|Martin Brodeur, who won his fourth Vezina in 2008, hopes to collect a fifth at the 2010 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 23. |
The Vezina Trophy is an annual award given to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position as voted by the general managers of all NHL clubs.
Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau, and Joe Cattarinich, former owners of the Montreal Canadiens, presented the trophy to the National Hockey League in 1926-27 in memory of Georges Vezina, outstanding goalkeeper of the Canadiens, who collapsed during an NHL game Nov. 28, 1925, and died of tuberculosis a few months later.
Until the 1981-82 season, the goalkeeper(s) of the team allowing the fewest number of goals during the regular season were awarded the Vezina Trophy.
Billy Smith of the New York Islanders was the first winner of the Vezina under the current system.
There have been numerous instances of players receiving the trophy many times in different years, and players tying for the trophy. Jacques Plante holds the record for winning the most Vezinas with seven, trailed by Bill Durnan and Dominik Hasek both of who have won six. Hasek has won the most under the current system of honouring the best individual goalie. Players for the Montreal Canadiens have won the Vezina 28 times. Under the original definition, there would often be multiple winners from the same team during one season. In the 1973–74 NHL season, Tony Esposito of the Chicago Black Hawks and Bernie Parent of the Philadelphia Flyers finished tied for the fewest goals against, the only time that there would be a tie between two players from different teams.
The voting is conducted at the end of the regular season, and each individual voter ranks their top three candidates on a 5-3-1 points system. Three finalists are named and the trophy is awarded at the NHL Awards ceremony after the playoffs.