Goaltenders are a different breed.
Let’s face it, you’ve got to be different to play the most unique position in all of sports. But as eccentric or as quirky as some goalies may be, they all share a common trait of competitive courage. After all, the very notion of stopping a vulcanized rubber disc traveling at speeds exceeding 100 mph defines the lack of fear.
It is a miracle that no one has ever lost their life playing this position, especially in an age where goalie equipment had the protective properties of soggy cardboard.
The position in and of itself is also unique in that it’s often the wild card to the equation of competition, especially in the playoffs. It can single-handedly decide the outcome of the game for better or worse, against any foe or strategy.
So in ranking these goaltenders, I found that defining greatness in these men was also a very different challenge.
After all, what qualified you to be great? Championships? Statistics? Individual accomplishments?
In a sport with such a long-and-storied history and many different eras of play, it wasn’t easy. Of course, it stands to reason that many will disagree with this list, given the difficulty of evaluating the position.
Whether you agree or disagree with any of the selections, I hope you enjoy reading as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
Here then are the Top 50 Greatest Goaltenders in NHL history.