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Alexander Mogilny

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Right Wing

Alexander Mogilny

1.83 m

Playing career

Career end

Career start


Ice hockey player

Natalia Mogilny

Alexander Mogilny Greatest NHL Players By Jersey Number 89 Alexander

February 18, 1969 (age 46) Khabarovsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (

210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)

NHL Draft
89th overall, 1988 Buffalo Sabres

Played for
Soviet Championship League, HC CSKA Moscow

Similar People
Pat LaFontaine, Pierre Turgeon, Pavel Bure, Dominik Hasek, Sergei Fedorov

National team
Soviet Union   Russia

Gerry Meehan (2016) on Alexander Mogilny

Alexander Gennadevich Mogilny (Russian: Александр Геннадиевич Могильный; born February 17, 1969), is a former Russian professional ice hockey player, currently the president of Amur Khabarovsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).


Alexander Mogilny Making a Case for Alexander Mogilny Hockey Forums

In the National Hockey League (NHL), Mogilny played for the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils. He tied for the NHL lead in goals in the 1992–93 season with 76, and became a member of the Triple Gold Club by winning the Stanley Cup in 2000 with the New Jersey Devils.

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Defector alexander mogilny story

Playing career

Alexander Mogilny Alexander Mogilny 12201991 Flickr Photo Sharing

In the Soviet Union, Mogilny played on a line with center Sergei Fedorov and winger Pavel Bure. He represented the Soviet Union in 1988 and 1989 at the World Junior Championships, winning the Best Forward award in 1988. Mogilny was also part of the 1987 junior squad that competed in the World Championships known as the Punch-up in Piestany, after both the Canadian and Russian juniors were disqualified after a bench clearing brawl in the gold medal match. Mogilny played for the senior Soviet team that won a gold medal at the 1988 Winter Olympics. After the medal ceremony of the 1989 World Championships in Stockholm, he left the Soviet team and defected to North America with the help of representatives of the Buffalo Sabres, the NHL club that had drafted him, 89th overall, a year earlier in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft.

Buffalo Sabres

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Mogilny chose the number 89 in recognition of both the year he defected and his place in the draft, wearing #89 for his entire playing career. As a rookie, Mogilny struggled adapting to the North American culture and language, but produced a respectable amount of offense with 43 points in 65 games. His offensive production steadily improved over the next three years, largely credited to playing on the Sabres top line with Pat Lafontaine. He tied Teemu Selänne for the most goals scored in the 1992–93 NHL season, scoring 76 goals in 77 games. Mogilny's production faltered after a long-term injury befell linemate Lafontaine, though he continued to be a key component of the Sabres offense, scoring 126 points in 110 games over the next two seasons.

Vancouver Canucks

Alexander Mogilny Alexander Mogilny The Great Russian Enigma

Due to financial restraints brought about by the contractual demands of Lafontaine and Dominik Hašek, the Sabres were forced to trade Mogilny, along with a fifth round draft pick (Todd Norman), to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Mike Peca, Mike Wilson and a first round draft pick (Jay McKee) on July 8, 1995.

Alexander Mogilny Alexander Mogilny Autographed 8x10

Mogilny began the season playing with his former linemate from junior, Pavel Bure, on what was expected to be one of the NHL's premiere offensive combinations. Bure would miss almost the entire season with a torn ACL, but Mogilny would find chemistry with Cliff Ronning and Martin Gélinas, scoring 107 points in his first season with the team. He would lead the team in scoring again in the 1996–97 season. His success would not last however, as minor injuries, reduced ice time and inconsistent effort would drop his production to 128 points in 157 games over the next three seasons. Due to a lack of team success, and the perception that the trade with the Sabres had been a loss (as Mike Peca and Jay McKee would become star players in the Sabres organization), Mogilny was traded to the New Jersey Devils for Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson on March 14, 2000.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils acquired Mogilny in the weeks leading up to the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs in hopes of him providing offense on a primarily defensive team. Though he struggled, only scoring four goals in 23 games, the Devils won the Stanley Cup, which would be Mogilny's first and only NHL championship.

Mogilny would regain his form the following season, scoring 83 points, his highest total in five seasons. The Devils would again advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, this time losing to the Colorado Avalanche in seven games. Mogilny would score 16 points in 25 playoff games.

Toronto Maple Leafs

During the 2001 off-season, Mogilny signed a four-year, $22 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs and quickly became one of their top players. Despite missing 16 games of the season with a knee injury, Mogilny was able to score 24 goals and 57 points to place him second in team scoring. He would elevate his play during the post-season of the same year. During the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs, with team captain Mats Sundin injured for much of the playoffs, Mogilny contributed offensively, scoring eight goals, including two goals in each of the Game 7s versus the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators. The Maple Leafs, however, would fall in six games in the conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Mogilny emerged as the Leafs top scorer in the 2002–03 season, becoming the only player to out-perform Mats Sundin as the team's leading scorer since his Leafs debut, besting him by seven points and finishing in the top-15 in league scoring, with 79 points. In Game 1 of the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs, Mogilny recorded his first career playoff hat trick against the Philadelphia Flyers. He was awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct at season's end. In the 2003–04 season, he injured his hip and required major surgery, missing most of the season. He would return late to help the Leafs finish with their best record in franchise history. On March 15, 2004, versus the Buffalo Sabres, Mogilny became the second Russian player in NHL history to ever to score 1,000 career points in the NHL when he assisted on the game-tying goal by Gary Roberts. The Leafs would complete the comeback, after trailing 5–2 in the third period, and win 6–5 in overtime when Mogilny set up Tomáš Kaberle for the game-winning goal.

Return to New Jersey

Recovering over the lockout cancelled 2004–05 season, Mogilny returned to the NHL, re-signing with New Jersey in August 2005 after agreeing to a US$7 million deal for two years. After clearing waivers, however, he was assigned to the Albany River Rats, the Devils' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate at the time, in order to make salary cap room for Patrik Eliáš' return. His 473 career NHL goals at the time were the most ever for a player entering the AHL. Mogilny played 19 games for the River Rats, and retired at the end of the season.

Mogilny was the first non-North American to lead the league in goals scored (along with Teemu Selänne from Finland), the first Russian to be named to the NHL All-Star Team, the first non-North American to be named captain of an NHL team and is (as of the end of the 2013–14 season) the second all-time Russian scorer in the NHL, only behind former linemate Sergei Fedorov. Mogilny was the second Russian player to score 1,000 points in the NHL, reaching the milestone just a few days after Fedorov.

International play

At the 1988 Winter Olympics, Mogilny made his senior debut with the Soviet national team as an 18-year-old in Canada. He played with the full-roster Soviet Union team that won the gold medal.

In the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, Team Russia had played five preliminary games in order to set the groupings for the main tournament stage. Russia was the only team that went undefeated (winning against Finland (Moscow), Germany (Landshut), Sweden (Stockholm), USA (Detroit), and tied against Canada (Calgary). The U.S.A, Sweden and Finland games saw the pairing line of "Bure-Fedorov-Mogilny", for the first and only time internationally on the senior level, and was considered "perhaps the best forward line on earth" at the time. Mogilny and Fedorov played on the same line and both led the team in scoring, but they lost in the semi-finals against U.S.A, after defeating Finland 5–0 in the quarterfinals.

Player profile

A natural right-winger, Alexander Mogilny profiles the classic Russian winger: An off-wing sniper with elusive skating ability, shiftiness, exceptional puck skills and an arsenal of shots. Under the CSKA Moscow hockey program, Mogilny developed elite skating and shooting capabilities to become one of the most talented Russian prospects to play in the NHL. He had explosive acceleration, which helped him generate numerous breakaways and the ability to blast through defenders. Listed at 6 feet and 200 pounds, he possessed a strong combination of agility, balance as well an uncanny ability to be evasive in checks. A highly effective forechecker, he did not rely on physicality to generate turnovers but instead a combination of anticipation, excellent positioning and a swift stick to create takeaways. Mogilny was particularly adept at creating quick-strike offence from his right-wing. He preferred to rush in on his off-wing, make a quick deke into the slot and fire a quick wristshot. If he was covered, Mogilny was more than capable of making crisp accurate passes to an open teammate off the rush to create an unpredictable offence. Although he was blessed with tremendous speed, Mogilny was also very skilled at slowing down his game to create half-ice offence because of his excellent hockey sense. He had outstanding on-ice awareness and was proficient in quarter-backing his team's offence from the half-boards. Alexander is a conscientious player who sees the ice with considerable clarity, Pat Quinn once described Mogilny.

He was generally a very structured, calculated player, utilizing his patience, physicality, and creative passing plays to generate offense. Offensively, Mogilny often drifted within a designated area in the offensive zone and would rely particularly on plays from the right side and behind the net; his anticipation, meanwhile, permitted him to retrieve loose pucks and create second opportunities from behind the opposing net. He utilized his shot and side-to-side movement, as well as sneaky tactics to generate chances and would generally return to a number of preferred locations in the offensive zone if he was out of position. If he was freewheeling, however, Mogilny's skill set allowed him to at times perform remarkable feats with the puck. His combination of raw hockey skills and his willingness to not shy away from physical play made him, at the time, one of the most complete offensive players of the game.

A poised player with the puck, and gifted with incredible vision, Mogilny generated an abundance of remarkable plays. In addition, his stick handling skills were excellent, and his skating was terrific. While he was not as explosive a skater as Bure, Mogilny's tremendous agility allowed him to navigate smoothly throughout the open ice. His speed was also very admirable. As a result, when carrying the puck into the offensive zone, he could frequently cut across the slot or maneuver into an open space to unleash his shot. Occasionally, though, he would catch the opponent unprepared, and would swiftly stickhandle through the defender. Defensively, his ability to send pucks cross-ice was useful when his team needed to transition quickly.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin once called Mogilny the best player he's ever played with. The two were teammates during Mogilny's tenure with the Maple Leafs. Sundin described Mogilny as gifted, skilled, and a natural hockey player. The late two-time Jack Adams Award winner and former coach of the Canadian Olympic hockey team, Pat Quinn, called him "the most talented player that he's ever coached." Mogilny was characterized by Quinn as having good size and wonderful skating ability. He can play any kind of game. Sergei Fedorov was quoted to say "Alex was faster than all of us, Bure and Fedorov, and Alex was a machine. He was built like a machine." Plus on top of all the crazy skill he had, he’s better than all of us. He’s amazing." Fedorov said all three players were known for their speed, but Mogilny, in his opinion, was the fastest player of them all. "If you went back and forth five times, (Mogilny) will be first,” Fedorov said. “I will be third." Igor Larionov, who played with him briefly when Mogilny was a rookie with the Central Army team, was quickly impressed by the young Russian from Khabarovsk. When asked about Mogilny, Larionov said He was such a talented guy. Really good with the stick, and smart. He was a natural. Pat Lafontaine described Mogilny as the "Best player he's seen and played with". “I’ve been lucky to play with some great players in my career, but I put Alex as the best player that I had a chance to see and play with talent-wise,” LaFontaine said recently of his Buffalo Sabres winger. “He was the rare combination of the speed, the skill and finesse, quickness. He was just the full package.” Lafontaine and Mogilny were linemates during the 1992-93 NHL season and enjoyed remarkable success, as Mogilny scored 76 goals and Lafontaine had 148 points that year. Lafontaine described that year as "There was a sixth sense. We just had an idea of where each other was going to be on the ice. One thing about Alex, he thinks the game at such a high level. His hockey sense and to be able to have the hands and the feet and the speed, he’s that rare combination of everything.”

Often the offensive catalyst for his line and his team, Mogilny has led his team in scoring various times. As his career progressed and injuries began to mount, he evolved into a cerebral play-maker to generate his offence. Mogilny has always been a strong two-way player thanks to a high level of hockey instincts and a tremendous sense of anticipation. His preferred move on a breakaway is a quick snapshot to catch the goalie off-guard. The 5-hole is also Mogilny's favourite spot to shoot.

Awards and achievements

  • NHL All-Star Game(s) – 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2003 (Injured)
  • NHL Second All-Star Team – 1993, 1996
  • NHL Stanley Cup Champion – 2000 with the New Jersey Devils
  • 1992–93 NHL Season – Goal Scoring Leader (76) (*tied) (since 1999, this distinction has been awarded the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy)
  • 2002–03 NHL Season – Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
  • (NHL) 1992–93 Season – Game-Winning Goals (11) (1st)
  • Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame (Inducted on January 1, 2011)
  • (IIHF) 1988 World Junior Championships - All-Star Team
  • (IIHF) 1988 World Junior Championships - (Best Forward)
  • Member of the Triple Gold Club (June 10, 2000)
  • Inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • Regular season and playoffs

    Bolded numbers indicate season/ playoff leader


    Alexander Mogilny Wikipedia