Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Terrence Gordon “Terry” Sawchuk (1929-1970)

Hockey goalie.

Born at Winnipeg on 28 December 1929, he started skating at the age of four. He played junior hockey in the city and in Galt, Ontario, before turning professional in 1946 with Omaha. He joined the Detroit Red Wings as goalie in 1949, winning the Calder Cup as rookie of the year. In his first five years in the NHL, Sawchuk won the Vezina Trophy (for fewest goals allowed per game) three times, producing 56 shutouts. His style was based on superb reflexes and much acrobatics.

Like many goalies, however, Sawchuk had trouble living with the psychological stresses. Especially after expansion he shifted from team to team, although he won one of his five Vezina trophies with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1965 and the Stanley Cup with the same team in 1967. He holds many NHL records, including a record 103 shutouts that is more secure than almost any other career record in sports. Sawchuk had a lifetime goals-against average of 2.52 per game.

He died at Long Beach, New York on 31 May 1970 from injuries suffered accidentally in a scuffle with a teammate. A Winnipeg hockey arena is named after him. He is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame (1971), Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (1982), and Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame (1985).

Sources:

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Jim Ingebrigtsen.

Page revised: 25 August 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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