We’re going back in time and paying tribute to the illustrious careers of five Hall of Fame goaltenders!
During his extraordinary career, Brodeur set NHL marks for regular season wins (691), shutouts (125) and games played (1,266). He won 30-or-more games in 12 consecutive seasons, and also recorded eight 40-win seasons. His trophy case holds a Calder Trophy, four Vezina Trophies and five Jennings Trophies, and he was a member of three Stanley Cup championships. He was also named to the First or Second All-Star Team on seven occasions.
The success didn't end in the NHL. Brodeur represented Team Canada at the Olympics in 2002, 2006 and 2010, adding two gold medals to his repertoire.
The New Jersey Devils unveiled a statue of Martin Brodeur on February 8, 2016, and the next evening, retired his number 30. One final honour awaited, and after the obligatory three-year waiting period following retirement, Martin Brodeur was included in the Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2018.
Born in Carman, Manitoba, Belfour was still playing Tier Two hockey for the Winkler Flyers of the Manitoba Junior League as an overage player back in 1985-86 when he was 21. From there, Belfour accepted a scholarship to the University of North Dakota, where he first began to show signs that he had the potential to be a top-flight goaltender. He won 29 of 34 games and caught the attention of the Chicago Blackhawks scouting staff.
In September 1987, Belfour was signed by the Blackhawks to a free-agent contract. During the 1988-89 season, at the age of 23, Belfour appeared in 23 games, coming out of the gate with a rather unimpressive 4-12-3 record and a 3.87 goals-against average. The following year, Belfour suited up for 33 games with the Canadian National Team, and it was there that he once again showed signs of being a potential NHLer. Belfour won the starting job at Chicago's training camp and was the team's workhorse, playing in 74 games, winning 43. He was also rewarded with a spot on the Team Canada roster for the 1991 Canada Cup, although he did not play.
Belfour had quickly established himself as one of the top goaltenders in the NHL, based primarily on one good season. Eager to follow that up, Belfour did not disappoint in 1991-92, where he helped the Blackhawks advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Belfour had also become known for his spirited personality. Media members and fans alike often sat on the edge of their seats in anticipation of Belfour's reaction at being yanked out of the net, which happened with regularity.
The Belfour days in Chicago came to an end in January 1997 when he was dealt to the San Jose Sharks after it became apparent he and Chicago were not going to be able to work out a new contract. He remained with the Sharks for the duration of the 1996-97 season before signing a free-agent deal with the Dallas Stars. Belfour played with the Stars for five years, and led the organization to its first Stanley Cup title in when Dallas beat the Buffalo Sabres in the 1999 Final. Belfour remained the Stars' number one netminder through the 2001-02 season, but a dismal year for the team and a record of 21-27-11 record for Belfour left the Stars out of the playoffs and it was apparent changes were in the offing. Although the NHL season was disappointing, Belfour was a member of Canada's gold medal-winning team at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. During that summer, Belfour inked a multi-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, replacing the departed Curtis Joseph as the team's number one netminder.
Upon his arrival, Belfour continued his solid play in goal, helping the Maple Leafs earn second spot in their division while earning his 400th career win in early April. The following season, Belfour led the team into the playoffs once again, where he shut out the Ottawa Senators in three consecutive playoff games in the first round. The Leafs would then lose to the Philadelphia Flyers in the next round.
In 2005, the netminder surpassed Terry Sawchuck for second place in all-time wins by an NHL goaltender, however, finished the season with a lackluster .500 record on a Leaf club that failed to make the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. In the 2006 off-season, the Maple Leafs released Ed Belfour. The veteran netminder signed with the Florida Panthers, where he split his time in goal with Alex Auld. During that season, an injury to Auld allowed Belfour to regain his form and post a 2.79 GAA and .902 save percentage while going 27-17-10 in the crease. After his time in Florida, Belfour signed as a free agent with Leksands IF in the Swedish second division.
Belfour's outstanding NHL career concluded having played 963 regular season games. He won 484, lost 320, tied 125 and had 14 overtime losses. Ed compiled 76 shutouts and finished with a goals-against average of 2.50 and a save percentage of .906. In the playoffs, Ed played 161 more games, winning 88 (14 by shutout) and losing 68. His goals-against average was 2.17 and save percentage, .920.
Ed Belfour was the NHL's rookie of the year in 1991, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy. He won the William Jennings Trophy (best goals-against average) on four occasions: 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1999 (shared with Roman Turek). He also won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best netminder in 1991 and 1993. Ed was named to the NHL's First All-Star Team in 1991 and 1993, and to the Second Team in 1995. Along with the Stanley Cup in 1999, Belfour was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
Over a 10-year period, Grant Fuhr led the Oilers to five Stanley Cup championships between 1984 and 1990. Without a doubt, his best year was in 1987. Fuhr was a workhorse, accumulating a league-leading 4,304 minutes played and 40 wins. He earned his sole Vezina Trophy as the league's best goaltender and was runner-up to teammate Wayne Gretzky for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. During the 1983-1984 season, Fuhr collected 14 points, which still stands as the single-season record for most points by a goaltender.
By the end of the 1980s and early 1990s, the Oilers began to dismantle the team by trading Wayne Gretzky, the start of a fire sale. Then, on September 19, 1991, after playing only 13 games for the Oilers, the six-time All-Star was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a seven-player blockbuster deal.
Fuhr was then traded by the Leafs to the Buffalo Sabres on February 2, 1993, where he partnered with highly-acclaimed Dominik Hasek. In 1994, Fuhr joined Hasek in winning the William Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals scored against. In the 1994-95 season, Fuhr was traded to the Los Angeles Kings where he joined Gretzky, but he played only 14 games for the franchise.
In 1995-96, just as many began to think that this once great goaltender was past his prime, he signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues. Given another chance, the classy veteran didn't disappoint. Fuhr played with a renewed love for the game and an energy that matched any youngster in the league. He played an astonishing 79 games for the Blues, 76 consecutively. Both remain single-season records. Grant's great play continued into the playoffs that year. He was once again in fine form and gave Blues' fans high hopes for a Stanley Cup championship. Unfortunately, the playoff run ended prematurely when Maple Leafs' forward Nick Kypreos crashed into Fuhr as he was attempting to cover the puck. His leg twisted awkwardly and he tore his knee ligaments.
In the 1996-97 season, Grant continued his fine play for the Blues, but he couldn't lead his team over the hump during the playoffs. Over the next two years, injuries became a problem. His knee injury never seemed to recover and time was passing quickly. St. Louis began to look in another direction, picking up Roman Turek from the Dallas Stars to be their number one goaltender. That left the door open for Grant to be traded. On September 4, 1999, Fuhr was sent to an old Oilers' archrival, the Calgary Flames.
The Calgary Flames expected Grant to take the younger goaltenders under his wing and give some much needed leadership in the locker room. One of those youngsters between the pipes was Fred Brathwaite. In 1993 he'd been an up and comer in the Edmonton Oilers organization and was asked to wear number 31, which Grant Fuhr had worn in his Oilers heyday and throughout his career. The Oilers called Grant to ask his permission for Brathwaite to don his idol's number. He answered, "No problem. Go for it."
As a Flame, Grant joined an elite club of goaltenders. On October 22, he defeated the Florida Panthers to attain his 400th career win -- only the sixth goalie in NHL history to reach that milestone, joining the likes of Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall and Patrick Roy. Prior to the 2000-01 season, Grant Fuhr announced his retirement from professional hockey.
Fittingly, in Fuhr's first year of eligibility, he was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
Parent was a stand-up goalie, a technique he learned from his boyhood hero, Jacques Plante. Many years later, when the slumping Parent talked about retiring, Plante talked him out of it. In addition, Plante coached Parent on some fundamental points that Bernie had been missing in his game. Plante watched him practise in Philly for two days and didn't say anything. Then he told Parent exactly what he was doing wrong - sitting back on his heels, backing into his crease and losing concentration.
Parent admitted he had considerable fear of playing goal in the NHL, and that fear helped him play better. On game nights, he never appeared without his mask on, even going to and from the dressing room. He also had a strict pre-game ritual. He sat alone under a miniature Stanley Cup and thought about the opposing players he would face, then slept for eight hours, had a steak for lunch and then slept again.
Parent grew up in Montreal in the early 1950s and played pickup games on the street with a tennis ball. Somewhat of a loner as a kid, he liked playing goal. Remarkably, Parent didn't learn to skate until he was 11. In his first game as a kid, he sheepishly admitted he let in 20 goals, not a great start for someone aiming for the pros. But he had the dedication.
By 1965 Parent had moved his way up to the Bruins' farm system. Boston brought him up to the NHL, where he played badly in his first two seasons, letting in an average of 3.67 goals per game. In 1967 Parent was claimed by the Flyers in the Intra-League Draft. It was there that he started to establish his reputation as a top goalie. But in 1971 Parent was traded to Toronto in a very controversial deal. The Flyers had another young goalie, Doug Favell, and thought that Bernie would be better trade bait. In the end the trade was good for Parent because it was in Toronto that he became a teammate of his hero, Jacques Plante.
Parent left the Leafs with great acrimony in 1972 when he became the first Leaf to defect from the NHL ranks to the World Hockey Association. He signed with the Miami Screaming Eagles for $750,000 over five years. Miami's team didn't even have a rink when Parent signed and he ended up with the Philadelphia Blazers in the WHA for $600,000 instead. Parent quit the team during the 1973 playoffs in a pay dispute and forced the Leafs to trade him back to the Flyers.
Returning to the Flyers, Parent became a sports hero in the City of Brotherly Love. One local bumper sticker read, "Only the Lord saves more than Bernie Parent." Now part of the Flyers' Broad Street Bullies, Parent and his teammates won the Stanley Cup twice in a row, in 1974 and 1975. In both seasons, Parent won the Vezina Trophy as best goalie and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Sadly, Parent's remarkable career was short-lived. In a freak accident, a stick hit him in his right eye when he was 34, causing permanent damage to his depth perception and his ability to focus. Parent was forced to retire from hockey in 1979. He was then signed by the Flyers as "special assignments" coach in 1979, notably to advise goalies, just as Plante had once helped him. He would later serve as an ambassador for the Flyers.
Hall played his junior hockey with the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey Association and was signed by the Detroit Red Wings in 1951. He played in their farm system for two seasons, in Edmonton with the Flyers and Indianapolis with the Capitols. In 1952-53, he made his first appearance in the NHL with Detroit, playing in six games and allowing only 1.67 goals against. He spent much of the next two years with Edmonton, making just two more appearances with the Wings in 1955.
In his time in the minors, Hall perfected his style of goaltending, a rather awkward but effective combination of flopping and standing his ground. Purists who liked their goalkeepers to remain upright hated the way Hall would throw himself to the ice to block the lower corners of the net. Hall had the ability to splay his pads along the ice with his knees practically together in what is referred to today as "the butterfly style."
Detroit had the great Terry Sawchuk in goal in the early 1950s and it seemed as though Hall would have to wait his turn to get a chance at full-time play in the league. Red Wings manager Jack Adams, however, had brought Sawchuk up as a youngster even though Harry Lumley, the Detroit keeper at the time, was still effective and in his prime. Adams decided to do the same with Hall and traded Sawchuk to the Boston Bruins in 1955. Hall took his place between the posts for the Wings at the beginning of the 1955-56 season and rewarded Adams for the confidence the manager had shown in him with an incredible rookie year, coming within one shutout of Lumley's modern record of 13 set two seasons previously. He allowed only 2.11 goals against as he played in each and every game and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. He played one more full season with Detroit, again not missing a game, before he too was shown the door by Adams. He was sent to the Chicago Black Hawks in the infamous Ted Lindsay trade motivated by Adams' anger at Lindsay's attempts to form a players union.
Hall merely continued his streak of consecutive complete games during his time with the Hawks. Though he suffered many injuries, he played for 502 straight regular-season games and another 50 in the playoffs. The endurance record finally came to an end on November 8, 1963, when he injured his back. Ironically, he pulled a muscle not in a game but while getting dressed when he bent over to adjust a strap. Hall spent 10 seasons in Chicago and was placed on the All-Star Team eight times, five of those on the First Team. In 1961 he backstopped the Hawks to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1938.
Hall shared the Vezina Trophy with Denis Dejordy in 1967. At the end of that season, at the age of 36, he was left unprotected in the Expansion Draft and was chosen by the St. Louis Blues. Due in large part to Hall's improbable heroics, the Blues marched all the way to the Stanley Cup final in their first year in the league. Though they would eventually lose to the Montreal Canadiens in four games, Hall was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league's top playoff performer. In 1968-69, Jacques Plante joined the team and the two veterans shared the goaltending duties. For the first time, Hall - who estimated at the end of his career that he'd had 300 stitches, many of them around his mouth - finally wore a mask during games. Plante and Hall, playing determined hockey to prove they still belonged in the league despite their combined age of over 77, split the Vezina Trophy in 1969.
Throughout his career, Hall would get nauseous before each game. He was often sick to his stomach in the minutes leading up to taking the ice. One teammate even suggested his bucket should have been placed in the Hall of Fame. He retired several times, once with Chicago in 1966 and again with St. Louis in 1969. Each time, though, he was talked into returning, usually with a promise of more money, but he didn't profess to enjoy his livelihood, saying often that he'd meant to retire since he was 15.
Hall retired for good in 1971. He stayed in hockey, usually part-time while he tended to his farm, and worked with the Blues and the Calgary Flames as a consultant and goaltending coach. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.
Darren played several years in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), first for the Belleville Bulls (1981-83), winning their first ever game in the OHL. The Bulls traded him to the Ottawa 67’s during the 1982-83 season, where Darren would go on to win the Memorial Cup Championship in 1984 while receiving Memorial Cup All-Star Team honors and garnering the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the Memorial Cup Top Goaltender.
Following an extremely successful Junior hockey career, Darren signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 1984 and played in the International Hockey League for the Milwaukee Admirals from 1984-85, during which time he made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks. He would spend 3 years in the minors before playing for Chicago full time beginning in the 1987-88 season.
Darren was named to the NHL All-Rookie team in 1988 and was also a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. Additionally, he holds the Blackhawks record for most assists in a season by a goaltender (6) and the Blackhawks rookie record for most saves in a game (50). Darren played in a total of 81 games for the Blackhawks before a devastating career-ending knee injury during training camp in 1990.
Darren had spent some time as a college hockey analyst while rehabbing his knee during a previous injury, so when he tore the ligament again then Blackhawks General Manager Bob Pulford convinced him that his future in the NHL might just be broadcasting.
Darren has become one of the premier hockey analysts. His broadcasting career has included calling games for media outlets such as ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, NBC, Fox Sports, SportsNet Canada, and TSN Canada. He has provided coverage of men’s hockey for 3 Olympics – the 1988 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan (CBS), the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City (NBC) and as a studio analyst during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver for TSN/CTV.
Darren has also been involved in amateur hockey as both a coach and hockey director. He served as the goalie coach for both the UIC Flames from 1990-93 and Notre Dame from 1996-1999. He joined the Naperville Sabres coaching staff in 1996 and coached mites through bantams. He took on the role of Hockey Director for the Naperville Sabres in 2001 and served in that role through 2005. In honor of his service to the Sabres, the club awards the Darren Pang Award to an outstanding Northwest Hockey League Player each year at their end-of-season award ceremony.
Darren is currently an analyst on the St. Louis Blues telecasts on FOX Sports Midwest, where he teams with play-by-play announcer John Kelly and studio analyst Bernie Federko. He also spends time as an analyst for Sportsnet and the NHL Network. Darren and his wife Lynn have two children, Tyler and Samantha.