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  • Writer's pictureDerek Ochej

Goalies get their recognition

Historically, goalies do not get a lot of love in awards categories outside of their own dedicated award, the Vezina Trophy. Rarely are they considered for the Lady Byng for gentlemanly play, and only seven goalies have won a Hart Trophy as the player judged most valuable to their team, with four of those wins coming during the Original Six era. The Calder Trophy is also a tough one, as goalies often take a bit longer to develop, limiting the number of chances they get to impress as rookies.

Below is a year-by-year breakdown from the 1990s of award votes received by goalies, Vezina Trophy not included:

1991 - Ed Belfour wins the Calder, only the second goalie to do so since 1971. He also finished third in Hart Trophy voting, with Mike Richter finishing fourth in the Calder.

1992 - Four goalies get Hart votes, with Patrick Roy and Kirk McLean finishing second and fourth respectively, and Tim Cheveldae and Bob Essensa each getting a third place vote. Mike Richter pops up again with a 3rd place vote for the Byng.

1993 - In a weak year, Felix Potvin is the only goalie to garner any consideration, finishing third in Calder voting.

1994 - Dominik Hasek and John Vanbiesbrouck are Hart finalists, with Patrick Roy finishing fifth, and Mike Richter and Arturs Irbe getting votes. Martin Brodeur won the Calder, with Chris Osgood garnering one third place vote.

1995 - Dominik Hasek is a Hart finalist again, and Jim Carey finishes second in Calder voting.

Voting is expanded from first, second and third places votes to include fourth and fifth place votes and goalies reap the benefits.

1996 - Five goalies receive Hart Trophy votes (Grant Fuhr, Jim Carey, Martin Brodeur, Daren Puppa and Chris Osgood), with Fuhr and Carey finishing top 10 in voting. Corey Hirsch, Byron Dafoe and Jason Muzzatti earn Calder votes.

1997 - Dominik Hasek wins the Hart Trophy, becoming the first goalie to do so since Jacques Plante in 1962. Patrick Roy, Guy Hebert and Mike Richter also earn votes. Patrick Lalime finishes fifth in Calder voting and Mike Dunham earns a third place vote.

1998 - Hasek wins the Hart again, becoming the first player to win back-to-back since Wayne Gretzky won eight in a row. Martin Brodeur finishes fourth, with Byron Dafoe, Ed Belfour, Tom Barrasso and Curtis Joseph garnering votes. Kevin Hodson finishes third in Calder voting, alongside Jamie Storr and Peter Skudra.

1999 - Hasek and Joseph finished third and fourth in Hart voting, with Byron Dafoe, Ron Tugnutt and Martin Brodeur earning votes. Peter Skudra earned a first place vote for the Calder, with Tomas Vokoun also earning votes.

Card 363 - Mark Pederson

A left winger, Pederson was drafted 15th overall by Montreal in 1986. Following the draft he played two additional seasons with Medicine Hat in the WHL, winning back-to-back Memorial Cups and leading the WHL in playoff scoring both seasons.

Pederson turned pro in 1988-89, scoring 81 points in 75 games with Sherbrooke of the AHL. The following season he increased those totals to 53 goals and 111 points and was named a first team all-star. Pederson also played his first nine NHL games with the Habs that season, recording two assists.

1990-91 saw Pederson make the NHL full-time, scoring 23 points in 47 games before a mid-season trade to Philadelphia for a second round draft pick. His first full season as a Flyer was the best of his career, playing in 58 games, scoring 15 goals and 40 points while earning some Selke Trophy votes. In December 1992 he was traded to San Jose for Dave Snuggerud, playing 27 games and scoring seven goals.

Pederson played the final two games of his NHL career in 1993-94 with Detroit, spending most of the season in the AHL with Adirondack, scoring 52 goals and being named a league all-star. After a season in the IHL, Pederson went to Europe, playing in Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany from 1995 to 2002. In 2002-03 he joined the San Diego Gulls of the WCHL, where he was named a league all-star and forward of the year while leading the playoffs in scoring and winning the Taylor Cup. San Diego joined the ECHL the following season, with Pederson playing two final seasons before retiring at the end of the 2004-05 season.

In 5 NHL seasons, Pederson played in 169 games, scoring 35 goals and 85 points. In retirement Pederson has kept busy coaching hockey, from 2005-09 with Bakersfield in the ECHL, and then internationally with the Dutch and Serbian national teams, as well as pro leagues in Japan. From 2013 to 2020 he was head coach and GM of Esbjerg in Denmark, and most recently was coach of Augsburger in Germany until his dismissal in February 2022.

YouTube clip: an intermission interview from Hockey Night in Canada after scoring goal against his the team that drafted him, Montreal.

Card 364 - Jeff Lazaro

An undrafted left winger, Lazaro signed as a free agent with Boston in 1990 after playing four seasons with the University of New Hampshire. His first pro season of 1990-91 was split between the AHL and Boston, scoring five goals and 18 points in 49 games with the Bruins. Lazaro also played in 19 playoff games, scoring three goals and five points as the Bruins lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to Edmonton.

1991-92 saw Lazaro play only 27 games with the Bruins, scoring nine points. In June 1992 he was selected by Ottawa in the expansion draft; he played 26 games with the Senators in their inaugural season, scoring six goals and 10 points. 1993-94 saw Lazaro split time between the AHL and the US National Team, where he held the role of assistant captain for his country at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer.

Following the Olympics, Lazaro’s next three pro seasons were spent in Austria and Germany, returning to North America in 1997-98 to play with the New Orleans Brass. In his first season with the Brass he scored 37 goals and 101 points, earning a first-team all-star nod. While getting in some AHL games, Lazaro would play consistently with the Brass until the team folded in 2001-02 after being forced out of their arena by the New Orleans Hornets NBA franchise. Lazaro would retire as the franchise’s all-time leader in goals, assists and points.

In 3 NHL seasons, Lazaro played in 102 games, scoring 14 goals and 37 points. In retirement he has settled in the Louisiana area, where he currently works in sales.

YouTube clip: a New Orleans local news story from 2018, featuring Lazaro talking about his Olympic experience.

Card 365 - Alexei Gusarov

A defenceman, Gusarov was drafted 213rd overall by Quebec in 1988. Like other Soviet players drafted in the late 1980s, Gusarov had played professional hockey in his home country for a significant period of time before being drafted (eight years). He played another 3 seasons with CSKA Moscow before coming to North America in 1990-91, playing in 36 with the Nords, scoring three goals and 12 points.

In his third season Gusarov recorded career-highs in goals (8) and points (30). He moved with the franchise to Colorado for the 1995-96 season and was part of the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup winning team in 1996, leading the playoffs that season with a +13 rating. Gusarov played four more seasons with the Avalanche, with reduced playing time as he entered his mid-30s. In December 2000 he was traded to the New York Rangers for a draft pick, playing 26 games with the Rangers before being shipped to St. Louis. Gusarov played the final 16 games of his NHL career with the Blues, recording four assists.

In 11 NHL seasons, Gusarov played in 607 games, scoring 39 goals and 167 points. From 2011 to 2014 he was an assistant coach and general manager with SKA St. Petersburg in Russia, before spending 2014 to 2017 as an assistant with Sochi. Since 2018 he has been a European scout with Colorado. Gusarov is a member of the Triple Gold Club, having won a gold medal at the Olympics (1988), World Championship (three times) and Stanley Cup (1996)

YouTube clip: saving an empty net goal in a game against Flyers on December 3, 1992. This save allows Mats Sundin to go the other way and tie the game with less than 30 seconds left. The Nordiques ultimately lost 3-2 in overtime.

Card 366 - Jari Kurri

A right winger, Kurri was drafted 69th overall by Edmonton in 1980. The Finnish native had already played three seasons of pro hockey in his home country before making his NHL debut in 1980-81, scoring 32 goals and 75 points.

One of the main members of the Oilers’ dynasty, Kurri broke out in his third season, scoring 45 goals and 109 points, finishing as runner up for the Selke Trophy and sixth in Byng Trophy voting. The Oilers also made their first Stanley Cup Finals that season, getting swept by the New York Islanders. The following season the Oilers dynasty began, marking a run of five Stanley Cup victories between 1984 and 1990. Kurri was a key contributor on the team, as evident by the following accomplishments in that time span:

  • 50+ goals in four season, including a career-high 71 in 1984-85, and league leading 68 in 1985-86;

  • League leader in even strength and game winning goals in 1984-85 and 1985-86;

  • 50+ assists in seven straight seasons;

  • 100+ points in five seasons, including a career-high 135 in 1984-85;

  • Five time all-star (two first team and three second team);

  • Byng Trophy winner in 1985 and finalist three times;

  • Top five in Selke Trophy voting three times.

  • Five Stanley Cup victories, leading the playoffs in goal scoring in 1984, 85, 87 and 88.

After all his accomplishments, Kurri’s time in Edmonton would end unceremoniously, as he sat out the 1990-91 season in a contract dispute, playing in Italy. In May 1991 he was traded to Los Angeles in a three-way trade involving Philadelphia, ultimately being swapped from the Flyers to LA for Steve Duchesne and Steve Kasper. Reunited with former teammate Wayne Gretzky, Kurri scored 20+ goals in his first three seasons in LA, including 31 goals in 1993-94, breaking the 30+ barrier for the 11th time in his career. In 1993 he made his seventh Cup Finals appearance, scoring 17 points in 24 games as the Kings would lose to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.

Late in the 1995-96 season Kurri was traded to the New York Rangers in a seven-player swap. His final two seasons would be played with Anaheim and then Colorado, retiring at the end of the 1997-98 season.

In 17 NHL seasons, Kurri played in 1251 games, scoring 601 goals (20th all-time), 797 assists (33rd) and 1398 points (23rd). He also ranks 15th all-time in even-strength goals and shooting percentage, fifth all-time in short handed goals (39), and 11th all-time in career hat tricks, with 23. Kurri played in eight all-star games, and when he retired he was the all-time leader for Finnish born NHLers in goals, assists and points, since surpassed in goals and points by Teemu Selanne. Kurri is a member of the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, IIHF Hall of Fame and Hockey Hall of Fame.

From 2001 to 2005 Kurri was an assistant coach with the Finnish men’s national team, before being promoted to GM until 2014. Since 2014 he has been the GM of Jokerit in the KHL, adding franchise owner to his title in 2019.

YouTube clip: video from being named one of NHL’s top 100 players.

Card 367 - Owen Nolan

A right winger, Nolan was drafted first overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1990. He turned pro following the draft, appearing in 59 NHL games, scoring three goals and 13 points. The following season his scoring jumped to 42 goals and 73 points, increasing to 77 points in 1992-93. Nolan played in only six games during the 1993-94 season, returning in the lockout shortened 1994-95 to score 30 goals in 46 games, good for third in the league; he also led the NHL with eight game winning goals that season.

For the 1995-96 season Quebec transferred to Colorado and became the Avalanche, with Nolan playing nine games for the new franchise before being traded to San Jose for Sandis Ozolinsh. Nolan scored 33 goals that season, but saw his scoring totals drop to less than 20 goals and 50 points the following two seasons. 1999-2000 saw Nolan return to form, scoring a career-high 44 goals and 84 points and leading the league with 18 power play goals. These efforts earned him a fifth place finish in Hart Trophy voting for 2000.

Nolan would score 20+ goals in the next three seasons in San Jose, including the 2002-03 season when he was traded to Toronto for a first round pick, Alyn MacCauley and Brad Boyes. He finished the season with the Leafs and played one more before the lockout cancelled the 2004-05 season. Nolan would miss the 2005-06 season due to knee injuries, and was embroiled in a dispute with Toronto over if the injuries were hockey related or not. He returned to the NHL in 2006-07, playing in 76 games with Phoenix, scoring 16 goals. The following season Nolan signed with Calgary, again scoring 16 goals. His final two seasons came with Minnesota, scoring 25 goals in 59 games during the 2008-09 season. Nolan finished his career in Switzerland in 2010-11, playing 24 games.

In 18 NHL seasons, Nolan played in 1200 games, scoring 422 goals and 885 points. He played in five all-star games and ranks 43rd all-time in career power play goals. The Sharks’ captain from 1998 to 2003, Nolan keeps a low profile in retirement. His son Dylan was recently drafted in the WHL.

YouTube clip: scoring his famous called shot goal in 1997 all-star game to cap of a hat trick in front of the hometown fans.

Card 368 - Clint Malarchuk

A goaltender, Malarchuk was drafted 74th overall by Quebec in 1981 after having played three seasons in the WHL with Portland. He turned pro following the draft, playing most of his first season with Fredricton in the AHL while appearing in two games with the Nords. Over the next two seasons his playing time in Quebec increased, to 15 games and then 22 in 1983-84. In 1983 he shared the Hap Holmes Award for best goalie in the AHL with teammate Brian Ford.

Stuck behind veterans Mario Gosselin, Dan Bouchard and Richard Sevigny, Malarchuk spent the entire 1984-85 season in the AHL. The trade of Bouchard to Calgary early in the 1985-86 season opened a door for Malarchuk, and he took advantage of the opportunity, winning 26 games and posting four shutouts, earning a fourth place finish in Vezina Trophy voting and some Byng Trophy votes.

The following season Malarchuk played a career-high 54 games, winning 18. At the 1987 draft he was traded with Dale Hunter to Washington for Gaetan Duchesne, Alan Haworth and a first round pick which was ultimately used to select Joe Sakic. In Malarchuk’s first season in Washington he won 24 games and led the NHL with four shutouts. After less than two seasons with the Caps, he was traded to Buffalo in a deal involving multiple players and draft picks.

Malarchuk played only seven games with the Sabres in the 1988-89 season, which is infamously remembered for an on-ice incident where an errant skate blade severed his jugular, resulting in a near death experience. Malarchuk was saved by the quick action of Sabres trainer Jim Pizzutelli, a former combat medic and Vietnam War veteran, who stemmed the bleeding until doctors could arrive. In the end, Malarchuk lost 1.5 litres of blood and received over 300 stitches.

He returned to play in 1989-90 as the Sabres back up, a role he filled for the next three seasons. His final NHL season came in 1991-92, playing in 29 games and winning 10. 1992-93 saw Malarchuk suit up for San Diego in the IHL, then play four seasons with Las Vegas in the IHL. He retired from hockey after the 1996-97 season.

In 10 NHL seasons, Malarchuk played in 337 games, posting a 141-130-45 record, .885 save percentage and 3.47 goals against average. From 1996 to 1998 he was an assistant coach with Las Vegas, then spent a season as head coach with Idaho in the WCHL. After a brief stint coaching in the Slovak junior league, Malarchuk worked as a goalie coach with Florida, Columbus, Atlanta and Calgary. In 2014 he released The Crazy Game, a book where he talked about his battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and his suicide attempt in 2008.

YouTube clip: despite all the top YouTube searches showing his gruesome injury, I will instead draw your attention to his TedX talk regarding mental illness.

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