Going down as one of the best NHL goalies of all time isn't easy. Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Kirk McLean once said, "It's pretty tough for a goalie when you look at it. You're always the last line of defense. If you let a goal in, you can't go to the bench and hide between the guys or anything." While goaltending alone does not win games or championships, it can be the difference between a win and an embarrassing loss. Certainly there has been some stellar goaltenders in the history of the NHL, but a select few stand above and beyond the rest.
Who are the greatest hockey goalies of all time? Which goalkeepers have the most impressive records? There are plenty of amazing goalkeepers on this list and without them, their teams would be in trouble. The old NHL adage is that you're only as good as your goalie. Without some of the guys on this list, their teams would be at the bottom of the league, or at minimum, just an average squad. Vote for the top NHL goalies ever. While you're at it, cast your votes for the best goalies in the NHL right now.
Representing one of many Czech goaltenders, Dominik Hasek arguably earned his nickname as "The Dominator" through strong play with the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators. Hasek set the bar for European goaltenders in the NHL, becoming the first European netminder to win the Stanley Cup and lead the league in goals against average.
Compared to goaltenders of any background, his numbers were not too shabby either, including still leading the record books with a .922 career save percentage. Oh yeah, he also won the Vezina Trophy six times, the Jennings Trophy three times and both the Hart Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award twice each.
Dominik Hašek is a retired Czech ice hockey goaltender. In his 16-season National Hockey League career, he played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and the Ottawa Senators. During his years in Buffalo, he became one of the league's finest goaltenders, earning him the nickname "The Dominator". His strong play has been credited with establishing European goaltenders in a league previously dominated by North Americans. Hašek was one of the league's most successful goaltenders of the 1990s and early 2000s. From 1993 to 2001, he won six Vezina Trophies. In 1998 he won his second consecutive Hart Memorial Trophy, becoming the first goaltender to win the award multiple ...more on Wikipedia
Still active as a major-junior hockey coach, Patrick Roy's legacy rests on his stellar play with both the Montreal Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche between 1985 and 2003. Like other top goaltenders, Roy holds a handful of NHL records including for playoff games played, playoff wins, playoff shutouts and Conn Smythe Trophy wins, earning the nod as the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs three times.
Though he's also remembered for perfecting the butterfly style of goaltending, Roy is also known for his physicality on and off the ice, fighting no less than two Detroit Red Wings netminders in the 1990s.
Patrick Jacques Roy is a Canadian former ice hockey goaltender and the current head coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Colorado team,of the National Hockey League. He is regarded as one of the greatest goaltenders of all time. Nicknamed "Saint Patrick", Roy split his playing career in the NHL between the Montreal Canadiens, with whom he played for ten years, and the team, with whom he played for eight years. Roy won four Stanley Cups during his career, two with each franchise. ...more on Wikipedia
The definition of a modern-day great goaltender, Martin Brodeur is not only a legend in New Jersey, where he's played for roughly two decades with the Devils, but around the world as well. Marty began his 19th season in the NHL in 2010 as the record holder of numerous league goaltending records.
Five Jennings Trophies, four Vezina Trophies, three Stanley Cup rings, two Olympic gold medals and a Calder Memorial Trophy are just a sampling of his accomplishments. As if that was not enough, Brodeur can also score. He's just one of two who have put the puck in the opposing net both in the regular season and in the playoffs.
Martin Pierre Brodeur is a former Canadian ice hockey goaltender and current advisor to the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest all-time players at his position. In his 21-season tenure with the New Jersey Devils, he won three Stanley Cup championships and five Eastern Conference titles in seventeen postseason campaigns. He also won two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada in the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games, as well as several other medals with Team Canada in other international competitions. Brodeur holds numerous NHL and franchise records, including all-time regular season wins, losses, shutouts, and games played. He won at ...more on Wikipedia
Playing for six NHL teams between 1952 and 1973, Jacques Plante earned a record six Vezina Trophies, numerous NHL All-Star Game selections and even the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1962 as the best player in the league. His six Stanley Cup, five of which were consecutive with the Montreal Canadiens, are impressive, but his impact on the game itself is what stands out.
Plante changed how goaltenders played the game, being the first to leave the net to control the puck, the first to raise a hand on an icing call and the first to wear a mask in net. Long story short, Plante is and always will be the best goaltender to ever appear between the pipes.
Joseph Jacques Omer Plante was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. During a career lasting from 1947–1975, he was considered to be one of the most important innovators in hockey. He played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1953 to 1963; during his tenure, the team won the Stanley Cup six times, including five consecutive wins. Plante retired in 1965 but was persuaded to return to the National Hockey League to play for the expansion St. Louis Blues in 1968. He was later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1970 and to the Boston Bruins in 1973. He joined the World Hockey Association as coach and general manager for the Quebec Nordiques in 1973–74. He then played goal for the Edmonton ...more on Wikipedia