He made his debut at the age of 18, having just come off a 22-0-1 season for the Acton-Boxborough Colonials in his native Massachusetts, when he suited up for the Buffalo Sabres, who had drafted him 5th overall in 1983. He made the transition to the NHL in fine style, playing in 42 games and posting a 26-12-3 record with a 2.84 goals against average, which earned him not only the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year, but also the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender that season as well, a truly remarkable achievement for someone not only so young, but so inexperienced. It was only the third time a player had won both the Calder and Vezina in the same season after Frank Brimsek and Tony Esposito.
He would follow up his stunning debut season by first participating in the 1984 Canada Cup for the United States before sharing the Jennings Trophy with teammate Bob Sauve for the fewest goals allowed by a team as well as making his first NHL All-Star Game in 1985. His workload increased to 54 games that season while his goals against average dropped to 2.66 thanks in part to 5 shutouts.
Barrasso would play three additional seasons in Buffalo, including playing in the 1987 Canada Cup, before beginning the 1988-89 season by playing 10 games for the Sabres before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team on the rise with the arrival of Mario Lemieux in 1984. Barrasso would nearly equal his previous playoff experience of 12 games with Buffalo, over the course of five seasons, with 11 games in 1989.
After being limited to 24 games in 1989-90, Jaromir Jagr would arrive the following season and the Penguins where on their way, winning the Stanley Cup in 1991 as Barrasso led them to the playoffs with a 27-16-3 regular season record followed by a 12-7 playoff mark.
The Penguins would repeat as champions again the following season, with Barrasso winning all 16 of Pittsburgh's playoff games, which included an NHL record of 14 consecutive playoff wins, en route to a second consecutive Stanley Cup.
His workload reach a peak in 1992-93 with 67 games played while setting a league and career best record of 43 wins while losing just 14 and tying 5. His goals against average of 3.01 was his finest since his 2.66 back in 1985 with the Sabres.
The 1993-94 season would see Barrasso win his 253rd game on this date in 1994 with a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets to become the winningest goaltender born in the United States, passing Brimsek's record which stood for 44 years.
Barrasso would miss essentially the entire 1994-95 season due to injury, playing in just two games, but rebounded with 49 games and 29 wins in 1995-96 only to suffer the same fate in 1996-97 when he was restricted to only 5 appearances. He rebounded even more strongly this time around, setting a career best goals against average of 2.07. He also reached the second highest totals of his career with 63 games played and 31 wins, which made him the first American goaltender to ever reach 300 wins.
During the 1999-00 season, after 12 seasons with the Penguins, Barrasso was dealt to the Ottawa Senators, with whom he would only play a total of seven games.
He did not play in 2000-01 to be with his daughter while she was battling cancer, but returned for the 2001-02 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Refreshed, he played in 34 games that season while splitting time with incumbent Arturs Irbe before a late season move to the Toronto Maple Leafs for just 4 games. Also during that season, Barrasso would return to international hockey for the first time since 1987 when he was on the roster of the 2002 US Olympic Team, with whom he won a silver medal in Salt Lake City.
His career concluded with six games with the St. Louis Blues in 2002-03 before he retired as a Penguin after signing a symbolic one day contract.
His career totals were 777 games played, 369 wins, two Stanley Cups, a Calder, Vezina and Jennings trophy, an Olympic silver medal and NHL records for most points and assists by a goaltender with 48 and the record for Most Consecutive Playoff Wins and Most Playoff Wins in a Season. 2009 would see Barrasso inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Toady's featured jersey is a 1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins Tom Barrasso jersey as worn on this date when he set a new record for most wins by an American goaltender when he passed Frank Brimsek's record, which had stood since his retirement in 1950.
The Penguins debuted their new, modern jerseys in 1992-93 after having worn their original skating penguins logo since their second season of 1968-69. This jersey broke new ground with it's pointed shoulder yoke and remained in use through the 2001-02 season.
Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins Tom Barrasso jersey . This is the road half of the Penguins 1993-94 set. One of our favorite jerseys ever, this jersey was a fantastic mix of new and old, with the classic diagonal "Pittsburgh" cresting taken from the Penguins original sweaters from their 1967-68 debut season paired with their sleek, new modern penguin logo on the shoulders. These jerseys served the Penguins well through the 1996-97 season until being replaced by their odd, depressing and asymmetrical alternate jersey in 1997-98.
Today's video segment begins with an interview with Barrasso on the occasion of his induction into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, where he discusses his entry into the NHL at such a young age as well as the rest of his career.