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Georges Vezina

Won First Stanley Cup

It was not until the 1915-16 season that the Montreal Canadiens became a really competitive team, with good offensive players on board like Newsy Lalonde, to match the defensive prowess given by Vezina. This led to Montreal's playing for its first Stanley Cup, after winning the NHA championship, against the Portland Rosebuds of the PCHA. The series went to a decisive fifth game in Portland, which Montreal won 2-1. Vezina held off a number of Portland rushes until the Canadiens scored the game winner. In honor of winning the Stanley Cup, Vezina named his newborn son Marcil Stanley. This son was one of two children of Vezina and his wife's that survived to adulthood of the 22 born to them.


1887 Born January 21 in Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada
c. 1905 Learns to skate after playing goalie position in boots since his youth
1910 Signed by the Montreal Canadiens after playing well in an exhibition game against the professional team
c. 1910 Marries wife with whom he would have 22 children (only two would survive to adulthood)
1910 Makes debut with the Montreal Canadiens, December 31
1910-12 Vezina's goals against average leads the NHA
1912-13 Backstops his way to first shutout of his career
1917-18 Becomes first goalie to post shutout in NHL
1923-25 Leads NHL in goals against average
1925 Plays in last game on November 25, collapsing on the ice
1926 Dies of tuberculosis on March 24
2000 Pair of his goalie pads (perhaps the only ones in existence) are cut up and attached to certain collectable trading cards, outraging hockey historians

The following season, Vezina and the Montreal Canadiens again won the NHA championship, but lost to the Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHA in the Stanley Cup series. By the time the first season of the NHL's existence, 1917-18, Vezina was known as one of the best goalies in the new league, and he had the privilege of being the first goalie to earn a shutout in the league.

In 1919, Vezina again backstopped the Canadiens to victory in the NHL championships, but did not get a chance to finish playing for the Stanley Cup. Because of the on-going influenza epidemic in the city of Seattle, the last game in the series against the Seattle Metropolitans was cancelled. A number of men on both teams were ill, and a few, including Vezina's teammate Joe Hall, later died. Montreal lost the first game 7-0, but tied series before it was called. Within a few years Vezina was making a career-high salary of $7200 per season.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsHockeyGeorges Vezina Biography - Early Years, Joined The Montreal Canadiens, Won First Stanley Cup, Chronology, Played Through Injury, Illness