This Ternopil, Ukraine, native (American hockey guidebooks mistakenly list Sawchuk as being born in Winnipeg) would go on and become one of the greatest, arguably the greatest, National Hockey League goaltenders of all time. Fame, money, stardom and notoriety all would eventually be his. However, it would all come with the usually unfortunate price tag.I have made every effort to contact Mr Stelmach, but he is seemingly unreachable. I have contact every well connected research I know in both Europe and Manitoba, as well as throughout Canada. Every single source suggests Sawchuk's stated birthplace of Winnipeg is correct, although obviously Stelmach has a reason to believe otherwise. It would be interesting to hear Stelmach's evidence, and to see Sawchuk's birth certificate records.
Stelmach also had this to say about the NHL shutout king:
He gained the reputation of a semi-sadistic weirdo when it was learned he actually kept the teeth he lost, the spurs doctors removed from his elbow and even pickled his own appendix after having it removed.Regardless, Sawchuk was a brilliant goalie, perhaps the greatest ever, and he was a very troubled person. I'm not sure just how reliable all of the information is, but Stelmach paints a disturbing picture of the Hockey Hall of Famer.