My Top 10 All-Time Favorite NHL Goalies

May 4, 2007

As any of you know from reading my blog, I am a huge hockey fan. Being a goalie myself, has always made me follow the goalies of the NHL the closest. My favorite players are almost always the guys in all that colorful equipment and cool helmets.

I’ve put together a list of my top 10 all-time favorite goalies. Some I liked because of the team they played on, or their netminding talents or even because I liked the equipment they wore. Here’s the list…

kiprusoff2.jpg10. Miikka Kiprusoff

Miikka Kiprusoff’s spot on this list really says something towards how much I like the guy. I absolutely despise the Calgary Flames, but I have nothing but respect for “Kipper”. He is currently one of the top three goalies in the world, and some of the saves he make just blow me away. The guy is a highlight reel package all on his own. He was nominated for the Vezina Trophy this past season, as well. Even though he plays for a team I hate so much, he still makes my list.

blainelacher1.jpg9. Blaine Lacher

Most people will respond to this choice as “who?”. If you weren’t watching hockey during the 1995 season, you probably have no idea who he is. Blaine Lacher came out of nowhere (well, Lake Superior State actually) to become the Boston Bruins’ number one goalie, and get himself nominated for the rookie of the year award. He was out of the NHL soon after, and even retired from hockey a mere three years later. However, in his short time he made an obvious impression on me. I haven’t forgotten about you, Blaine.

vernon_flames2.jpg8. Mike Vernon

Another Calgary Flame? What am I thinking? Well, back in the early, early 90’s, I was actually a Calgary fan. Well, more-so I liked Mike Vernon, and that’s about as far as it got. He was a tiny little guy, and played such an interesting style that he really grew on me. He was no more than 5’9, and it was so cool to watch such a small guy make the kind of saves he made.

andymoog2.jpg7. Andy Moog

During the mid to late 80’s I loved the Edmonton Oilers. Who didn’t enjoy such a talented team. Andy Moog was one of their key players, even though he was the backup goalie. He then went on to star for the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars. It was his time with Boston that won me over, and as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I ended up painting my own goalie mask to match his.

domhasek.jpg6. Dominik Hasek

I can still remember the first time I ever saw Dominik Hasek play. It was during the highlights of one of his first games in the NHL. He made some incredible flopping saves, and I looked over to my Dad and said, “this guy is going to be a star!”. My Dad laughed and said “oh, no he wont”, obviously figuring such a weird-styled goalie could never make it in the NHL. Well, Hasek continued on to become one of the best goalies in the history of hockey, and won the Vezina Trophy six times in an eight year span.

coreyhirsch1.jpg5. Corey Hirsch

Along with my 9th selection, Corey Hirsch probably stands out as a “what the heck?” kind of choice to most people. Well, he played for my Canucks, which is a big reason why he’s on the list. He also came along during a time when Vancouver was getting horrible goaltending, and no matter how good Hirsch played, he never seemed to get a chance to be the number one. He had a great junior career (winning CHL goalie of the year, and Memorial Cup top goaltender). He then went on to win AHL Rookie of the year as well. He’s now playing over in Europe.

grantfuhr2.jpg4. Grant Fuhr

Grant Fuhr was another member of the great Oilers Dynasty of the 80’s. He was a huge part of their success and then went on to have continued success with Buffalo, St. Louis, and to a lesser extent, Calgary. I was a huge Fuhr fan, and he was easily my favorite goalie up until Kirk McLean in the early 90’s. Grant Fuhr was a big reason of why I became a hockey fan in the first place.

ranford1.jpg3. Bill Ranford

Bill Ranford was one of the main reasons I became a goalie in the first place. It was his flamboyant style that caught my attention at first. He was the king of “windmill glove saves”, and had the ability to make the easiest save look like the most difficult. That probably isn’t the most efficient way to make the save, but it’s definitely the most entertaining. I also chose Ranford as one of my Top 10 Childhood Heroes.

luongopic.jpg2. Roberto Luongo

My favorite team’s current goaltender. Not only is he their current goalie, he’s also one of, if not the, best goalie in the world. His play during the 2006-07 season cemented him as one of the world’s best, and the only question anyone had about him was, “can he play in the playoffs?”. Well, he answered those, putting up a tremendous performance that single-handedly carried Vancouver into the second round this year. He was nominated for three prestigious awards, and his play this season has absolutely amazed me. I’ve never witnessed such an incredible and talented goaltender. If I re-do this list in a few years time, I have no doubt he’ll be ranked #1.

mclean.jpg1. Kirk McLean

Kirk McLean was my first true favorite player. He came along just as I was old enough to really understand and follow hockey, and he played for my favorite team. The greatest year I ever had watching hockey was in 1994 when Kirk took Vancouver to Game #7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. He was simply incredible, and for years when I would play road hockey as a kid, I was always Kirk McLean. I’ve met Kirk a few times, and he’s been nothing but a great guy, and I’ll never forget the great childhood memories he gave me over the years. To this day, I still wear his #1 jersey while watching the Canucks.

> Read my Top 10 Goalie Masks list

> Check out my other Top 10 Lists


  1. We always have similar Top Tens:

    10. Tom Barrasso
    9. Mike Richter
    8. Andy Moog
    7. Dom Hasek
    6. Martin Brodeur
    5. Mike Vernon
    4. Patrick Roy
    3. Grant Fuhr
    2. Roberto Luongo
    1. Kirk Maclean

    Honorable mentions to:

    Felix Potvin, Martin Brochu, Alfie Michaud, Steve Weekes, Kevin Weekes, Corey Hirsch, Frank Caprice, Alex Auld, Bob Essenssa, Peter Skudra, Johan Hedberg, Arturs Irbe, Garth Snow, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Rob McVicar, Kay Whitmore, Maxim Ouellet, Mikka Noronnen, Mike Fountain, Corey Schwabb and the Legendary Richard Brodeur

    I think that is everyone.

  2. Not to forget Bob Mason or Troy Gamble. Always in my heart.

  3. As a Red Deer guy, Bill Ranford still remains my number 1. His dad still owns a card shop in town, and Ranford won the cup in ’90 which is the one I remember the most clearly of course. Roberto has quickly cracked my top 10, not seeing him at all with Florida I was really unfamiliar, but he is awesome. Rounding out my top 10 would be: Fuhr, Moog, Brodeur, Hextall, Hasek, Ward (saw him alot with the Red Deer Rebels), Salo (he was good at one time honest), and Potvin – although I’m not really sure why. Emery is quickly climbing in my books – great skills, funny interview clips, and a fighter!

  4. Yeah, Emery is quickly climbing for me, too. Same with Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas (I love his flop saves) Turco (after his fine playoff performance), Christobol Huet and M-A Fleury.

    Kolzig has always been one of my favorites as well, as… as funny as this sounds now, I use to send letters back and forth with him when he was a rookie, asking him tips, etc. I’ve met him once as well, and he is such a nice guy.

    Mike Richter, Patrick Roy and Richard Brodeur as classic favorites, too.

  5. pelle lindberg
    pete peeters
    ron hextall
    richard brodeur
    bob froze
    andy moag
    marty turco

  6. Am I the ONLY Kay Whitmore fan?

  7. I think you just might be. Either way, here’s a little present for you:

  8. What, no Dwayne Rolosson?

    Also, I find it pretty funny that your top 5 are all Canucks goalies.

  9. Whose top 5?

  10. No Mike Richter? I know I’m biased that way. My list would likely include:

    1) Richter
    2) Irbe
    3) Dan Cloutier (mostly for his fighting style)

  11. top ten favorite goalies:

    10- Bernie Parent, Flyers: Even though I never saw him play, I know Bernie was awesome for the Flyers in their two Stanley Cup runs in the 70’s, winning the Conn Smythe trophy both times, but it was his mean looking mask that drew my attention…
    9 – Mike Liut, Whalers: I remember Liut when he played with the Hartford Whalers and they played the Canadiens in the playoffs a few times, and he was very good for a mediocre hockey team. He was a tall goalie who took up a lot of space in front of the net…
    8 – Arturs Irbe, Sharks: I loved Irbe back when he played with San Jose, I really loved his big white pads, that looked even bigger on him…
    7 – Tommy Soderstrom, Flyers: I loved his unorthodoxed style, being really unpredictible in his net, sometimes played aggressive and other times played deep in his net. He also had big white pads that looked huge on him because he was so short…
    6 – Trevor Kidd, Flames: Trevor Kidd was the most stylish goalie as far as equipment was concerned. I remember his first times with the Flames in the early 90’s, with the red, white and yellow flames going up on his Brian’s pads, very cool…
    5 – Bill Ranford, Oilers: Ranford was a very spactacular goalie who never seemed to receive an easy shot. He could make the easiest save look like the stop of the century, and what a glove hand he had…
    4 – Ed Belfour, Stars: His mask is an absolute classic, with an eagle on each side, but Eddie the eagle was more than just a mask, as he will go down as one of the best goalies to ever play the game…
    3 – Pelle Lindbergh, Flyers: Never saw him play because I was too young, and when he died suddenly, early in his career, I was only 5 years old. But, of what i’ve seen on film, he was a rock solid goalie who played a bit of butterfly…
    2 – Jose Theodore, Canadiens: No matter how is career will end, I will never forget year 2001, when Theo single handedly propelled the Habs back in the playoffs, in what I call one of the best season by a player in the history of the game…
    1 – Patrick Roy, Canadiens: The stats don’t lie…SIMPLY THE BEST !

  12. go nucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Ha ha I can’t help but notice how heavily the list is weighted towards the canucks. This would probably be my top 10 list to, being a canucks fan.

  14. Wow, dude I never thought I would meet another person who loved Blaine Lacher. I remember him just destroying in NHL 95 and 96. And I loved his name, I always called him Blaine Lacher the lane blocker.

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