The NHL's Top 10 Goaltenders of All Time
I wanted to develop a slide show to commemorate my personal all-time top-10 goaltenders in NHL History.
This list represents 10 of the finest goalies to ever gift us with their presence in the National Hockey League. I am sure that everyone will agree with the players on the list, but perhaps not the order. That's the fun in the debate!
This is my tribute to the top 10 goaltenders who best demonstrated leadership, attitude, and the hunger to win.
10. George Hainsworth—Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs 1926-1937
George Hainsworth took over as the Habs goalie in 1926, after a bout with tuberculosis ended famed goalie Georges Vezina's career.
After Vezina's departure, the Habs donated the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender to the league.
Hainsworth wanted to make a statement, and he did by winning the award the next three consecutive seasons. Hainsworth also led the Canadians to two Stanley Cups and served as the team captain.
Hainsworth is one of only three goalies to ever be named team captain.
Career Stats: 11 seasons 246-145-74, Goals Against Average(gaa) 1.93, and 94 shutouts
9. Glenn Hall—Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues 1952-1971
Known as Mr. Goalie, Glenn Hall was one of the all-time greats. It wasn't just his statistics that made him great either.
Between the seasons of 1955-1962, Glenn put together one of the most impressive iron man streaks any sport will ever see—501 consecutive games.
Hall won two Stanley Cups as a player and one as a goaltender coach with the Calgary Flames in 1989.
8. Ed Belfour—Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers 1988-2007
Ed Belfour had to be on this list. With a career saves percentage of .906, it isn't hard to see why.
Eddie Belfour found the majority of his success with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars. Ed led the Stars to a Stanley Cup win in 1998-1999, and saw the formation of a new-found playoff rivalry with the Colorado Avalanche beating them in two straight conference finals.
Ed's NHL career stats are 320-125-14 with a gaa of 2.50. He has won the Calder Memorial Trophy and the Vezina Trophy as well.
7. Tony Esposito—Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks 1967-1984
Tony Esposito was another Chicago legend, as was his brother Phil.
Although he only hoisted the Stanley Cup in Montreal, he was an outstanding goaltender. Playing 15 of his 17-year career in Chicago, he won three Venzia trophies and won the Calder Memorial Trophy. Tony helped the Blackhawks reach two Stanley Cup Finals, but lost both to the Montreal Canadiens.
Career Stats: 423-306-151 with a gaa of 2.92
6. Ken Dryden—Montreal Canadiens 1970-1979
There is plenty to say about the only player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy BEFORE winning the Calder Trophy.
When Ken played in his first season, he only played six regular-season games, which was not enough to make him rookie eligible. However, those six games were enough to prove him worthy of the starting spot in the playoffs, and he won the playoff MVP.
Dryden helped the Montreal Canadiens to five Stanley Cup Championships in his very short seven-full-seasons career. However, in that short time span he won the Vezina Trophy five times.
Despite having such a short career, Dryden is in the NHL Hall of Fame.
Career Stats: 258-57-74 with a gaa of 2.24
5. Dominik Hasek—Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings 1990-2008
Hasek is one of the best there ever will be.
"The Dominator" as fans in Detroit came to know him by, helped Detroit to win the Stanley Cup twice. Although he did make the finals with Buffalo, the team lost on a controversial goal in triple overtime.
With the Red Wings, Dominik was a leader on the ice and always managed to keep them in the game. He attempted to be the third goalie to get in a fight with Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy, but slipped and fell before he got the chance.
Dominik has won six Vezina trophies, two Hart trophies, and became the first European starting goalie to win the Stanley Cup.
Career Stats: 389-223-82 with a gaa of 2.20
4. Jacques Plante—Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins 1952-1975
Jacques is considered one of the best all-time. He has accomplished things that most can only dream about.
Aside from his amazing play, Plante was known for his unique fiberglass hockey mask. There were players who wore them before Jacques, but he popularized it after taking a puck to to the face and breaking his nose.
Plante was the leading force behind the Habs NHL-record five consecutive Stanley Cups from 1955-1960.
Career Stats: 434-247-146 with a gaa of 2.38
3. Terry Sawchuk—Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angles Kings, New York Rangers 1949-1970
Revered by many as the greatest goaltender ever, Sawchuk played the majority of his career with the Detroit Red Wings.
Terry held the record for most wins at 447, until later broken by Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy and again by Devils goaltender Martin Broduer.
Sawchuk won four Stanley Cups, three with the Red Wings and one with the Maple Leafs. There is far too much to say about him to fit on this slide.
Sawchuk won the Rookie of the Year and the Vezina Trophy four times. He was also Manitoba, Canada's player of the century.
Terry died while still playing the game, after an argument with a teammate with whom he shared a house in New York. Sawchuk fell on his teammate's bent knee and died from internal bleeding of the liver.
Career Stats: 447-330-172 with a gaa of 2.52
2. Martin Brodeur—New Jersey Devils 1991-Present
Considered the greatest goalie of the 2000s, Brodeur has certainly been just that.
He overtook Patrick Roy's 551 career wins record and is still recording wins. He is up to 586 wins right now.
He can thank a boost in the win column to the league's shootout rule, which makes it so that there is a winner instead of ties.
Marty has been in New Jersey his entire career and has been the focal point of their three Stanley Cup Championships.
Brodeur is the all-time leader in games played, wins, shutouts, minutes played, and has the NHL record for most wins in a season. There is little doubt that he belongs in the top two of this list.
The only reason that Marty is at No. 2 on this list is because of the shootout era. It did make it easier to achieve the win total, and there should be no debate about that.
Career Stats (so far): 586-312-105 with a gaa of 2.21
1. Patrick Roy—Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche 1984-2003
Patrick is the obvious choice for some, but not for others, as this list's No. 1 goaltender in NHL history.
Patrick Roy has hoisted four Stanley Cups in his career, two with Montreal and two with Colorado. He was traded to Colorado prior to the 1995 inaugural season in Denver, after the Quebec Nordiques moved to Colorado.
Patrick Roy is also the all-time playoff wins leader with 151 and 23 shutouts. He also has posted a career 2.30 gaa in the playoffs.
Much like the last Sawchuk and Brodeur, there is far too much to say about Patrick to list it all. So here is a list of his achievements.
Roy has won the Calder Cup, five William M. Jennings trophies, three Conn Smythe trophies, and three Vezina trophies.
Career Stats: 551-315-131 and a 2.54 gaa
Roy is the only player on this list and only the sixth player overall to have his jersey retired by two different teams.