Name: Mike Vernon
Born: 2/24/63 in Calgary, Alberta
Drafted: 3rd Round (56 overall) by the Flames in 1981
Salary: $2.7 million
|1989-93||Western Conference All-Star Team|
|1996||William Jennings Trophy|
The Physical Game
As Vernon gets older, he relies more on his angle play than his reflexes, and his technique was never the best part of his game. He has a quick glove hand; he does a good job of setting himself to tempt the shooter to hit the top right corner. However, he is being beaten more on the bread-and-butter save than he was in the past. Vernon is aggressive, and at the top of his game he is on the top of his crease, trying to make his small body look bigger. He forces the shooter to make a quick decision. He is a good skater from post to post. He handles hard-arounds well, content to stop the puck behind the net and not get involved in any puckhandling, which is a weak point. When he does move the puck, it's usually with a one-handed swing. Vernon does use his stick well to break up plays around the net. He cuts off low passes, and sweeps his stick at forwards trying to come out from behind the net. Because he is such an active goalie, Vernon tends to wear down when he gets too much ice time. If the Sharks keep him to around 60 games he'll be just fine.
The Mental Game
Vernon has won two Stanley Cups with two different teams (Calgary and Detroit), and believes in himself when there are doubters. The Sharks would not have made the playoffs last season if it hadn't been for Vernon, and the fact that he won 30 games with this bunch means we have underrated him in previous years. He is highly competitive.
Vernon upgraded San Jose's goaltending immeasurably. His teammates feel that when they go into any game now, they have a chance to win because of their netminder.
San Jose figures to be marginally better next season, but not much. If Vernon gets 30 wins again, would someone please give him the Vezina?
SOURCE: HOCKEY SCOUTING REPORT