NHL All-Time Goaltender Wins
There are prolific goal scorers in the NHL, and then there are those who stop the puck from reaching the net. Those would be the goaltenders, and there have been some great ones over time. The list below is made up of the all-time leaders among goalies for wins in the NHL. Not surprisingly, many of these players also have or had some of the best goals-against averages as well.
Patrick Roy-Patrick Roy, considered by many to be the greatest goaltender of all-time, came up with the Montreal Canadiens in 1984 and played for them until 1995 when he joined the Colorado Avalanche. Roy played in Denver until 2004 when he retired. But over the course of his career, Roy won 551 games and had a stellar 2.53 goals against average. He had some of his best seasons later in his career, his best being 2000-01 when he won 40 games, with a 2.21 goals per game average and .914 save percentage. Roy also won an astounding 151 playoff games, winning the Conn Smythe trophy three times (hockey's postseason MVP trophy) as well as the Vezina Trophy (for league's best goaltender) three times.
Martin Brodeur-Martin Brodeur has played his entire career for the New Jersey Devils, from 1993 until the present. Over that span, Brodeur has become the NHL's second best goaltender of all-time as far as games won, with 491. Brodeur also boasts a 2.21 goals against average for his career. He has led the NHL in victories a stunning eight times, including the 2006-07 campaign when Brodeur posted 48 wins with a 2.18 goals against average and .922 save percentage. He has also won the Vezina Trophy three times in his career.
Ed Belfour-After helping the University of North Dakota win the NCAA championship in 1987, Ed Belfour went on to have a very successful NHL career with Chicago, San Jose, Dallas, Toronto and Florida. Belfour has always been consistent, but his best season was 1990-91 when he won 43 games with a .910 save percentage and 2.47 goals against average. For his NHL career, Belfour ranks third all-time with 483 wins. Belfour won the Vezina trophy twice and last played in the NHL in 2006-07 with Florida. He is currently a member of the Swedish team Leksands IF.
Terry Sawchuk-Terry Sawchuk played 21 seasons in the NHL, from 1949-1970, with Boston, New York Rangers, Detroit, Toronto and Los Angeles. Over that time Sawchuk became the fourth leading goalie of all-time with 447 total wins and a 2.50 goals against average. He had some of his best seasons early on, posting 44 wins two straight seasons (1950-51 and 1951-52), to go along with GAA's of 1.99 and 1.90, respectively. Sawchuk also recorded 103 shutouts over the course of his career. He passed away prematurely in 1970 at the age of 40.
Curtis Joseph-Curtis Joseph is fifth all-time in goalie wins with 444, and he has played with St. Louis, Edmonton, Toronto, Detroit and Phoenix over a 17-year career. Joseph had his best season in 1999-2000 with Toronto when he won 36 games with a 2.49 goals against average. After the 2006-07 season, Joseph became a free agent and he has yet to sign with another team.
Jacques Plante -Jacques Plante was a great goaltender who overcame asthma to post 435 wins over a long NHL career that spanned from 1952 to 1975 with Montreal, New York Rangers, St. Louis, Toronto, Boston and Edmonton. Plante was best known for making a "V" gesture after wins, which he did quite frequently. Plante's best season was 1959-60 when he won 40 games while posting a 2.54 GAA. He passed away in 1986 of a heart attack.
Tony Esposito - The brother of prolific goal scorer Phil Esposito, Tony Esposito was the pioneer of the "butterfly" style of goaltending play. He also ranks seventh all-time with 423 wins in the NHL while playing for Montreal and Chicago from 1968 to 1985. In 1970-71 with the Black Hawks, Esposito had his best season with 35 wins, a .920 save percentage and 2.27 GAA. Esposito also won the Vezina Trophy three times.
Glenn Hall - Glenn Hall was nicknamed "Mr. Goalie," which should say it all. Hall was very consistent, playing in 502 consecutive games at one point, and won the Vezina Trophy three times. Hall played with Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis between 1955 and 1970, and he won 407 games overall with a 2.49 goals against average.
Grant Fuhr -Grant Fuhr was a great baseball player and was drafted by the San Diego Padres, but folks in Edmonton are glad he chose hockey. Fuhr came up with the great Oilers teams in the eighties and also played for Buffalo, Toronto, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Calgary before retiring after the 1999-2000 season. In all, Fuhr won 403 games, including a career best of 40 victories in 1987-88 with Edmonton. He is currently the goaltending coach for former teammate Wayne Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes.
Mike Vernon --Mike Vernon played in the NHL for 21 years, from 1982 to 2002, mostly with the Calgary Flames. He also played for Detroit, San Jose and Florida and posted 385 victories over his career, including a career-high 39 games in 1987-88 with a 3.53 GAA. Vernon won the Conn Smythe Trophy for postseason MVP with the Red Wings in 1997.