Martin Brodeur officially ended his illustrious career on Thursday, walking away with a laundry list of accolades that might never be duplicated:
— 691 wins, most in NHL history (and 301 more than the new active leader, Roberto Luongo.)
— 125 shutouts, most in NHL history. One of only two goalies to ever hit triple digits in clean sheets (the other, Terry Sawchuk, had 103.)
— 74, 438 minutes played, most in NHL history. (Next closest? Patrick Roy, at 60K.)
— Four Vezinas, three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals and a Calder Trophy.
There’s no argument about Brodeur’s spot in the Hall of Fame — that’s a lock. The real debate is if he’s the greatest goalie ever.
Others in that conversation include…
Dominik Hasek: Six Vezina wins and the highest save percentage (.922) of all time. Biggest accolade, though, might be that he’s the only goalie in league history to win two Hart Trophies as league MVP.
Patrick Roy: Won four Cups, and his postseason excellence is unparalleled — he remains the only player to win the Conn Smythe three times.
Jacques Plante: A goaltending innovator (the first to wear a mask regularly.) No netminder has won more Stanley Cups (six) or Vezinas (seven).
Terry Sawchuk: In terms of longevity, he was Brodeur before Brodeur. Played for 21 seasons — winning four Cups and four Vezinas — and retired as the all-time shutouts leader (a record Brodeur broke in 2009).
Others: Ken Dryden, Tony Esposito, Glen Hall.
With that on the table, go ahead and vote: