Produced on December 28, 1929, in Winnipeg, Canada, ice hockey great Terry Sawchuk weathered the departures of two brothers as a kid. He won four Stanley Cups and several goaltending prizes using the Detroit Red Wings as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL, although dangers of the sport left him in constant pain. Several weeks after fighting using a teammate, he died from a pulmonary embolism on May 31, 1970.
Showcasing an acrobatic power to cease opposing shots, “Ukey” was honored together with the Calder Trophy as the top rookie of the 1950-51 season. He also won the Vezina Award as the highest goaltender three times between 1952 and ’55, helping the Red Wings get three Stanley Cup titles throughout that period.
A astonishing trade sent Sawchuk to the Boston Bruins in 1955. His second season in Boston proved difficult, as he got mononucleosis. Around this time he considered retirement, however he was reinvigorated following a trade brought him back to Detroit. Sawchuk started wearing a mask in the beginning of the 1962-63 season, though by that point he was already severely scarred from taking errant pucks to the face area. He was also in constant pain from years of damage at his place as well as a car crash that left him with torso injuries. Also, he acquired a reputation as a big drinker and surly character.
Claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs before the 196465 campaign, Sawchuk went to share the Vezina Trophy that season with teammate Johnny Bower. He loved one more move in the limelight in the 1967 playoffs, helping Toronto pull out a Stanley Cup triumph. Sawchuk joined the La Kings after that season, and after that spent one more as a back-up in Detroit before concluding his career with all the New York Rangers in 1969 70. Sawchuk was sharing a home with Rangers teammate Ron Stewart when the two got into a fight in April 1970. He died from a pulmonary embolism on May 31, 1970.
Sawchuk was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1971, the standard three-year waiting period waived for his induction. In 1994, the Red Wings retired his No. 1 jersey. His record of 447 regular season triumphs was broken by Patrick Roy in October 2000, and his mark of 103 shutouts was topped nine years after by Martin Brodeur, but a lot of them still consider Sawchuk to function as the best goaltender in the game’s history.