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Ed Belfour
EBelfour.jpg
Born April 21, 1965 (1965-04-21) (age 54)
Carman, Manitoba, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 214 lb (97 kg; 15 st 4 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
Played for Chicago Blackhawks
Dallas Stars
National team Flag of Canada.svg Canada
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1989–2008
Hall of Fame, 2011

Ed Belfour (born Edward John Belfour on April 21, 1965) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender.

Belfour was born in Carman, Manitoba and grew up playing hockey. He played junior hockey for the Winkler Flyers before going to the University of North Dakota where he helped the school win the NCAA championship in the 1986–87 season. The following year, Belfour signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks (after not being picked in the draft) alternating time between them and the Saginaw Hawks of the International Hockey League. Many regard Belfour as an elite goaltender and one of the best of all-time. His 484 wins rank 3rd all-time among NHL goaltenders. His son, Dayn, is also a goaltender, currently playing for the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Belfour was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the 2011 class, his first year of eligibility.[1] In addition Belfour is one of only two players to have won an NCAA championship, an Olympic Gold medal, and a Stanley Cup (the other such player is Neal Broten).

His characteristic face mask earned him the sobriquet "Eddie the Eagle",[2] and some of his quirks and off-ice antics earned him the nickname "Crazy Eddie".[3] After wearing #30 for his tenure with the Blackhawks, Belfour switched to his more memorable #20 while a member of the San Jose Sharks as a tribute to Vladislav Tretiak, his goaltending coach and mentor from the Blackhawks. He would wear this for the rest of his playing career.

Early Playing CareerEdit

Ed played junior hockey for the Winkler Flyers before going to the University of North Dakota where he helped the school win the NCAA championship in the 1986–87 season.

The following year, he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks (after not being picked in the draft) alternating time between them and the Saginaw Hawks of the International Hockey League.

NHL CareerEdit

Chicago Blackhawks (1988-1997)Edit

In the 1989–90 NHL season, Ed began with the Canadian national men's hockey team, but was recalled by the Blackhawks for their postseason and set a 4-2 postseason mark with a 2.49 GAA. In the 1990–91 NHL season, Ed became the starting goalie and turned in what many consider to be one of the best rookie seasons in NHL history. He notched 43 victories in 74 games (both NHL rookie and Blackhawk team records), finished the season with a 2.47 GAA and 4 shutouts. He also led the league in save% (.910). It was the last time a goalie led the league in wins, save% and GAA until Carey Price achieved the feat in the 2014–15 NHL season. For his success, Ed received the Calder Memorial Trophy for outstanding play by a rookie, the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender and the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest team goals-against. He was also nominated for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player, unprecedented at that time for a goaltender and rookie (Brett Hull of the St. Louis Blues won the award). He would win the Vezina Trophy again in 1993 and the Jennings Trophy in 1993, 1995 and 1999.

Ed helped lead the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Finals in the 1991-92 NHL season where they eventually lost in 4 games to the Pittsburgh Penguins, led by Mario Lemieux.

However, by the 1995-96 NHL season, tension was forming between Ed and backup goalie Jeff Hackett (which was very similar to the tension between Ed and his former backup goaltender, Dominik Hasek) which led to Hasek's trade to Buffalo. He was traded to the San Jose Sharks midway through the 1996-97 NHL season after turning down a contract extension from the Hawks.

Ed finished his tenure with the Blackhawks ranking among the team leaders in many goaltending categories. He finished third among all Blackhawk goalies in games played (415) and wins (201) in both categories ranking behind Hall of Famers Tony Esposito and Glenn Hall. Belfour also ranks fourth in shutouts (30), and second in assists (17). Interestingly, Ed easily ranks as the Blackhawks' goalie leader in penalty minutes, with 242. Esposito, who played in more than twice as many games and minutes as Belfour, had only 31.

Dallas Stars (1997-2008)Edit

During the season, he played 61 games and had an astonishing 1.88 GAA as his team won the Presidents' Trophy and made it to the Western Conference Finals only to lose to the Detroit Red Wings.

The next season, the Stars repeated their regular season championship and Ed won his fourth Jennings Trophy. In the playoffs, he won duels against past Vezina- and Stanley Cup-winning goaltenders Grant Fuhr and Patrick Roy, respectively. The Stars won the Stanley Cup, beating the Buffalo Sabres in six games, capped by an incredible goalie duel against former backup Dominik Hasek that ended in a 2-1 win in the third overtime. Belfour made 53 saves to Hasek's 50, and for the entire Finals, had a 1.26 GAA to Hasek's 1.68. Belfour backstopped his team to another consecutive finals appearance, winning his second seven game Western Conference final duel against the Colorado Avalanche's Patrick Roy. The Stars lost the Cup in double-overtime to the New Jersey Devils. Belfour had 4 shutouts in that playoffs, including a triple-overtime blanking of the Devils in game five of the finals series.

During the 2001-02 NHL season, the Stars began to play poorly and there was a falling out between then-Stars coach Ken Hitchcock and GM Bob Gainey. Ed Belfour did getting along with backup goaltenders was not pressured by Marty Turco. After a poor season, he and Turco's remained with Dallas Stars for the remainder of his career.

International PlayEdit

Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Competitor for Template:CAN
Olympic Games
Gold 2002 Salt Lake City Ice hockey
Canada Cup
Gold 1991 Canada Ice hockey

Ed has represented Canada in the:

  • 1991 Canada Cup Championship (backup goaltender)
  • 2002 Olympic Gold Medal (Team Canada)

In February of 2002, Belfour won an Olympic gold medal with the Canadian men's hockey team.

Although he didn't play in any of the Olympic games in Salt Lake City, he did add depth in goal to the strong Canadian team backing up Curtis Joseph and Martin Brodeur.

He did not complain about his backup role, which impressed Team Canada head coach Pat Quinn, who was also the general manager and coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. On a somewhat humorous note, the gold medal he was given broke off of the strap, much to his surprise.

Eagle Hockey MaskEdit

Throughout his career, Ed has worn masks featuring an eagle on either side of his helmet.

When asked why an eagle, he stated:

"I've always liked the eagle as a bird. It is a strong figure representing individuality, leadership, confidence, and outstanding vision. Its hunting and aggression are characteristics I admire, so when I was thinking of what I wanted on my mask, the eagle was a natural choice."

Ed's eagle has changed dramatically, from a rough Native looking style in Chicago to a fierce competitive image in Dallas while the background always features his current team's colors.

On the chin, there is an image of the logo for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, a charity very close to his heart and the back plate highlights his passion for speed and restored cars. The car on the back is a 1941 Willys, along with the words "Carman Racing" which is the name of his car customization and restoration shop in Freeland, Michigan.

Upon seeing Belfour's eagle mask for the first time, Mike Keenan, his head coach when he started in the NHL, nicknamed him "The Eagle."

Personal LifeEdit

Ed's son, Dayn, is also a goaltender and currently plays for the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

He is an accomplished tri-athlete in his spare time, collects and rebuilds classic cars, and holds a private pilot's license.

Early in the 2000-01 NHL season, on October 20, 2001, Ed plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge in which he was subdued by police after a woman he was with became frightened by an intoxicated Ed in a Dallas hotel room.

While under arrest and being transported to the local division, Ed allegedly offered Dallas police officers $1 billion for his release without charges. He apologized to the Dallas Stars organization and police officers involved and was fined $3000 for resisting arrest.

Late in the 2006-07 NHL season, Ed (along with Panthers teammate Ville Peltonen) was arrested on April 9, 2007 outside of a South Florida nightclub and was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence. He was released the same day from Miami-Dade County jail on $1,500 bond.

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