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Terry Sawchuk

His Last Years

The Los Angeles Kings took Sawchuk in that year's expansion draft, and the aging goalie played for three different teams in the next three years. By the time he was traded back to Detroit and then to the New York Rangers, the aging goalie was serving as a backup. Early in 1969, after more of Sawchuk's alcoholic fits of temper, his wife left him, taking their seven kids, and divorced him. He moved in with some of his teammates.

His violent temper led to his tragic death. In April 1970, Sawchuk got into an argument with roommate and teammate Ron Stewart. They got into a shoving match, then both fell to the ground. Sawchuk suffered internal bleeding, and surgeries failed to heal the injuries. He died on May 31, 1970.

Career Statistics

Yr Team GP W L T GAA TGA SHO
Boston: Boston Bruins; Detroit: Detroit Redwings; Los Angeles: Los Angeles Kings; NY: New York Rangers; Toronto: Toronto Maple Leafs.
1949-50 Detroit 7 4 3 0 2.28 16 1
1950-51 Detroit 70 44 13 13 1.98 139 11
1951-52 Detroit 70 44 14 12 1.91 133 12
1952-53 Detroit 63 32 15 16 1.94 120 9
1953-54 Detroit 67 35 19 13 1.96 129 12
1954-55 Detroit 68 40 17 11 1.94 132 1
1955-56 Boston 68 22 33 13 2.66 181 9
1956-57 Boston 34 18 10 6 2.38 81 2
1957-58 Detroit 70 29 29 12 2.96 207 3
1958-59 Detroit 67 23 36 8 3.12 209 5
1959-60 Detroit 58 24 20 14 2.69 156 5
1960-61 Detroit 37 12 16 8 3.26 113 2
1961-62 Detroit 43 14 21 8 3.33 143 5
1962-63 Detroit 48 23 16 7 2.57 119 3
1963-64 Detroit 53 24 20 7 2.64 138 5
1964-65 Toronto 36 17 13 6 2.56 92 1
1965-66 Toronto 27 10 11 4 3.16 80 1
1966-67 Toronto 28 15 5 4 2.81 66 2
1967-68 Los Angeles 33 11 14 6 3.07 99 2
1968-69 Detroit 11 3 4 3 2.62 28 0
1969-70 NY 8 3 1 2 2.91 20 1
TOTAL 971 447 330 173 2.52 2401 103

Sawchuk's record of 103 shutouts may never be broken. He played in a record 971 regular-season games; he was one of the last great goaltenders from the era when goalies played every game, when their careers were one long endurance test. All goalies sacrifice their bodies, absorbing the blows of speeding pucks, and all struggle with the intense mental challenge of carrying the praise or blame for their teams' successes and failures. Sawchuk faced those trials in more games than any other goalie, and may have suffered more than anyone else. His achievements and his tragedies, his physical stamina and mental torment, make him not only hockey's best goalie, but the ultimate goaltending legend.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsHockeyTerry Sawchuk Biography - Growing Up, Rookie Of The Year, Chronology, A Dark Temper, Sawchuk: The Troubles And Triumphs Of The World's Greatest Goalie