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Georges Vezina Biography

Early Years, Joined The Montreal Canadiens, Won First Stanley Cup, Chronology, Played Through Injury, Illness


Canadian hockey player

Because of a trophy given out by the National Hockey League (NHL) to the best goalie in the league in his honor, the name of Georges Vezina remains alive to this day. Many consider Vezina—who played for 15 seasons (1910-25) all for the Montreal Canadiens—the NHL's first great goaltender. Playing in 328 straight games, Vezina was an innovative goalie who mastered and defined the early stand-up style of play. Nicknamed the "Chicoutimi Cucumber" for his hometown and calm coolness during games, Vezina's career was cut short by several seasons when he developed tuberculosis. Though he played for at least two seasons while in the early stages of the disease—holding the league's lowest goals against average and backstopping the Canadiens to one of the two Stanley Cups they would win with him in goal—Vezina played his last game at the beginning of the 1925-26 season, dying several months later. As Stan Fischler wrote in The All-New Hockey's 100: A Personal Ranking of the Best Players in Hockey History, "Georges Vezina … was a nonpareil athlete whose ability was matched only by his infinite sportsmanship."

Georges Vezina

Sketch by A. Petruso

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Famous Sports StarsHockey