Does Frank Brimsek Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Nicknamed “Mr. Zero,” was the first great American goaltender and the first American NHLer inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He won three awards and made the end-of-season All Star Team in 80% of his (very few) seasons in the NHL.

But he was rarely the best goaltender in a small NHL and a lot of his reputation seems to rest on his rookie season, in which he won the Calder and the Vezina (when it was the Jennings) and led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup.

So, does Frank Brimsek actually belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame for his NHL accomplishments?

Listen here:

Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 1966 Part 1: Frank Brimsek, Toe Blake, Babe Pratt

Frank Brimsek’s Career:

  • NHL: 1938-43; 1945-50; 10 seasons, all as a starter
  • Totals:
    • 252W (3rd All Time – 1st American – at his retirement – Broda, Thompson),
    • 182L (5th All Time – 1st American – at his retirement – Worters, Broda, Roach, Thompson),
    • 80T (3rd All Time – 1st American – at his retirement – Broda, Worters; 5th American All Time – Vanbiesbrouck, Miller, Barrasso, Quick);
    • 40 SO (11th All Time – 1st American – at his retirement);
    • 95.4 Point Shares (3rd All Time – 1st American at his retirement – Broda, Thompson) in
    • 31,230 Minutes (3rd All Time – 1st American at his retirement – Broda, Thompson) over
    • 514 Games
  • Averages:
    • 2.70 GAA (12th All Time at his retirement – 17 qualifying players)
  • Era: Of the 14 goalies to play in at least 82 games between 1938 and 1950, Brimsek is
    • 1st in Wins
    • 1st/last in Losses
    • 2nd in Ties
    • 1st/last in Goals Against
    • 6th in GAA
    • 2nd in Shutouts
    • 1st in Minutes
    • 2nd in Point Shares
    • 1st in Games Played
  • Season average: 25-18-8; 4 Shutouts; 9.5 PS
  • 82-game average: 40-29-13; 6 Shutouts; 15.2 PS
  • Playoffs:
    • 32W (2nd All Time at his retirement – Broda, behind by 23),
    • 36L (t-1st/last All Time at his retirement);
    • 2 SO (t-16th All Time at his retirement) in
    • 4395 Minutes (2nd All Time at his retirement – Broda, behind by nearly 1400) over
    • 68 playoff Games (2nd All Time at his retirement – Broda, behind by 23);
    • Averages:
      • 2.54 (t-10th All Time/last among qualifying players at his retirement)
    • Era: Of the six goalies to play in at least 20 playoff games between 1938 and 1950, Brimsek is
      • 2nd in playoff Wins (behind by 19)
      • 1st/last in playoff Losses
      • 1st/last in playoff Goals Against
      • T-4th (2nd last) in playoff GAA
      • t-4th/last in playoff Shutouts
      • 2nd in playoff Minutes (behind by nearly 800 minutes)
      • 2nd in playoff Games Played (behind by 14)
  • Adjustment for Era:
    • 2.78 Adjusted GAA
    • Doesn’t qualify for other adjustments because shots weren’t tracked consistently
  • Trades:
    • Traded at 34 to the Black Hawks for cash

Frank Brimsek’s Accomplishments:

  • NHL:
    • Vezina (‘39, ‘42)
    • Calder (‘39)
    • All Star:
      • 1st Team All Star twice
      • 2nd Team All Star six times
      • 2 All Star Game appearances
    • Top Player:
      • Best Player (by Point Shares) three times (‘39, ‘41, ‘42) – t-8th most ever
      • Top 5 eight times – t-6th most ever
      • Top 10 nine times
      • Best Goalie (by GPS) three times (‘39, ‘41, ‘42) – t-9th most ever
      • Top 5 nine times
      • Top 10 every season he was in the league
    • Wins:
      • Led the league in Wins twice
      • Top 5 ten times (t-8th most ever) or every season he was in the league
    • Ties:
      • Led the league in Ties four times (t-most ever)
      • Top 5 eight times (t-8th most ever)
      • Top 10 every season he was in the league
    • Goals:
      • Total Goals Against:
        • Led the league in Goals Against once
        • Top 5 eight times (ninth most ever)
        • Top 10 every season he was in the league
      • GAA:
        • Leaderboards:
          • Led the league in GAA twice (t-9th most ever)
          • Top 5 nine times – (9th most ever)
          • Top 10 every season he was in the league
        • Average:
          • 1.75 and under once (1 of only 22 goalies ever)
          • 2 and under twice (1 of only 23 goalies ever)
    • Shutouts:
      • Leaderboards:
        • Led the league in Shutouts twice
        • Top 5 ten times (t-7th most ever) or every season he was in the league
      • Single-season totals:
        • 10 shutouts once (1 of only 14 goalies ever at his retirement)
        • 5 shutouts four times (1 of 11 goalies ever at his retirement)
    • Minutes:
      • Leaderboards:
        • Lead the league in Minutes four times (t-7th ever)
        • Top 5 eight times
        • Top 10 every season he was in the league
      • Single-season Totals:
        • 4,000 minutes once (1 of only 4 goalies ever at his retirement – Broda, Gelineau, Rayner)
    • Games:
      • Led the league in Games Played six times (t-9th most ever)
      • Top 5 8 times
      • Top 10 every season he was in the league
  • IAHL:
    • 1st Team All Star once
  • EAHL:
    • George L. Davis (‘36)
    • 2nd Team All Star once

Frank Brimsek’s Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • Best Player? (led the playoffs in games, wins, goals against, shutouts and minutes – played every game) on one Champion (‘41 Bruins)
    • Starter (led playoffs in games, wins and minutes – played every game) on one Champion (‘39 Bruins)
    • Starter (led playoffs in games, losses, goals against and minutes – played every game) on one Runner Up (‘46 Bruins)
    • Starter (led playoffs in losses and goals against – played every game) on one Runner Up (‘38 Bruins)
    • Starter (played every game) on four Final Fours (‘42, ‘47, ‘48, ‘49 Bruins)
    • Starter (led playoffs in losses – played every game) on one Final Four (‘40 Bruins)
  • IAHL:
    • Starter (5-2, 1.86 GAA, 0 SO) on one Calder Cup Champion (‘38 Reds)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *