Terry Sawchuk was widely acknowledged as one of the greatest goaltenders ever to play hockey; Sawchuk had won more games and accumulated more shutouts than any other goaltender in the history of the sport. Sawchuk won an unprecedented three Rookie of the Year awards in professional hockey: the United States Hockey League prize with Omaha in 1947-48, the Dudley Garrett Award with the Indianapolis Caps of the American Hockey League in 1948-49, and the Calder Trophy as a member of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League.
Sawchuk's greatest achievement was his record of 103 shutouts during his twenty year hockey career, which eclipsed the former record held by George Hainsworth of the Montreal Canadiens. As well, Sawchuk played in a record 971 games and attained an astonishing 2.52 goals-against-average. Sawchuk's exceptional skill earned him four Vezina Trophies as the top goaltender in the N.H.L., three while with Detroit and one as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sawchuk's ability led to his three time selection as a first team all-star from 1950-53 and four time selection as a second team all-star from 1953-55, 1958-59, and 1962-63.
In 1967, Sawchuk's play helped the Maple Leafs defeat the Chicago Black Hawks in the Stanley Cup final. In recognition of Sawchuk's contribution, the team awarded him the J.B. Bickell Memorial Trophy which acknowledged either a tremendous feat, one season of spectacular play, or remarkable service to the club over a period of time. Terrance Gordon Sawchuk's awards were received posthumously, including his inductions to the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, the Tribune Sports Hall of Fame, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame (1971), as well as selection as Manitoba's Hockey Player of the Century in 1974 (as part of Winnipeg's Centennial) and again in 2000 (to mark the new millennium).