Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Roger Crozier was born in Bracebridge, Ontario and began his professional career playing goaltender for the St. Catherines Teepees of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1959 to 1962. In 1960, Crozier led his team to the Memorial Cup Championship.
Crozier made his NHL debut in 1963 with the Detroit Red Wings. In his rookie season of 1964-1965, Crozier started all 70 games for the Red Wings leading the league with 40 wins and 6 shutouts. At the end of the season, Crozier was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy for outstanding rookie. The following season, 1965-1966, Crozier and the Red Wings made it to the Stanley Cup finals against the Montreal Canadiens. Detroit lost the series in six games, but Crozier's heroic efforts in net earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup playoff Most Valuable Player. He was the first player to will the Conn Smythe Trophy in a losing effort. Crozier played eight seasons with Detroit missing portions of three seasons due to pancreatitis.
In the 1970 Expansion Draft, Buffalo Sabres General Manager Punch Imlach drafted Tom Webster from Boston and promply dealt him to Detroit for Crozier. Crozier started the Sabres' first NHL game ever on October 10, 1970 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crozier turned away 35 of 36 shots to earn the franchise's first victory 2-1. His early years in Buffalo were marked by games with high numbers of shots. During the 1971-1972 season, he turned away 2,190 shots, which is still the team's record for shots faced by a goalie in a single season.
In the 1975-1976 season, Crozier and Gerry Desjardins shared goaltending duties as the Sabres won the Adams Division for the first time in franchise history. The Sabres went on to face the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup finals. Crozier played in two games in the series which the Sabres lost in six.
In 1977, Crozier was traded to the Washington Capitals where he retired after three games. He served in the Capital's front office and eventually became General Manager in the 1981-1982 season, serving as head coach for one game.
In 1980, Crozier was the first player inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame.
In his NHL career, he played in 518 regular season games, earning 206 wins and 30 shutouts. He had a career goals against average of 3.04.
Roger Crozier died after a fight with cancer on January 11, 1996. In 2000, the NHL unveiled the Roger Crozier Award given annually to the goaltender who posts the best save percentage in each season.
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