|Established||1926-27 NHL season|
|Current holder||Martin Brodeur|
|Awarded to the||National Hockey League's top goaltender who is "adjudged to be the best at this position"|
The Vezina Trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League's goaltender who is "adjudged to be the best at this position". At the end of each season, the 30 General managers of the teams in the National Hockey League vote to determine the goaltender who was the most valuable to his team during the regular season. Before 1981, it was awarded to the goaltender(s) the team allowing the fewest number of goals during the regular season; now, the William M. Jennings Trophy is awarded under this previous definition.
The Vezina Trophy was named in honour of Georges Vézina, an exceptional goaltender with the Montreal Canadiens, who collapsed during a game in 1925 and was diagnosed as having tuberculosis. Upon Vezina's death, the trophy was donated to the League by the Canadiens former owners, Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau and Joe Cattarinich. It was first awarded at the end of the 1926-27 NHL season.
Until the 1980–81 season, the trophy was awarded to the goaltender(s) of the team allowing the fewest number of goals during the regular season. However, it was recognized that this system often meant the trophy went to the goaltender of the better team rather than the individual and hence the change was made to offer the William M. Jennings Trophy to the goaltender(s) playing for the team with the fewest goals against. Since 1981, the Vezina Trophy has been awarded by the NHL General Managers to the most outstanding goaltender. Billy Smith of the New York Islanders was the first winner of the Vezina under the current system.
There have been numerous instances of players receiving the trophy many times in different years, and players tying for the trophy. Jacques Plante holds the record for winning the most Vezinas with seven, trailed by Bill Durnan and Dominik Hasek both of who have won six. Hasek has won the most under the current system of honouring the best individual goalie. Players for the Montreal Canadiens have won the Vezina 28 times. Under the original definition, there would often be multiple winners from the same team during one season. In the 1973-74 NHL season, Tony Esposito of the Chicago Black Hawks and Bernie Parent of the Philadelphia Flyers finished tied for the fewest goals against, the only time that there would be a tie between two players from different teams. There are only three players that have won both the Vezina and Hart Memorial Trophy for the same season: Jacques Plante, who won both trophies for the 1961–62 season; Dominik Hasek who won both for the 1996–97 and 1997–98 seasons; and Jose Theodore, who won the Vezina and Hart for the 2001-02 NHL season. Two other Vezina winning goaltenders have also won the Hart Memorial Trophy: Roy Worters and Al Rollins. Chuck Rayner was the only goaltender to the Hart Memorial Trophy, but never the Vezina.
The voting is conducted at the end of the regular season by the 30 General managers of the teams in the National Hockey League, and each individual voter ranks their top five candidates on a 5-3-1 points system. Three finalists are named and the trophy is awarded at the NHL Awards ceremony after the playoffs.
When introduced, the Vezina Trophy was awarded to the goaltender, or goaltenders, of the team that surrendered the fewest goals in regular season play.
The NHL adopted the current criteria for the Vezina Trophy beginning in 1982. The William M. Jennings Trophy was created as a new award for the goaltender(s) of the team that surrenders the fewest goals in regular season play.
Player is still active
Note: For the 1973–74 season, there was a tie between Tony Esposito of the Chicago Black Hawks and Bernie Parent of the Philadelphia Flyers, the only time that there has been a tie between two players from different teams.
- Vezina Trophy history. NHL.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-17.
- Vezina Trophy history. LegendsofHockey.net. Retrieved on 2007-08-17.
- Vezina Trophy history. canadianencyclopedia.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-17.
- Hart Memorial Trophy history. NHL.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-17.
- Jon Dolezar (2003-04-20). Foppa shows the most Hart. SI.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-17.
|NHL Awards and Trophies|
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|Defunct||O'Brien Cup · Man of the Year Award · Conacher Award|
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