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Revisiting Vezina Trophy Seasons: George Hainsworth’s 1926-27 Season – The Hockey Writers – Canadiens Historical past

It was a trophy launched to the league in 1926-27 by the previous house owners of the Montreal Canadiens — Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau and Joe Cattarinich — in reminiscence of Canadiens’ goaltender Georges Vezina.

Vezina collapsed throughout a recreation on Nov. 28, 1925, passing from tuberculosis only a few months later. The trophy was initially given to the goaltender(s) who performed a minimal of 25 video games and allowed the fewest objectives throughout the common season — generally ending with a number of winners. That modified in 1980-81 when it began being voted upon by the NHL’s normal managers and awarded to “the goalkeeper adjudged to be one of the best at this place.”

Revisiting Vezina Trophy Season (The Hockey Writers)

Effectively, in 1926-27 when the Vezina Trophy was first awarded, it was in regards to the fewest objectives allowed. Satirically, that season, it was a Canadiens goalie who would go on to win the inaugural award.

Meet George Hainsworth.

Hainsworth Wins Inaugural Vezina Trophy

As a 31-year-old NHL rookie, Hainsworth made his debut with the Montreal Canadiens in 1926-27. A group coached by Cecil Hart and led offensively by Howie Morenz, this Canadiens group was destined to go away their mark on the league.

Little did everybody know in the beginning of the yr, it wouldn’t be the group profitable the Stanley Cup that made historical past — as they’d go on to lose to the Ottawa Senators within the semi-finals. Moderately, it was Hainsworth that would go away his mark within the league’s historical past books as the primary goaltender in NHL historical past to win the Vezina Trophy.

Hainsworth kicked off the season on Nov. 16, 1926, with a loss to the Boston Bruins. It was a recreation during which he gave up 4 objectives and it might’ve shocked anybody on the time in the event you had guess that he would go on to be one of the best goalie within the league that season.

He adopted that up with two extra video games — each losses — during which he gave up two objectives in every and that’s when issues rotated.

Hainsworth grabbed his first NHL win in opposition to the New York Individuals on Nov. 23, 1926. It was additionally his first profession shutout and the beginning of one thing particular for Hainsworth and the Canadiens.

George Hainsworth
George Hainsworth

His rookie season would shut out with him logging a document of 28-14-2 within the common season. He completed with a 1.47 objectives in opposition to common (GAA) and 67 objectives in opposition to. He additionally topped the NHL that season with 14 shutouts — certainly a assist in the yr finish award.

It was an in depth race, too. The Montreal Maroons gave up simply 68 objectives and Ottawa Senators gave up simply 69, so another dangerous recreation for Hainsworth and it might’ve been a special story for the Canadiens’ goaltender. Regardless, he closed out the yr as the highest goalie and took dwelling the primary ever Vezina Trophy.

Hainsworth Began A Development for Canadiens

Satirically, the award was first launched by the Canadiens in reminiscence of a former Canadiens participant. Because it’s introduction into the league, a Canadiens participant has received the award an NHL-leading 29 occasions. The primary, after all, being Hainsworth.

Not like the Calder Trophy — which now we have additionally revisited Calder seasons — the Vezina trophy not often went to a participant that dropped off after profitable the award. It was no completely different for Hainsworth.

Associated: Revisiting Calder Trophy Seasons – Carl Voss’ 1932-33 Season

As we’ll talk about, Hainsworth went on to have extra Vezina-calibre seasons, together with two extra wins touchdown him tied for ninth all-time on most profession Vezina Trophy wins.

Hainsworth stays certainly one of simply eight goaltenders to have served a their group captain — having accomplished so with the Canadiens throughout the 1932-33 season. He was the second to take action on the time.

Hainsworth Stays Amongst the NHL’s File Books

Alongside along with his playoff shutout streak that spanned 270 minutes and eight seconds in 1929-30, Hainsworth additionally stays second all-time in objectives in opposition to common — ending his NHL profession with a 1.93 GAA only one one-hundredth of some extent behind Alex Connell (1.92).

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Hainsworth would go on to assist the Canadiens to 2 Stanley Cups throughout his tenure as their goalie in 1930 and 1931. For all of his efforts, he was moved to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1933 for Lorne Chabot — a French-Canadian that the Canadiens wished to placed on their roster to drive up attendance

Hainsworth was ultimately launched by Conn Smythe on November 25, 1936, earlier than rejoining the Canadiens for 4 extra video games. He was ultimately inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame posthumously in 1961 and into the Ontario Sports activities Corridor of Fame in 2004.

Whereas the top of his profession may not have gone as scripted by Hainsworth, his will all the time be remembered as the primary winner of the Vezina Trophy, the primary rookie to win the award and the primary to take action back-to-back-to-back.

Olivia Brown
Olivia Brown
Olivia Brown specializes in soccer, covering MLS, NWSL, and international competitions. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Sports Media. Olivia has written for and ESPN FC, providing thorough coverage and in-depth analysis of the sport.


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