What does the Vezina Trophy mean?

The Vezina Trophy is one of the more prestigious awards in the NHL. Here's what winning the award means for a hockey player.
Montreal Canadiens v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Five
Montreal Canadiens v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Five / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

NHL awards season is upon us, with the winners set to be announced beginning on May 14. The NHL rewards players for their hard work and contributions throughout the season, giving them the hardware to reflect their dedication. There are numerous awards for different accomplishments, ranging from the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year) to the Hart Trophy (MVP, not named after Bret "The Hitman" Hart).

However, there's one award that stands out from the rest. The award honors a specific position, rewarding the winner for keeping as many pucks out as possible. The Vezina Trophy is what's being discussed here, with past winners being Dominik Hasek, Martin Brodeur, and Henrik Lundqvist.

What is the Vezina Trophy about?

The Vezina Trophy is awarded to the best goaltender in the NHL for the season. That goalie exemplifies being an unstoppable force in net, stopping any shots that comes his way. For this season, the nominees are Connor Hellebuyck (who won in 2020), Thatcher Demko (never won), and Sergei Bobrovsky (won in 2013 and 2017).

The trophy is named after Georges Vezina, a former Montreal Canadiens goaltender who played from 1910 to 1925. The Canadian goalie died from tuberculosis in 1926, with the reward created for the best goaltender after 1926-1927. Last season's winner was Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins (.938 save%, 1.89 GA/G), who was a key component in Boston's historic regular-season run.

The most career Vezina Trophy wins have been by Jacques Plante. The former Canadiens goaltender won the award seven times, with Dominik Hasek winning the award six times. Speaking of the Canadiens, Montreal goaltenders have won the award 29 times, most of any NHL team. The most recent Canadien to win the award was Carey Price, who was victorious in 2015.

Has a Vegas Golden Knights goalie won the award?

Yes! There's been a Vegas Golden Knights goaltender who's won the Vezina Trophy. Many fans are familiar with this goalie, for he started off his Vegas career as an "Original Misfit." His name? Marc-Andre Fleury, who won the award in 2021.

During his 2020-21 season, he had a GA/G of 1.98 and a save percentage of .928. He also made the NHL All-Star Team and won the William Jennings trophy for the fewest goals allowed during the season (minimum of 25 games played). In essence, it was a season to remember for "Flower" as he led the Vegas Golden Knights to a semifinal appearance that season.

Although there are no Golden Knights goaltenders nominated for the award, Vegas will have Fleury to set the standard for goaltending in Sin City. Could fans see either Logan Thompson or Adin Hill nominated for the award in the future? Stay tuned.