How They Stack Up
Another brilliant season from Detroit defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, and his new status as the first Euro to captain an NHL club to the Cup, fueled a discussion during the playoffs as to where he stood in terms of all-time blueline greats.
Now, the retirement of his Red Wing teammate, Dominik Hasek, will have many trying to establish where he ranks among all-star netminders, or at least those of his era.
Trying to rate Hasek against, say, Turk Broda or Glenn Hall is nearly impossible since the game has changed so drastically for those playing goal since the early 1970s, and even more since the 1980s, because of the equipment used to play the position.
So let's stick with this era. Say, the last quarter century.
So where does Hasek rate? Here's the best of the last 25 years:
1. Martin Brodeur.
By early next season Brodeur will own the record for wins by an NHL goalie, and is closing in on Terry Sawchuk's all-time mark for career shutouts. With three Stanley Cups, a historic Olympic gold and three Vezina Trophies, Brodeur sits at the top.
2. Dominik Hasek.
It's the two Hart Trophies that really grab you. While with Buffalo, Hasek was an army unto himself while playing the position as the moment struck him. He won the Vezina six times, stoned Canada and won gold in Nagano and finished up with a couple of Cups with the Wings.
3. Patrick Roy.
Seems crazy, huh? Saint Patrick, after all, redefined the way in which the position was played to many. He won the Vezina three times and backstopped Montreal and Colorado to Cups. Perhaps the absence of significant international success is the only missing piece from his wonderful resume.
4. Grant Fuhr.
He was probably better than most will ever give him credit for while playing behind those magical Edmonton teams. Bouncing around after the Oilers didn't aid his legacy, but he was amazing to watch in his prime.
5. Ed Belfour.
A late bloomer, Belfour put up huge numbers and bested Roy in a couple of major confrontations when Belfour was in Dallas and Roy in Colorado. A prickly character to deal with, Belfour was, along with Brodeur, one of the pioneers of playing the puck among modern netminders.