Toronto Maple Leafs: Ed Belfour, #5 Goalie on the List

TORONTO - OCTOBER 8: Ed Belfour /

Entering in at number five on the greatest goaltenders in Toronto Maple Leafs history is, Ed Belfour.

Last article I talked about who I thought was the sixth greatest goaltender in Toronto Maple Leafs history, which was Mike Palmateer. This article we will look at who I think is the fifth greatest goalie in Leafs history.

#5 Ed Belfour

Belfour was an undrafted player. He signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1987 before making his NHL debut during the 1988-89 season. On July 2nd, 2002, Belfour signed with the Leafs as an unrestricted free agent.


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Belfour started off his three seasons with the Leafs strong. As a 37-year-old he posted a 2.26 GAA, ranking eighth among starting goalies (40 games played or more). He also had a Save Percentage (Sv%) of .922, ranking fourth among starting goaltenders. With seven shutouts, he was ranked fifth in the league and earned himself a Vezina nomination (he ended up losing to Martin Brodeur). With a record of 37-20-5, he was able to lead the Leafs to the playoffs. They would go on to be eliminated in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games. Belfour had a record of 3-4, a GAA of 2.71 and a Sv% of .915. While those numbers are not as great as his regular season stats, they are still pretty good.


In his second year with the Leafs, Belfour had a record of 34-19-6. He posted a GAA of 2.13 and a Sv% of .918, ranking eighth in both categories. Also, he had 10 shutouts in 59 games, behind only Brodeur who had 11 shutouts in 75 games. Belfour was once again able to lead the Leafs to the playoffs. After beating the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in the first round, they would be eliminated by the Flyers, for the second year in a row. Belfour posted a record of 6-7. He was very solid in net, for the Leafs, posting a GAA of 2.09 and a Sv% of .929.


During the lockout in 2004-05, Belfour decided to not play causing him to lose a lot of momentum going into the 2005-06 season. With a record of 22-22-4, he was not able to help the Leafs make the playoffs. His GAA of 3.29 and .892 Sv% both ranked 24th among starting goaltenders. Both stats dropped by a large margin from his previous season making many believe that he should have played overseas during the lockout to stay active. With his poor performance, the Leafs GM, John Ferguson Jr. decided to release Belfour to free agency.


Belfour had a final record of 93-61-15 in 170 games with the Leafs. He ranks 13th all-time in games played for the Leafs but ranks eighth in all-time wins, showing how great of a goalie he really was. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011 with former teammates Doug Gilmour (for one game) and Joe Nieuwendyk. Initially being undrafted, Belfour proved everybody wrong. He won the Stanley Cup in 1999 with the Dallas Stars and then went on to be inducted into the HHOF.

Next: What Are the Odds?

Join me tomorrow for another comparison between the past and present Leafs player.

*stats from &