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Weekes chooses best goalie in each team's history

by Kevin Weekes

NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes, in conjunction with the new Canada Post goaltender stamp series, provides his insight into the position he played for 11 seasons in the League.

In the last piece of the Game Savers series, Weekes gives his top goalie in each team's history.

We've saved the best for last. In the final Game Savers piece, we get all 30 teams involved and name the best goalie who has played for each.

After much thought, deliberation and, in some cases, personal firsthand experiences having played against a lot of these guys, it wasn't easy. It was a very thought-provoking exercise, but in the end, these are my choices for the all-time best goalie for each of the current franchises in the NHL.

Some picks were no-brainers. Others, I couldn't come up with a definitive answer.

Let the debates begin.

Anaheim Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Especially his amazing performance in 2003 when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy on the losing end of the Stanley Cup Final. Giguere would win the Cup in 2007 and had 30 or more wins four times in nine seasons with the Ducks.

Arizona Coyotes - Nikolai Khabibulin

In three seasons with the Coyotes, he had 92 wins and was a workhorse, playing in 70 or more games three times. Honorable mentions to Sean Burke and Ilya Bryzgalov.

Boston Bruins - Gerry Cheevers

Led the Bruins to two Stanley Cup titles in the 1970s and had a 229-101-74 record with 26 shutouts. Honorable mentions to Tiny Thompson and Tim Thomas.

Buffalo Sabres - Dominik Hasek

Not even close. The most dominant goalie I ever played against. Holds every significant Stanley Cup Playoff record and helped transform the Sabres into contenders. Won six Vezina Trophies, two Hart Trophies and two Jennings Trophies in an eight-season span with them from 1993-01.

Calgary Flames - Mike Vernon

Played for 13 seasons in Calgary and had 262 wins. Without a doubt, Miikka Kiprusoff is 1b. He leads the Flames in almost all major goalie categories, but generally had more to work with than Vernon, who helped them win the Stanley Cup in 1989.

Carolina Hurricanes - Cam Ward

This is a toss-up. I'd give Ward the edge over Arturs Irbe, but I know firsthand how tough of a call this is having been around both of them. Ward has been a staple since his rookie season in 2005-06, when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup and he was the Conn Smythe winner. He's tailed off in recent years but has been a rock for this franchise. Irbe was the main guy for the franchise's first five years in Carolina and played extremely well.

Chicago Blackhawks - Glenn Hall

Have to give the nod to "Mr. Goalie." Played for Chicago from 1957-67, winning the Vezina Trophy three times and named NHL First-Team All-Star seven times. Had 407 wins. Tony Esposito, who won the Calder Trophy in 1970 and the Vezina three times with the Blackhawks, had 423 wins and is a close, close second.

Colorado Avalanche - Patrick Roy

One of the top five goalies of all time. Did it against all odds. Not bad for a third-round pick. Big games, big pressure, big deliveries.

Columbus Blue Jackets - Sergei Bobrovsky

He's been in Columbus for less than four seasons but is three wins shy of their leader in wins (Steve Mason, 96). Won the Vezina in his first season there and led the Blue Jackets to their first playoff wins in 2014.

Dallas Stars - Eddie Belfour

He was just so intense and focused and one of the best. Third all-time in wins (484), with 160 coming in Dallas. Not to mention the 1999 Stanley Cup. Honorable mention: Marty Turco.

Detroit Red Wings - Terry Sawchuk

Played parts of 16 seasons in Detroit, leading the League in wins for five straight seasons (1950-55). Won the Calder and three Vezina Trophies with the Red Wings and three Stanley Cup championships. Ranks fifth all-time in wins (447).

Edmonton Oilers - Grant Fuhr

He was the backbone of their dynasty of the 1980s, a part of each of the five championship teams from 1984-1990. Did so much for the Oilers, although often overshadowed by their skaters. Hall of Fame member and one of my idols.

Florida Panthers - John Vanbiesbrouck and Roberto Luongo

This one is a 50-50 split. Vanbiesbrouck and Loungo each has meant so much to the Panthers, so I can't pick just one.

Los Angeles Kings - Jonathan Quick

He's done so much for the Kings, besides winning the Stanley Cup twice. Has broken most of Rogie Vachon's franchise records and is one of the best goalies in their history and in the game today.

Minnesota Wild - Niklas Backstrom

He's still on the team, although he's taken a back seat to Devan Dubnyk. Backstrom is the Wild's leader in games played, wins and shutouts and is six wins from 200 with them in his career.

Montreal Canadiens - Too tough to call

With almost 100 years of history, it's impossible to choose. Ken Dryden? Jacques Plante? Roy? Will it be Carey Price? All great, all amazing. You NHL fans start right now and tweet me at @KevinWeekes.

Nashville Predators - Pekka Rinne

He's about as synonymous with the Predators as Barry Trotz or Shea Weber is. Rinne has been one of the best for a long time and easily gets the distinction of best goalie in franchise history.

New Jersey Devils - Martin Brodeur

It's a no-brainer to choose the League's all-time winningest goalie and career shutouts leader here. Brodeur was the face of the franchise for so long and much of their success from the mid-1990s through the early 2000s was because of him. He spent 22 years with the Devils and will have his number retired this season and can walk into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018 when he is eligible. His 688 wins and 124 shutouts with them are tops all-time.

New York Islanders - Billy Smith

Four straight Stanley Cup victories. That may never be done again.

New York Rangers - Too tough to call

This is another tough one. Mike Richter? Henrik Lundqvist? Eddie Giacomin? If Lundqvist wins the Stanley Cup, he could get the edge. But right now, it's a three-horse race.

Ottawa Senators - Patrick Lalime

A 146-10-30 record, 2.32 goals-against average and 30 shutouts with Ottawa. Lalime didn't get talked about as much but had 25 or more wins in each of his four full seasons with the Senators.

Philadelphia Flyers- Bernie Parent

He's got Vezina Trophies and two Stanley Cup titles, and was a constant for a franchise that has had its share of goalie issues throughout the years.

Pittsburgh Penguins - Tom Barrasso

One of the best U.S. goalies of all time. And underrated, too. Two-time Cup winner. Marc-Andre Fleury is second.

San Jose Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov

They never made it to the Cup Final, but you can't blame that on him. Nabokov gave them a chance every night.

St. Louis Blues - Curtis Joseph

Especially in the playoffs, and how he stole games and series by himself. Joseph gets the call here.

Tampa Bay Lightning - Nikolai Khabibulin

His second appearance on the list. Played three season for the Lightning but held the record for wins until Ben Bishop passed him earlier this season, and backstopped them to their only title. Bishop is well on the rise and challenging for that.

Toronto Maple Leafs - Johnny Bower

The last Toronto goalie to win the Cup (1967) gets the call. He won it four times with the Maple Leafs and had 209 wins. Turk Broda has more wins (302), but Bower was the better goalie.

Vancouver Canucks - Roberto Luongo

Luongo came up just short in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final but is the best goalie the Canucks have ever had. Kirk McLean is a close second.

Washington Capitals - Olaf Kolzig

He was one of the best during his time with the Capitals. Braden Holtby could take this spot befpre his career is over.

Winnipeg Jets - Ondrej Pavelec

He's a holdover from the Atlanta Thrashers but leads the current Jets in career wins, shutouts and games played. Kari Lehtonen would be second, for what he did with the Thrashers on teams that weren't often very good.

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