The Top 10 Weirdest NHL Goaltenders in History


It’s a commonly-held perception in NHL circles, and hockey in common, that goalies are usually a bit bizarre. It’s more unusual to discover a goalie that isn’t bizarre than it’s to seek out one that’s.

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After all, who would willingly signal as much as have individuals fling frozen rubber discs at you at excessive speeds? There have been many quirky, memorable goalies through the years however there are just a few that stand out as the craziest goalies in NHL historical past.

10. Tuukka Rask

Tuukka Rask doesn’t like shootouts. He tends to get very, very indignant when he loses at shootouts. It goes again to his days for the Providence Bruins in the AHL, when he had probably essentially the most memorable freakout in latest hockey reminiscence:

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It’s continued to his days in the NHL, too:

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In truth, a study done in 2013 concluded that Rask has a couple of 33% probability of completely freaking out when he loses in a shootout. The numbers haven’t been up to date in latest years, nevertheless it wouldn’t shock me if the proportion remained about the identical.

9. Roman Cechmanek

Normally, goaltenders don’t prefer to get hit in the top by photographs. It hurts, and leaves your ears ringing for some time after it occurs. But not Roman Cechmanek, who was additionally identified to rock a unibrow, would deliberately use his head to make saves, in what grew to become often called “skull saves” amongst Flyers followers. Cechmanek’s model was unorthodox at finest, however in his brief time in Philadelphia, he was extraordinarily efficient.

Roman Cechmanek
Roman Cechmanek (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Until the playoffs, that’s. In the 2001-02 playoffs, Cechmanek noticed the Ottawa Senators a three-goal lead in Game Four, with Philadelphia already down 2-1 in the collection. Cechmanek skated out to middle ice and began berating his teammates, considering that they weren’t holding up their finish of the cut price and taking part in effectively in entrance of him. In response, some of the Flyers players reportedly fired pucks at his head during practice the next day in response. Unsurprisingly, Cechmanek solely lasted yet one more yr in Philadelphia earlier than being dealt to LA.

8. Tim Thomas

If Tim Thomas was not proud of you, he made certain that you just knew it, and that you just felt it. If you went in his area, he made you remorse it, like when he slashed Carl Soderberg in the top:

Or in the event you take liberties with one among his teammates, he received’t anticipate one among his teammates to do one thing. He’ll take issues into his personal palms.

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Off the ice, Thomas had just a few notable incidents. When the Bruins received the Stanley Cup in 2010-11, Thomas, the Conn Smythe Trophy Winner, was conspicuously absent from the workforce’s journey to the White House with President Obama. Thomas issued the following statement on his absence:

I imagine the Federal authorities has grown uncontrolled, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being finished on the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial stage. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers imaginative and prescient for the Federal authorities.

Because I imagine this, as we speak I exercised my proper as a Free Citizen, and didn’t go to the White House. This was not about politics or occasion, as in my opinion each events are liable for the scenario we’re in as a rustic. This was a couple of alternative I needed to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the one public assertion I can be making on this matter. TT

After taking part in yet one more yr in the NHL, Thomas determined to take a yr off from hockey in 2012-13, citing that he wanted to spend extra time with “friends, family, and faith”, which is a wonderfully respectable motive. Shortly after, he began posting articles to his Facebook page that warned of a world financial meltdown, saying “See why hockey’s just not that important right now”?

7. Turk Broda

Turk Broda was often called a legendary playoff goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Forties and early Nineteen Fifties. When requested why he was all the time so profitable in the playoffs, Broda offered the following:

Turk Broda enjoys a stack of pancakes in the crease. (THW Archives)

“The bonus money for winning wasn’t much but I always needed it,” he stated. “Or maybe I was just too dumb to know the situation was serious.”

Broda was additionally concerned in a steady battle with Leafs proprietor Conn Smythe over his taking part in weight, which was dubbed “The Battle of the Bulge” by the Toronto Media. Smythe threatened that Broda’s job as beginning goaltender can be misplaced to 2 AHL goalies if he didn’t drop his taking part in weight to 190 kilos earlier than the 1949-50 season. The disagreement culminated in a closing weigh-in the day earlier than opening evening, with the entire Toronto media current, in which Broda got here in at 189 kilos, and was allowed to maintain his job.

6. Ed Belfour

Known as “Crazy Eddie” to many followers, it comes as no shock that Ed Belfour makes an look on this record. Belfour was so explicit about his gear and the way it was dealt with that he supplied the next piece of recommendation that attempted to get between him and his gear: “You touch my stuff, I’ll kill you.”

Ed Belfour (THW Archives)

Belfour was an exceptional goalie, however was absurdly aggressive and had extraordinarily excessive expectations of himself, and his teammates. He would typically conflict with equally aggressive coach Mike Keenan in consequence in Chicago. Twice, an intoxicated Belfour has been arrested for a collection of various points. The first time, in 2000, he offered the arresting officers $100k, after which $1 billion for his launch with none fees. They unsurprisingly declined.

5. Glenn Hall

Glenn Hall is universally considered one of many best goalies of all-time. He was named a First-Team All Star seven instances, and Second-Team All Star 4 instances. He performed in 502 consecutive video games, a document that can absolutely by no means be damaged. And earlier than each a kind of video games, Hall would throw up. His reasoning behind it, whereas greater than a little bit kooky, does present simply how devoted he was to successful.

“I always felt I played better if I was physically sick before the game. If I wasn’t sick, I felt I hadn’t done everything I could to try to win.”

Goalie Glenn Hall
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 17: Goalie Glenn Hall #1 defends the online throughout an NHL sport in opposition to the New York Rangers on November 17, 1965 on the Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. (Photo by B Bennett/Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Rumor has it that after throwing up, Hall would then have a glass of orange juice, and exit for the sport. As odd as it’s, it clearly labored for the Hall of Famer.

4. Patrick Roy

While he’s arguably the best goalie of all time, Patrick Roy was actually not with out his quirks. Most notable was that he unabashedly admitted that he used to speak to his goalposts. When asked why, Patrick responded, “Because they are my friends”. The saying goes that the goalposts are the goalie’s finest buddy, however that’s normally extra a flip of phrase relatively than an precise actuality.

Other than speaking to his posts, Patrick was often called a fiery competitor. You’d be hard-pressed to seek out somebody that hated shedding as a lot as he did. He confirmed it each whereas he was between his finest buddies on the ice, and in addition as a coach. Fittingly, in Roy’s first sport as an NHL coach, he acquired right into a screaming match with Bruce Boudreau and practically knocked over the glass pane separating the 2 benches. Solidifying his place amongst loopy goalies.

Prior to turning into the coach of the Avalanche, Roy was the coach and proprietor of the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. In January 2007, Roy allegedly punched the co-owner of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens after Chicoutimi followers had refused to permit the Remparts again on their bus after the sport. A yr later, a brawl ensued between the 2 groups in which goaltender Jonathan Roy, Patrick’s son, acquired right into a violent combat with the Chicoutimi goaltender.

The combat landed Jonathan a seven-game suspension and Patrick a five-game suspension. Patrick claims the assault wasn’t orchestrated, regardless of him being caught on video making a gesture to his son as he neared the Chicoutimi goalie. Patrick has since apologized for the incident and stated he ought to have finished a greater job containing his gamers.

3. Ilya Bryzgalov

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Ilya Bryzgalov (Tom Turk/THW)

For nearly all of Ilya Bryzgalov’s profession, he was considered a fairly regular goalie. Sure, there was the “Why you heff to be mad?” sound byte, however apart from that, we actually didn’t understand how odd Bryz actually was. But as soon as he was put in Philadelphia, the goaltending hell, and a digital camera was positioned in entrance of him for NHL 24/7, we noticed a distinct Bryz.

Bryz didn’t play very effectively on the ice in Philadelphia, however he was a quote machine. From his ramblings on the universe being “humangous big”, to receiving the dying penalty for killing a tiger in China, or opining on the fantastic thing about his Siberian Husky as “a hot girl, man”, you really by no means knew what Bryz was going to say subsequent. This all would have been effective and dandy if he was taking part in effectively.

But he wasn’t, and in the Philadelphia media, it shortly became a really bitter relationship. It culminated in the Flyers shopping for out the remaining seven years of Bryzgalov’s contract simply to get him to go away.

2. Ron Hextall

Up subsequent on the record is a person that could be very grateful that Bryzgalov just isn’t in Philadelphia, present Flyers common supervisor Ron Hextall. While Hextall seems to have tamed his act down since retirement (apart from his outburst directed towards the underperforming Flyers), his mood throughout his taking part in days was legendary. There are solely three seasons in which a goalie has eclipsed 100 penalty minutes, and Hextall owns all three from 1986 to 1989. He additionally holds the document for many penalty minutes by a goalie in league historical past.

Ron Hextall Philadelphia Flyers
Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers, 2004 Season (Photo by John Giamundo/Getty Images)

The most well-known occasion was when he jumped Chris Chelios in the 1989 playoffs, who had concussed Flyers ahead Brian Propp earlier in the collection. If you messed with Hextall, you have been going to really feel it in a while. He made certain of that.

1. Gilles Gratton

weird goalie
Gratton and his masks. (THW Archives)

Chances are, you’ve by no means heard of Gratton, the #1 goalie on the record. He solely performed 47 profession NHL video games in the Nineteen Seventies, however was fairly the character. In the goalies are bizarre division, Gilles is close to the highest. Gratton claimed that he remembered to reside prior lives, and his present life as an NHL goalie was punishment for his earlier misdeeds. The very first thing you seen about Gratton was his masks.

In as we speak’s world the masks wouldn’t be that unusual, however this was the Nineteen Seventies and Gratton performed for the Rangers and Blues, which don’t have anything to do with a cat. Among different issues, here is an abbreviated list of Gratton’s quirks:

  • He as soon as refused to play in a sport as a result of the moon was in the incorrect place in the sky.
  • He claimed that in a previous life he was a soldier in the Spanish Inquisition who was run via with a lance. This was his rationalization for belly pains he was feeling.
  • John Davidson, a former teammate, claimed he would stroll right into a room with a piano and begin taking part in it superbly, regardless of claiming to have by no means performed piano in his life.

  • Rod Gilbert, Hall of Famer, claimed Gratton was the most talented goalie he had ever performed with. But after being hypnotized one evening, Gilles started to imagine he was an executioner who used to stone individuals to dying. Then when pucks have been fired at him, he believed they have been stones and would soar out of the best way.

Who are a few of the different bizarre goalies in hockey historical past? Who else belongs on the record?

This put up was initially written in March, 2016.


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