Sevigny played his first NHL game on November, 13, 1979, a 5-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues. Sevigny was called-up and pressed into action after starters Larocque and Denis Herron were injured on back-to-back days. The following season, Sevigny became part of history. It was the final season that the Vezina trophy was awarded to the team with the lowest goals against, instead of a voted-on best goalie in the league. Sevigny shared the trophy with teammates Denis Heron and Michel Larocque, as all three qualified by playing at least 25 games for the Canadiens. Including the William Jennings trophy, which is now awarded to lowest goals against, it is the only time three teammates shared the award. For his part, Sevigny led the league in GAA, 2.40.
The season ended on a sour note, which included an ill-advised quote by Sevigny. The heavily-favourite Montreal Canadiens were scheduled to play the underdog Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the play-offs. It was billed as Guy Lafleur versus Wayne Gretzky. Before the series begun, Sevigny quipped "Lafleur will put Gretzky in his back pocket." The Oilers swept the Canadiens in three games. Gretzky scored 11 points. Sevigny allowed 13 goals. Lafleur had one assist, which tied him with Sevigny for points. It was the passing of the torch from Lafleur to Gretzky as the league's premier star.
Sevigny, like most 80s goalies, suffered through OPC's lame warm-up photography. Which is unfortunate since Sevigny had a fairly nice mask. While it can be seen on his 1983-84 card, it is never done justice. Years ago I did a complete reboot of all goalies for the 1981-82 set, below is the Sevigny version.
|1981-82 OPC Richard Sevigny|
The Montreal Canadiens won the inaugural William Jennings trophy the following season, but Sevigny did not qualify for the award. During practice, a shot fractured his glove hand and he missed almost two months. The injury opened the door for rookie Rick Wamsley to take over as the team's starter. Wamsley and Herron had their names on the William Jennings trophy. They also were included in the 1982-83 OPC set, sans Sevigny. This gives me another opportunity to showcase Sevigny's mask.
|1982-83 OPC Richard Sevigny|
The Canadiens, who had won five out of the last six Vezina/Jennings for fewest goals, began to fall down the charts. They finished 7th in fewest goals in 1982-83 and 1983-84. Prior to the 1984 playoffs, the Canadiens had three consecutive first round exits, including two sweeps. During the 1984 play-offs, a goalie savior appeared, the next Ken Dryden, as rookie Steve Penney led the team to the Stanley Cup semi-finals. Sevigny did not play, but did collect a fighting major and game misconduct in the Good Friday Massacre during Game 6 versus the Quebec Nordiques. A few games later, Sevigny again came off the bench during a brawl. this time racking up 17 PIM while fighting Billy Smith of the New York Islanders. I am pretty sure his 32 PIM is a single season play-off record for a player who never actually played a game.
It was enough for the Habs to reboot their goalies, rookie Penney became the new starter and the team dealt away Wamsley and brought in Doug Soetaert. Sevigny's contract was up and the Canadiens did not offer him a contract. As a Quebecois, Sevigny opted to stay in his home province and signed with the Quebec Nordiques. Injuries and rookie goalies continued to plague Sevigny in Quebec. Sevigny was once again part of a 3 goalie committee, which included incumbent Dan Bouchard, a previous Lost Cards feature, and rookie Mario Gosselin. Interestingly, the back-up goalie he fought the previous play-offs, Clint Malarchuk, was the odd man out and spent the season in the AHL. In his first game as a Nordique, Sevigny allowed 9 goals on 32 shots against the Edmonton Oilers. He did not play again for two more months. His 20 games played in 1984-85 was his most as a Nordique, as he only played in 15 more games over the next two seasons. After starting the season in the minors in 1987, Sevigny retired.
Sevigny did have an OPC card as a Nordique, an actually decent airburshed job in the 1984-85 set. I found a few good pictures of Sevigny as a Nordique and decided to give him a career capper as a Lost Card.
|1987-88 OPC #272 Richard Sevigny|
|1987-88 OPC #272 Richard Sevigny|