The Jennings Trophy is an annual award in the National Hockey League (NHL) presented to the goaltenders who have played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against them during the regular season. The trophy was first awarded in the 1981-82 NHL season, and it is named after William M. Jennings, the former co-owner of the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings.
The origins of the Jennings Trophy can be traced back to the early 1980s when the NHL was going through a period of change. The league was expanding rapidly, and there was a growing concern among the owners and the league officials that the increased number of teams would lead to a drop in the quality of the game. To address this concern, the NHL introduced a number of new rules and regulations aimed at improving the quality of play and making the game more exciting for the fans.
One of the key changes that the NHL introduced was implementing a new award to recognize the outstanding defensive play of the league’s goaltenders. The idea behind the award was to encourage teams to focus more on their defensive play and to reward the goaltenders who played a crucial role in keeping their teams competitive.
The first winner of the Jennings Trophy was Denis Herron of the Montreal Canadiens, who played 33 games and had a goals-against average of 2.40. His teammate, Richard Sevigny, played in 27 games and had a goals-against average of 2.22. Together, they allowed just 177 goals against, the fewest of any NHL team that season.
Over the years, the Jennings Trophy has become one of the most prestigious awards in the NHL, and it is highly coveted by goaltenders and teams alike. The trophy has been won by some of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history, including Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and Dominik Hasek.
The rules for the Jennings Trophy have changed over the years. In the first few seasons, the trophy was awarded based on the fewest goals allowed by a team. However, in the 1998-99 season, the rules were changed to require goaltenders to play at least 25 games for the team with the fewest goals allowed. This change was made to ensure that the trophy was awarded to goaltenders who significantly impacted their team’s success.
In recent years, the Jennings Trophy has been dominated by the goaltending duo of Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner. Crawford won the trophy twice in the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons while playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, and Lehner won the award in the 2018-19 season, also playing for the Blackhawks.
In conclusion, the Jennings Trophy is a relatively new award in the NHL, but it has quickly become one of the most prestigious awards in the league. The trophy has recognized the outstanding defensive play of some of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history and has encouraged teams to focus more on their defensive play. The Jennings Trophy remains an important part of the NHL’s annual awards ceremony and will continue to be a highly coveted trophy for goaltenders in the years to come.
- 1981-82: Richard Sevigny and Denis Herron, Montreal Canadiens
- 1982-83: Pete Peeters and Rollie Melanson, Boston Bruins
- 1983-84: Al Jensen and Pat Riggin, Washington Capitals
- 1984-85: Darren Jensen and Pelle Lindbergh, Philadelphia Flyers
- 1985-86: Bob Froese and Darren Jensen, Philadelphia Flyers
- 1986-87: Ron Hextall and Darren Jensen, Philadelphia Flyers
- 1987-88: Patrick Roy and Brian Hayward, Montreal Canadiens
- 1988-89: Patrick Roy and Brian Hayward, Montreal Canadiens
- 1989-90: Andy Moog and Rejean Lemelin, Boston Bruins
- 1990-91: Ed Belfour and Dominik Hasek, Chicago Blackhawks
- 1991-92: Patrick Roy and Brian Hayward, Montreal Canadiens
- 1992-93: Ed Belfour and Darren Pang, Chicago Blackhawks
- 1993-94: Dominik Hasek and Grant Fuhr, Buffalo Sabres
- 1994-95: Ed Belfour and Murray Bannerman, Chicago Blackhawks
- 1995-96: Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon, Detroit Red Wings
- 1996-97: Martin Brodeur and Mike Dunham, New Jersey Devils
- 1997-98: Martin Brodeur and Mike Dunham, New Jersey Devils
- 1998-99: Martin Brodeur and Mike Dunham, New Jersey Devils
- 1999-2000: Roman Turek and Grant Fuhr, St. Louis Blues
- 2000-01: Dominik Hasek and Martin Biron, Buffalo Sabres
- 2001-02: Patrick Roy and David Aebischer, Colorado Avalanche
- 2002-03: Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
- 2003-04: Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
- 2004-05: No winner (season canceled due to lockout)
- 2005-06: Miikka Kiprusoff and Jamie McLennan, Calgary Flames
- 2006-07: Niklas Backstrom and Manny Fernandez, Minnesota Wild
- 2007-08: Dominik Hasek and Chris Osgood, Detroit Red Wings
- 2008-09: Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez, Boston Bruins
- 2009-10: Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg, New Jersey Devils
- 2010-11: Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, Vancouver Canucks
- 2011-12: Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues
- 2012-13: Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, Chicago Blackhawks
- 2013-14: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
- 2014-15: Corey Crawford and Antti Raanta, Chicago Blackhawks
- 2015-16: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
- 2016-17: Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer, Washington Capitals
- 2017-18: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
- 2018-19: Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss, New York Islanders
- 2019-20: Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, Boston Bruins
- 2020-21: Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner, Vegas Golden Knights
- 2021-22: Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen, Carolina Hurricanes