THE GLENN HALL FILE:
Born: October 3, 1931
NHL games played: 906 (148 with Red Wings)
1954-55 stats: 2 GP; 120 MIN; 2 GA; 1.00 GAA
CAREER: GAA: 2.49; SHO: 84; W-L-T: 407-326-163
Glenn Hall began his career as if he was going to be nothing more than the answer to a trivia question. He ended it by becoming a Hall of Famer.
Goalie Hall was a 23-year-old promising netminder for the Red Wings in the summer of 1955, but that was enough to make the team confident enough to trade fellow future Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk to the Boston Bruins.
So when Hall began the 1955-56 season, he was mostly known as “the goalie that caused the Red Wings to trade Terry Sawchuk.”
Hall responded by playing all 4200 minutes of the 1955-56 season, leading the NHL in shutouts (12). That performance earned him Rookie of the Year honors (Calder Trophy).
In fact, Glenn Hall stepped between the pipes in October 1955 and didn’t leave until some seven years later. He played in 502 consecutive games, all without a mask. That durability earned him the nickname “Mr. Goalie.”
Hall was widely credited with having developed the “butterfly” style of goaltending that became so popular. He is absolutely considered one of the best goalies in league history.
Hall was abruptly traded by the Red Wings in the summer of 1957. GM Jack Adams was eager to get rid of Ted Lindsay for his union views, so Adams included Hall in a package that sent both players to Chicago. Among the players the Red Wings received in return were Johnny Wilson (himself an Iron Man) and Forbes Kennedy.
Hall was famously known to throw up before every game due to nerves.
Hall’s career extended all the way to 1971 with the St. Louis Blues. He won a Stanley Cup in 1961 with the Black Hawks.
“Our first priority was staying alive,” Hall once said of the goalie fraternity. “Our second was stopping the puck.”
NEXT WEEK: Defenseman Jim Hay.