For some franchises it may be hard for you to come up with the three best goalies in franchise history. Some of those guys who are viewed as the third best might not be all that special. But when it comes to the Chicago Blackhawks there is no shame in being the third best goalie in it's long history. Well now Ed Belfour has one more thing in common with Tony Esposito and Glenn Hall.....
They are all Hall of Famers.
Belfour got the call Tuesday that he will be part of the 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame class. He will be joined by Mark Howe, Joe Nieuwendyk and former Hawks Doug Gilmour.
Eddy the Eagle won 484 games which ranks third all time. Not bad for someone who went undrafted. He spent 8 seasons in Chicago before being traded to San Jose during the 96-97 season. He then spent five seasons with the Dallas Stars and then three seasons with Toronto before finishing his career with the Florida Panthers in 2007.
He helped the Stars hoist the cup in 1999 beating his former teammate Dominik Hasek and his Buffalo Sabres. Some other notable career achievement were winning the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1991, the Vezina in 1991 & 1993 and the Wiliam M Jennings Trophy in 91, 93, 95, & 99. Belfour was named to 6 all-star games and helped team Canada win the gold in the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Belfour earned the nickname Eddy the Eagle due to his signature eagle he had on his goalie masks. He is also tied with Tony Esposito for 8th on the career shutout list with 76. In Hawks history he ranks third is games played and wins for a goalie behind Esposito and Hall but is first in penalty minutes with 242. Tony Esposito only had 31 while playing in twice as many games as a Hawk.
The next question is will we ever see his number hoisted to the rafter at the UC. You gotta think someone out of the JR, Chelios and Belfour trio would get the honor but who knows.
Quick note on Gilmore. He spent two seasons with the Hawks which was mostly spent with him hurt. He was named captain after Chelios was traded and is very deserving of the hall induction but I didn't feel his time with the Hawks merited his own piece.