The Vezina Trophy was named in honor of Georges Vézina, an early great goaltender with the Montreal Canadiens. Vezina collapsed during a game in 1925. Diagnosed with tuberculosis and died in 1926. The Montreal Canadiens honoured Vezina's memory by donating the trophy.
The trophy was originally awarded to the most valuable goalie each season. But in 1946 the trophy was automatically given to the goaltender or goaltending tandem of the team that allowed the fewest goals during the regular season. The criteria changed again for the 1980–81 season through now, where general managers voted as to who was the best goaltender in the league each season.
Time for some Vezina Trophy Trivia.
- Who was the very first Vezina Trophy winner? Answer - Georges Hainsworth, Georges Vezina's successor in Montreal, actually won the first 3 Vezina Trophies.
- Which goaltender has the most Vezina Trophy wins? - Answer - Jacques Plante leads the way with 7. All of those wins came in the years when the trophy was given to the goalie on the team with the fewest goals against. In the voting era, Dominik Hasek leads the way with 6 wins.
- Have goaltenders from different teams ever shared a Vezina Trophy? Answer - In the 1973-74 season, when the Trophy was still given to the goalie on the team with the fewest goals against, Philadelphia's Bernie Parent and Chicago's Tony Esposito actually finished tied for the Vezina Trophy, the only such time in history the award has been shared.
- Can you name the three goaltenders that have won both the Vezina Trophy and the Hart Trophy in the same season? Answer - Jacques Plante in 1961/62, Dominik Hasek back to back in 1996/97 and 1997/98 and Jose Theodore in 2001/02.
- Who is the only unanimous Vezina trophy winner in NHL history? Answer - Pete Peeters of Boston in 1982-83. Peeters posted amazing record of 40-11-9 with 8 shutouts and a NHL best-of-the-decade 2.36 GAA. He also had a 31 games undefeated streak.
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