Pierre Turgeon, born August 28, 1969 in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, is the highest-scoring retired player in NHL history who, up to 2023, had not been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. That status has now changed.
Turgeon was a Junior sensation with the Granby Bisons. In 1985-86, he collected 115 points, was named to the QMJHL's Third All-Star Team and received the Michel Bergeron Trophy as the Offensive Rookie of the Year. He followed that with a 154-point performance in 1986-87, again was named to the QMJHL's Third All-Star Team and was the winner of the Michael Bossy Trophy as the Best Professional Prospect in the league.
Turgeon was the first overall selection of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, chosen by the Buffalo Sabres. He joined the NHL squad that fall and contributed to the Sabres reaching the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. During his sophomore season, Pierre truly revealed that the team's expectations of him were warranted, as he led Buffalo in scoring with 34 goals and 88 points through the regular season. He enjoyed an outstanding season in 1989-90, notching 40 goals and 66 assists for 106 points, good for seventh-place in NHL scoring that season, and earned him a spot in the 1990 NHL All-Star Game. After another 30+ goal season in 1990-91, Turgeon was traded to the New York Islanders early in the 1991-92 season, packaged with Benoit Hogue, Uwe Krupp and Dave McLlwain in exchange for Pat LaFontaine, Randy Hillier and Randy Wood. His best season on Long Island came in 1992-93 when he earned career-highs in goals (58) and points (132), tied for fifth-best in the league. He again was named to play in the NHL All-Star Game that season. Pierre's post-season was interrupted that spring when he was hit from behind during a goal celebration. Dale Hunter of the Washington Capitals earned a 21-game suspension for his transgression. Turgeon was able to return from a separated shoulder after missing seven playoff games. During the post-season award ceremony, Pierre was named recipient of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for his gentlemanly play.
Turgeon was part of a trade during the 1994-95 season that took him to the Montreal Canadiens, while Craig Darby, Kirk Muller and Mathieu Schneider moved to the Islanders. He played in the 1994 NHL All-Star Game, and was honoured to be named captain of the Canadiens in December 1995. Few who watched the closing of the Montreal Forum will ever forget the emotion-packed ceremony in which former captains, including Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau, passed a torch until it was in the hands of Pierre Turgeon, who was therefore the final Montreal captain at the Forum and the first Montreal captain at the new Molson Centre (now Bell Centre). Pierre rewarded Montreal with 38 goals and 96 points that season and played in the 1996 NHL All-Star Game, too.
The Canadiens dealt Turgeon to the St. Louis Blues early in the 1996-97 season, sending Murray Baron, Shayne Corson and a draft pick to Montreal in exchange. He scored better than 20 goals and 60 points in each of his five seasons with the Blues, including 30 goals and 82 points during 2000-01.
The Dallas Stars signed Turgeon as a free agent prior to the 2001-02 season and he spent three seasons with the Stars. Pierre concluded his NHL career with the Colorado Avalanche, joining them in 2005-06 for the first of two seasons.
Through his 19 NHL seasons, Pierre Turgeon played 1,294 regular season games, scoring 515 goals and 812 assists for 1,327 points. In 109 playoff games, he added another 35 goals and 62 assists for 97 points.
In 2023, the Selection Committee elected Pierre Turgeon to the Player Category of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
|New York Islanders||NHL||69||38||49||87||16||+8|
|1992-93||New York Islanders||NHL||83||58||74||132||26||-1||11||6||7||13||0|
|1993-94||New York Islanders||NHL||69||38||56||94||18||+14||4||0||1||1||0|
|1994-95||New York Islanders||NHL||34||13||14||27||10||-12|
|St. Louis Blues||NHL||69||25||49||74||12||+4||5||1||1||2||2|
|1997-98||St. Louis Blues||NHL||60||22||46||68||24||+13||10||4||4||8||2|
|1998-99||St. Louis Blues||NHL||67||31||34||65||36||+4||13||4||9||13||6|
|1999-00||St. Louis Blues||NHL||52||26||40||66||8||+30||7||0||7||7||0|
|2000-01||St. Louis Blues||NHL||79||30||52||82||37||+14||15||5||10||15||2|