1991, Tugnutt stopped 70 of 73 shots to earn his team a 3-3 tie against the Boston Bruins, the second highest number of saves made in a regular season game in NHL history. His performance in that game evoked such respect that after it was over, several Bruins players skated over to congratulate Tugnutt.[3] The hometown Bruins fans gave him a standing ovation after the game ended as well.

In the midst of an inconsistent 1991–92 NHL season, and with the emergence of Stéphane Fiset as the Nordiques' #1 goaltender, Tugnutt was demoted to the Nordiques' AHL affiliate. In exchange for Martin Ručínský, he was soon traded to the Edmonton Oilers to serve as Bill Ranford's backup. Tugnutt remained in this role until he was selected by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 1993 expansion draft. In Anaheim, he split goaltending duties with Guy Hebert.

As Anaheim quickly decided that Hebert was to be their future starter, and as the Montreal Canadiens decided that André Racicot and Les Kuntar were not adequately serving as Patrick Roy's backup, Tugnutt was acquired by the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Stephan Lebeau. In his new role, Tugnutt's performance suffered; for Anaheim he posted a .908 save percentage in 28 games. For Montreal, he posted an .860 save percentage in eight games during the 1993-94 season.

During the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Boston Bruins, Tugnutt started a match as starter Patrick Roy was recuperating from an appendectomy. He did not return to the Canadiens for the 1995–96 season, and was replaced by Patrick Labrecque. These experiences caused Tugnutt to ponder retirement.[4]

Career breakthroughEdit

In 1995, Tugnutt signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals, and subsequently spent the entire 1995-96 season with their AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates. He was productive in Portland, helping lead the Pirates to the Calder Cup Finals.[5]

It was this strong performance that caught the attention of the Ottawa Senators. With the help of goaltending coach Phil Myre, Tugnutt worked on the fundamentals, gained some confidence and improved his game each season. While in Ottawa, he went from fighting for the backup position with Mike Bales behind starter Damian Rhodes to splitting duties with Rhodes the next two seasons and becoming the team's undisputed starting goaltender by 1999.

On April 12, 1997, Tugnutt backstopped the Senators to a 1-0 shutout of the Buffalo Sabres in the final game of the regular season. Tugnutt's father had just died and immediately following the win Tugnutt pointed to the rafters to signify the win was for his father. The moment was captured by cameras and became an iconic image of Tugnutt. This win propelled the Senators to their first playoff berth.[6]

In 1998–99, Tugnutt had the best season of his career, and one of the best by an NHL goaltender in the modern era. He posted a league-best goals against average of 1.79, placed second in the league in save percentage at .925, had a career high in wins, and tied a career high in shutouts. This outstanding play, and an injury to Curtis Joseph, gave Tugnutt the opportunity to play in the 1999 NHL All-Star Game.

The next season, Rhodes was shipped to the expansion Atlanta Thrashers, giving Tugnutt sole possession of the starting job. However, he was unable to match his previous season and Ottawa decided to trade him to the Pittsburgh Penguins in favor of an experienced playoff performer, Tom Barrasso.

After arriving in Pittsburgh, Tugnutt took over the starting job from Jean-Sébastien Aubin and helped lead Pittsburgh deep into the playoffs. Tugnutt was in goal for the May 4, 2000, playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers. He made 70 saves on 72 shots. The 72nd shot was a goal scored by Keith Primeau of the Flyers at 12:01 of the fifth overtime. The final score was Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 1, after 152:01 minutes, the longest NHL game since the 1930s.

Following his performance with Pittsburgh, Tugnutt became one of the most sought after free agent goaltenders on the market. Both Ottawa and Pittsburgh attempted to re-sign Tugnutt but were unable to match the lucrative contract offered by the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets.[7][8]

During Columbus' inaugural season, Tugnutt was considered their backbone. Tugnutt's 22 wins broke another NHL record for most wins on an expansion team, and his .917 save percentage was among the best in the league.[9]

The team's second season was not as impressive as the first. Tugnutt battled injuries and ended up sharing time with young netminder Marc Denis. GM Doug MacLean decided that it was time to give Denis the opportunity to be the sole starter on the club, and traded Tugnutt to the Dallas Stars.[10]

Tugnutt went to the Dallas Stars in 2002–03 as the backup to goaltender Marty Turco. In January 2003, Turco suffered an ankle injury that allowed Tugnutt to start almost 20 straight games. He posted back to back shutouts during that stretch. For the season, he played 31 games and posted a 15-10-5 record along with four shutouts.

2003–04 was possibly Tugnutt's toughest in the NHL. From the start of the season to January he only received three starts. He was sent down to the minors for the first time in almost ten years to get some playing time with the Utah Grizzlies. Just five games in, Tugnutt pulled his groin and was out until after the All Star break.[11] Soon after, he was recalled to the Dallas Stars. After two solid starts, one of which was a shutout, Tugnutt finally got the break he was waiting for as Turco received a four-game suspension.[12] He retired following the 2003-04 season.

Post-retirementEdit

After the lockout, Tugnutt joined CBC as a color commentator for Hockey Night in Canada.[13] From 2008-09 to 2009-10, Tugnutt served as the goaltending coach for the OHL's Oshawa Generals[14] and was a goaltending consultant for the 2010 Canadian World Junior team.[15] Tugnutt's contract with the Generals was not renewed after a major front office shakeup in May 2010.[16] Tugnutt joined the Peterborough Petes coaching staff for the 2010-11 season. Tugnutt was a consultant with Hockey Canada until 2013 when that relationship ended. Tugnutt then moved behind the bench of his sons' team the Kemptville 73's.[6]

Off the iceEdit

Tugnutt is married to wife Lisa, and the couple have two sons, Jacob and Matthew. The family resides on Stoney Lake near Peterborough, Ontario.

Tugnutt enjoys boating and traveling. In the summer of 1998, Tugnutt was involved in a severe boating accident. It was suspected that he might miss out on training camp. Tugnutt healed and had the best season of his career, breaking the modern-day NHL record for lowest G.A.A. and coming 2nd in the league in save percentage.[17]

Tugnutt previously owned the Kemptville 73's, a Junior "A" ice hockey team, where he served as head coach, president and governor.[18][19][6] Tugnutt sold the team to an ownership group led by former teammate Jason York.

Honours and recordsEdit

  • Modern-day record holder for most saves in a regular season game non-loss (stopped 70 of 73 shots in a 3-3 tie with the Boston Bruins; March 21, 1991).
  • Holds Mighty Ducks of Anaheim record for most saves in a regular season game with 46, set against the Edmonton Oilers on November 21, 1993).
  • Tied with Dominik Hašek for Ottawa Senators highest regular season save percentage.
  • Leader in save percentage for the 1999–2000 Playoffs.
  • Holds Pittsburgh Penguins record for highest save percentage in the playoffs.
  • Has Division named in his honour in the FCHL.

International playEdit

After a disappointing 4-game sweep in the NHL playoffs, Tugnutt was more than excited to play for Team Canada in the 1999 World Hockey Championship. The semi-final game was against the Czech Republic in which Canada lost after the game went undecided in overtime, ending in a shootout. This was Tugnutt's second appearance on Team Canada. He played for them in 1993 as well.[20]

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%
1983–84 Toronto Red Wings MTHL 34 1690 75 3 2.67
1983–84 Weston Dukes MetJHL 1 20 2 0 6.00
1984–85 Peterborough Petes OHL 18 7 4 2 938 59 0 3.77
1985–86 Peterborough Petes OHL 26 18 7 0 1543 74 1 2.88 3 2 0 133 6 0 2.70
1986–87 Peterborough Petes OHL 31 21 7 2 1891 88 2 2.79 6 3 3 374 21 1 3.36
1987–88 Fredericton Express AHL 34 20 9 4 1964 118 1 3.60 .890 4 1 2 204 11 0 3.23
1987–88 Québec Nordiques NHL 6 2 3 0 284 16 0 3.38 .870
1988–89 Halifax Citadels AHL 24 14 7 2 1368 79 1 3.46 .897
1988–89 Québec Nordiques NHL 26 10 10 3 1367 82 0 3.60 .892
1989–90 Halifax Citadels AHL 6 1 5 0 366 23 0 3.77 .900
1989–90 Québec Nordiques NHL 35 5 24 3 1978 152 0 4.61 .859
1990–91 Halifax Citadels AHL 2 0 1 0 100 8 0 4.80 .814
1990–91 Québec Nordiques NHL 56 12 29 10 3144 212 0 4.04 .886
1991–92 Halifax Citadels AHL 8 3 3 1 447 30 0 4.03 .894
1991–92 Québec Nordiques NHL 30 6 17 3 1583 106 1 4.02 .864
1991–92 Edmonton Oilers NHL 3 1 1 0 124 10 0 4.84 .863 2 0 0 60 3 0 3.00 .919
1992–93 Edmonton Oilers NHL 26 9 12 2 1338 93 0 4.17 .879
1993–94 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 28 10 15 1 1520 76 1 3.00 .908
1993–94 Montréal Canadiens NHL 8 2 3 1 378 24 0 3.81 .860 1 0 1 59 5 0 5.08 .833
1994–95 Montréal Canadiens NHL 7 1 3 1 346 18 0 3.12 .895
1995–96 Portland Pirates AHL 58 21 23 6 3068 171 2 3.34 .898 13 7 6 782 36 1 2.76
1996–97 Ottawa Senators NHL 37 17 15 1 1991 93 3 2.80 .895 7 3 4 425 14 1 1.97 .923
1997–98 Ottawa Senators NHL 42 15 14 8 2236 84 3 2.25 .905 2 0 1 74 6 0 4.86 .806
1998–99 Ottawa Senators NHL 43 22 10 8 2508 75 3 1.79 .925 2 0 2 118 6 0 3.05 .872
1999–2000 Ottawa Senators NHL 44 18 12 8 2435 103 4 2.54 .899 2 0 2 118 6 0 3.05 .872
1999–2000 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 7 4 2 0 374 15 0 2.40 .924 11 6 5 746 22 2 1.76 .945
2000–01 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 53 22 25 5 3129 127 4 2.44 .917
2001–02 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 44 12 27 3 2502 119 2 2.85 .900
2002–03 Dallas Stars NHL 31 15 10 5 1701 70 4 2.47 .896
2003–04 Dallas Stars NHL 11 3 7 0 548 22 1 2.41 .900
2003–04 Utah Grizzlies AHL 5 1 3 1 281 14 0 2.99 .894
AHL totals 137 60 51 14 7594 443 4 3.50 .895 17 8 8 986 47 1 2.86
NHL totals 537 186 239 62 29,486 1497 26 3.05 .895 25 9 13 1482 56 3 2.26 .923

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1993 Canada WC 4 125 6 2.87
1999 Canada WC 7 4 3 0 328 11 0 2.01 .915
Senior totals 11 453 17 2.25

Trade historyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "PRESS RELEASE - 73'S HAVE NEW OWNERSHIP | CJHL: Kemptville 73s Jr. A". cchlkemptville.pointstreaksites.com. Kemptville 73’s Jr “A” Hockey Club. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  3. ^ New York Times, March 21, 1991
  4. ^ "404". TSN.
  5. ^ The AHL.com, Portland rejuvanates Tugnutt's career
  6. ^ a b c "Team Tugnutt relishes time together as a hockey family (with video)". 11 November 2014.
  7. ^ Post-Gazette, Sens want Tugnutt Back, Tugnutt hot on free agent market
  8. ^ Canoe Sports Slam Hockey, Tugnutt Signs with Columbus
  9. ^ The Sports Network, Tugnutt was the backbone to Columbus
  10. ^ HockeyInformer.com, Denis had potential to be starter
  11. ^ AllSports.com,Tugnutt pulls groin in minors
  12. ^ ESPN, Turco Suspended 4 Games
  13. ^ SLAM! Sports, Tugnutt Joins CBC as Commentator
  14. ^ oshawagenerals.com, Oshawa Generals Hockey Staff Archived 2009-08-14 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Hockey Canada, FOURTEEN ELITE UNDER-20 AND UNDER-18 GOALTENDERS TO ATTEND FOURTH ANNUAL HOCKEY CANADA PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE CAMP IN CALGARY, JUNE 11-14
  16. ^ Oshawa Express, Gens make big change
  17. ^ Hockey Goalies, Tugnutt Profile, and boating accident
  18. ^ "Management - CJHL: Kemptville 73s Jr. A". cchlkemptville.pointstreaksites.com.
  19. ^ "Hockey Operations - CJHL: Kemptville 73s Jr. A". cchlkemptville.pointstreaksites.com.
  20. ^ Ottawa Sun, Shootout loss to Czechs

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Scott Mosey and Marty Abrams
Winner of the Dave Pinkney Trophy
1986
Succeeded by
Jeff Hackett and Sean Evoy
Preceded by
Gerry Iuliano
Winner of the F. W. "Dinty" Moore Trophy
1985
Succeeded by
Paul Henriques