Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
"The Eagle" was born in Carman, Manitoba and grew up playing hockey. He played junior hockey before going to the University of North Dakota where he helped the school win the NCAA championship in the 1986-87 season. The following year, Belfour signed as a free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks, alternating time between them and the Saginaw Hawks of the International Hockey League.
In the 1989-90 season, Belfour began with the Canadian Olympic team, but was recalled by the Blackhawks for their postseason and set a 4-2 postseason mark with a 2.49 GAA. The next season, Belfour became the starting goalie, notching 43 victories in 74 games, finishing the season with a 2.47 GAA. For his success, received the Calder Memorial Trophy for outstanding play by a rookie, the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender and the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest team goals-against. He would win the Vezina Trophy again in 1993 and the Jennings Trophy in 1993, 1995 and 1999.
However, by the 1995-96 season, tension was forming between Belfour and backup goalie, Jeff Hackett . The tension finally boiled over and Belfour was traded to the San Jose Sharks midway through the 1996-97 season.
Following a dismal half-season with the Sharks, Belfour signed as a free agent with the Dallas Stars on July 2, 1997. During the season, Belfour played 61 games and had an astonishing 1.88 GAA. The next season, Belfour helped the Dallas Stars to their first Stanley Cup, beating the Buffalo Sabres in six games. He was in goal, however, when the Stars lost the Cup the next year in double-overtime to the New Jersey Devils.
Following that season, the Stars began began to play poorly and there was a falling out between then-Stars coach, Ken Hitchcock and GM Bob Gainey. Belfour was also being pressured by back-up Marty Turco. Eventually Hitchcock was fired, Gainey stepped down and Belfour went to the Maple Leafs for the 2002-03 season.
In his first season with the Leafs, Belfour played 62 games, winning 37 and had a very good 2.26 GAA, but the Leafs were bounced from the playoffs by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round. He was nominated for a Veznia, but lost to Martin Brodeur. The next year in Toronto his solid play continued despite back problems. That year the Leafs advanced to the second round of the playoffs before again losing to Philadelphia.
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