The Vezina Trophy has been awarded 92 times in NHL history – and it has gone to Montreal nearly one-third of the time, with a Canadiens goalie (or tandem) claiming it on 29 occasions. Part of the reason for Montreal’s dominance of the Vezina is the Habs’ dominance in the standings – prior to the 1981-82 season, the Vezina went to the goaltenders of the team that allowed the fewest goals during the regular season. For the past four decades, the goalies on the team with the lowest goals-against average get the Jennings Trophy, while the league’s 31 GMs vote on the Vezina.
Here’s a team-by-team look at the Vezina Trophy standings over the years, followed by (just about) everything you wanted to know about the Vezina Trophy but were afraid to ask.
VEZINA TROPHY (first awarded in 1926-27)
New Jersey 4
NY Rangers 4
- Habs’ legacy of goalie greats: If you were a starting netminder for the Canadiens, you probably won the Vezina Trophy. In fact, you probably won a few of them. George Hainsworth took home the Vezina the first three times it was awarded beginning in 1926-27. Bill Durnan won six times in a seven-year span in the 1940s. Ditto for Jacques Plante, he won six times in seven years in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Charlie Hodge and Gump Worsley combined for three Vezinas in the mid-’60s. Ken Dryden won five times in the ’70s. Patrick Roy won three times in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Carey Price is the most recent Canadiens goalie to claim the Vezina, when he also won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 2014-15.
- From Tiny to Tuukka: The Bruins’ Tiny Thompson (four) and Frank Brimsek (two) combined for six Vezina Trophies from 1929-30 through ’41-42. Then it was over 40 years before Pete Peeters won in ’82-83, and Tim Thomas won twice in three seasons from 2008-09 through ’10-11. Tuukka Rask’s one and only nomination resulted in a Vezina win in 2013-14.
- Backstopping the Blackhawks: Going way back, Charlie Gardiner (twice) and Lorne Chabot (once) were Chicago’s first Vezina recipients in the ’30s. Glenn Hall won twice – and was a four-time runner-up – in the ’60s. Then it was Tony Esposito’s turn, with ‘Tony O’ counting three Vezina wins in the early ’70s. Ed Belfour was Chicago’s most recent winner, with two Vezinas in the early ’90s.
- The Dominator: Buffalo has garnered more Vezinas than all but three teams, thanks largely to the revolutionary goaltending stylings of Dominik Hasek. He won six Vezinas – and two Harts, the first netminder in 35 years to do so – in a seven-season stretch from 1993-94 through 2000-01. The Sabres’ tandem of Bob Sauve and Don Edwards split the award in ’79-80, Tom Barrasso won as a rookie in ’83-84 and Ryan Miller in 2009-10.
- Toronto stuck in the ’60s: The Leafs’ Vezina drought is longer than their Stanley Cup drought. To wit: the last time Toronto won the Vezina Trophy, they did it with the goaltending tandem of Terry Sawchuk and Johnny Bower in 1964-65. It was the second win for Bower, while Turk Broda took two Vezinas for the Leafs in the ’40s. Belfour was the last Leafs netminder to be nominated, in 2002-03.
- Rise of the Devil: After relocating from Kansas City to Colorado to New Jersey, the Devils finally turned the corner as a franchise when Martin Brodeur arrived in the early ’90s. The NHL’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts claimed four Vezina Trophies and was nominated on five other occasions.
- The Rangers’ rotation: Blueshirts goalies waited their turn for the Vezina. Dave Kerr took New York’s first Vezina in 1939-40, and was nominated three other times. Ed Giacomin and Gilles Villemure split the award in ’70-71. John Vanbiesbrouk won in ’85-86. And Henrik Lundqvist won in 2011-12, and was a finalist on three other occasions.
- Flyers’ headliners: Bernie Parent (twice), Pelle Lindbergh and Ron Hextall. Philadelphia’s holy trinity in net.
- Caps in the crease: Washington mainstays Braden Holtby (2015-16) and Olie Kolzig (1999-2000) were bona fide, but Jim Carey came out of nowhere in 1995-96. He was out of the league a few years later.
- Columbus voyager: There has been only one two-time winner of the Vezina in the past 10 years – Sergei Bobrosvky won twice with Columbus before heading off to Florida.
- Never had a chance: Fourteen NHL teams have never had a Vezina winner, including three that have never even had a Vezina nomination: Anaheim, Carolina (including Hartford) and Vegas. Two other teams avoid this ignominious distinction on a technicality. Arizona gets credit for the (original) Winnipeg Jets’ Bob Essensa getting nominated in 1991-92, and Ottawa is clinging to Alec Connell’s runner-up finish for the first version of the Senators in 1927-28.