Does Lorne “Gump” Worsley Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Gump Worsley spent half his career playing for bad teams.

But then he got traded to the Habs, won some Vezinas, and could have won at least one Conn Smythe if the votes had gone differently.

The big question about Worsley is which part of his career should we take seriously: the regular season goalie without a winning record or the goalie who was among the best in the world for a time?

Listen to us talk about Gump Worsley’s Hall of Fame case here:

Hall of Fame Class of 1980: Gump Worsley, Harry Lumley, Lynn Patrick

Gump Worsley’s Career:

  • NHL: 1952-53, 1954-74, 21 seasons, 12 as a starter, 1 as a 1A, 8 as a backup or injured
  • Totals:
    • 333W (4th All Time at his retirement – Sawchuk, Plante, Hall)
    • 348L (5th All Time – Brodeur, Luongo, Joseph, Meloche – 1st, i.e. last, at his retirement)
    • 149T (5th All Time – Sawchuk, Hall, Brodeur, Esposito – 3rd at his retirement)
    • 43 Shutouts (16th All Time at his retirement),
    • 131.2 Point Shares (21st All Time, 5th at his retirement – Sawchuk, Hall, Plante, Lumley),
    • 197.8* (all but 137 games) Goals Saved Above Average (12th All Time, 4th at his retirement – Plante, Hall, Esposito) in
    • 50,157 Minutes (12th All Time, 3rd at his retirement – Sawchuk, Hall) over
    • 860 Games (3rd All Time at his retirement – Sawchuk, Hall)
  • Averages:
    • 2.87 GAA
    • .914* (all but 123 games) Save Percentage (6th All Time at his retirement)
  • Era: Of the 25 goalies to play in at least 205 games between 1952 and 1974, Worsley is
    • 4th in Wins
    • 1st (last) in Losses
    • 2nd in Ties
    • 1st (last) in Goals Against
    • 7th in Save Percentage
    • 12th in GAA
    • 2nd in Saves
    • 2nd in Shots
    • 4th in GSAA
    • 6th in Shutouts
    • 2nd in Minutes
    • 4th in in Point Shares
    • 2nd in Games Played
  • Season average: 16-17-7, 2 SO in 41 games
  • 82-game average: 32-33-14, 4 SO
  • 3-year peak (1960-63): 24-34-10, 2 SO; 3.11 GAA, .913 SV%, 9.9 PS; 14.7 GSAA
  • Playoffs:
    • 40W (5th All Time at his retirement – Plante, Broda, Sawchuk, Hall)
    • 26L (9th All Time at his retirement)
    • 5 SO (t-11th All Time at his retirement);
    • .911 SV% (t-6th All Time at his retirement),
    • 2.27 GAA (21st All Time at his retirement),
    • -0.5 GSAA in
    • 4081 Minutes (8th All Time at his retirement) over
    • 70 Games (7th All Time at his retirement)
    • Era: Of the 15 goalies to play in at least 20 playoff games between 1952 and 1974, Worsley is
      • 4th in Wins
      • 6th in Losses
      • 12th in Goals Against
      • T-8th in Save Percentage
      • 10th in GAA
      • 5th in Saves
      • 5th in Shots
      • 12th in GSAA
      • T-4th in Shutouts
      • 5th in Minutes
      • 5th in Games
  • Adjustment for Era:
    • .911 SV%
    • 147.6 Goals Vs. Average (19th All Time)
    • 744.5 Goals Vs. Threshold (12th All Time)
  • Trades:
    • Traded at 34 with Dave Balon (24), Leon Rochefort (24) and Leon Ronson (26) to Montreal for Phil Goyette (29), Don Marshall (31) and Jacques Plante (34)
    • Traded at 40 to Minnesota for cash

Gump Worsley’s Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 in Hart voting once
  • Vezina (‘66, ‘68)
  • Calder (‘53)
  • All Star:
    • 1st Team All Star once
    • 2nd Team All Star once
    • 4 All Star Game appearances
  • Top Player:
    • Top 5 Player (by PS) four times (‘59, ‘62, ‘63, ‘66)
    • Top 10 Player seven times (‘56, ‘61, ‘68)
    • Top 5 Goalie (by GPS) ten times (‘55, ‘56, ‘57, ‘58, ‘59, ‘61, ‘62, ‘63, ‘66, ‘68) – t-8th most all time
    • Top 10 Goalie fifteen times (‘53, ‘60, ‘64, ‘65, ‘72) – tied 3rd most all time (Sawchuk, Plante)
  • Wins:
    • Leader-boards:
      • Top 5 in Wins ten times- t-8th most all time
      • Top 10 sixteen times – t-2nd most all time (Sawchuk)
  • Shutouts:
    • Leader-boards:
      • Top 5 nine times
      • Top 10 sixteen times – t-3rd most all time (Sawchuk, Plante)
    • Single-season totals:
      • 5 shutouts twice
  • Shots Against:
    • Led the league in Shots Against four times – 2nd most all time (Esposito)
    • Top 5 eight times – t-3rd most all time (Esposito, Hall)
    • Top 10 ten times – t-7th most all time
  • Saves:
    • Total Saves:
      • Led the league in Saves four times – 2nd most all time (Esposito)
      • Top 5 eight times – t-4th most all time (Hall, Esposito, Plante)
      • Top 10 eight times – t-8th most all time
    • Percentage:
      • Leader-boards:
        • Led the league in Save Percentage once
        • Top 5 eleven times – t-2nd most all time (Hall)
        • Top 10 thirteen times – 4th most all time (Plante, Hall, Roy)
      • Single-season averages:
        • Over .930 once (1 of only 10 goalies ever at his retirement)
        • Over .925 twice (1 of only 7 goalies ever at his retirement)
        • Over .920 six times (1 of only 6 goalies ever, 4 at his retirement – Plante, Hall, Bower)
  • Goals Against:
    • GAA:
      • Leader-boards:
        • Led the league in GAA once
        • Top 5 eight times
        • Top 10 fourteen times – t-5th most all time (Sawchuk, Plante, Hall, Roy)
      • Single-season averages:
        • Under 2 once
        • Under 2.25 twice (1 of only 25 goalies ever at his retirement)
        • Under 2.5 six times (1 of only 15 goalies ever at his retirement)
    • GSAA:
      • Leader-boards:
        • Top 5 in GSAA ten times – t-3rd most all time (Esposito, Hall)
        • Top 10 ten times – t-7 most all time
      • Single-season totals:
        • +30 once (1 of only 8 goalies ever at his retirement)
        • +20 twice (1 of only 10 goalies ever at his retirement)
        • +15 four times (1 of only 7 goalies ever at his retirement)
  • Minutes:
    • Leader-boards:
      • Led the league in Minutes twice
      • Top 5 eight times
      • Top 10 twelve times
    • Single-season totals:
      • +4,000 twice (1 of only 11 goalies ever at his retirement)
  • Adjusted Peak:
    • .913 Save Percentage
    • 132.2 Goals Vs.Average
    • 461.9 Goals Vs. Threshold (14th All Time)

Gump Worsley’s Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • Best Player (led playoffs in wins, save percentage, GAA, shutouts – played every game) on one Champion (‘66 Canadiens)
    • Starter (led playoffs in save percentage, GAA and shutouts) on one Champion (‘65 Canadiens)
    • Starter (led playoffs in wins and shutouts) on one Champion (‘68 Canadiens)
    • Starter (played every game) on two Final Fours (‘57, ‘62 Rangers)
    • Starter (led playoffs in goals against played every game) on one Final Four (‘58 Rangers)
    • 1A on one Champion (‘69 Canadiens) and one Final Four (‘56 Rangers)
    • Backup on two Final Fours (‘67, ‘71 North Stars)

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