Found February 05, 2012 on Fox Sports Southwest:
PLAYERS: Ed Belfour
TEAMS: Minnesota Wild
Los_angeles_kings_c98f
There's still so much to like about Ed Belfour. Maybe it's the sheer fact that he has that whole every man persona that seems to truly resonate with fans of any sport. That appeal was apparent on Saturday night in Dallas when he was honored prior to a game between the Stars and Minnesota Wild for his 2011 induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Between 1997 and 2002, "Eddie the Eagle" was a huge fan favorite in Big D and the fans at American Airlines Center definitely still show him much love with chants like "Eddie, Eddie" and "Eddie's Better," which they serenaded him with prior to his remarks to a sellout crowd. And that was a big part of his appeal because for all of his crazy antics off the ice, one thing was always clear about this talented netminder it was that he always appreciated the fans. It didn't matter whether it was in Chicago, where he started his NHL career, San Jose, Dallas, Toronto or Florida, where his 16-year run in the league came to an end in 2007, he always had a soft spot in his heart those who supported the game and him in particular. "Yeah, that's definitely one of those adrenaline builders. It always makes you want to play that much better," Belfour said of the support he received from fans. But another endearing thing about the Hall of Fame goaltender is the path he took to reach hockey's most hallowed halls. After helping lead North Dakota to a national championship in 1987, he found himself undrafted but the Blackhawks signed him as a free agent and the rest is history. He spent much of the next two seasons with the Saginaw Hawks of the now defunct International Hockey League and earned IHL Rookie of the Year honors in 1988 and was also a First Team All-Star during his only full season in the "I". Belfour spent much of the 1989-90 season with the Canadian National Team before Chicago recalled him for the playoffs. And in the first nine postseason starts of his career, he gave a hint of things to come, going 4-2 with a goals-against-average of just 2.49. The following year, he became the starter in the Windy City and after going 43-19-7 with 7 shutouts and a goals-against-average of 2.47 won the 1991 Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie and also captured the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender. In 1992, Belfour became an NHL All-Star for the first of six times in his career. All told, he spent much of his first seven seasons in Chicago before being traded to San Jose midway through the 1996-97 season. His short stint with the Sharks didn't go so well but Dallas wanted him nonetheless and in 1997, he joined the Stars. He was a big reason why the Stars won their first-ever Stanley Cup in 1999 and also had considerable success under then head coach Ken Hitchcock. But after Hitchcock was fired in 2001, he knew his time in Big D was nearing an end. Belfour signed with Toronto in 2002 and would spend three seasons with the Leafs before closing out his career with the Panthers in the 2006-07 season. He did spend one season abroad with a second-division team in Sweden in 2007-08, but for the most part, he has been enjoying life after hockey since hanging up his mask and goalie pads and continues to live in the Dallas area, where he recently built a house. Much of his time is now spent in the outdoors as Belfour is an avid hunter, fisherman and general outdoorsman. "Yeah, during hunting season, we hunt deer and you can hunt wild boar all year around and coyotes. Enjoy doing that too," he said. "Just pretty much taking it easy, enjoying my time-a little bit of fishing, camping, outdoor stuff and hunting, enjoying my family and friends." But he's also a dad with one son, Dayn, playing college hockey and another just learning to skate. "He (my oldest is) at UNO (Nebraska-Omaha) and really happy about that. He's had a few starts this year. He's been working hard and hopefully he'll be successful. Hopefully he'll learn something at school. That's important too," Belfour said. However, he also enjoys watching his four-year-old son just learning how to skate. "I've got a little guy," Belfour said. "He's four now and had him on the ice a little bit too. Enjoy watching him skate and learn how to skate." And whenever he can offer some sage advice to either of his sons, he's more than happy to do and finds that experience very rewarding. "Yeah, it's definitely nice when you can work with them a little bit and when you see them do something out on the ice that you taught them, it's definitely a good feeling to know that you've helped somebody in a positive manner," Belfour said. So, with what appears to be a love of teaching the game, could a gig as an NHL goaltending coach be in his future? Well, he did serve in that capacity for a short time with St. Louis several years back but he wouldn't rule out giving it another whirl in the future. "Maybe someday, been building a house the last year and a half has kept me real busy. Now that that's done, maybe I can look at something like that," Belfour said. With the incredible career he had in his 963 regular-season games and another 161 in the playoffs, one might think that he would look back on his 16 seasons in the NHL with an incredible sense of accomplishment, especially considering he wasn't even selected in the 1987 NHL Draft. But instead of saying he did it, he looks back and gives much of the credit to his incredible career to where he feels like it needs to be, the teams he played on. "I just feel fortunate that I had a chance to play on so many good teams. You have success when you're playing with good teams, good coaches and good organizations," Belfour said. As far as his induction last fall into the Hockey Hall of Fame, for this almost incomparable goaltender, the most memorable part of that experience was getting to share such a special moment with all those people who had helped him reach such incredible heights as a netminder in the National Hockey League. "That was awesome. It was a great weekend, first class, treated us right from the time we got there," Belfour said. "My mom and dad and all my friends were there. It was just overall a great weekend and something I'll never forget."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Wild sign Prosser to a two-year, one-way deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Wild have signed 25-year old defenseman Nate Prosser to a two-year, one-way contact extension. Prosser, an Elk River native, has six assists in 23 games for Minnesota this season, 20:37 minutes of ice time, fourth among all rookies. The extension begins next season and is a one-way contract, meaning Prosser's time with the Wild is now secure after...

Wild sign Prosser to 2-year extension

The Minnesota Wild have signed defenseman Nate Prosser to a two-year contract extension. The 25-year-old Prosser has six assists in 23 games for the Wild this season. The Wild are 14-7-2 with the rookie in the lineup, and coach Mike Yeo has praised his poise and ability to implement the new system that has been installed. The team announced the deal on Monday. Prosser grew up...

Wild sign D Nate Prosser to 2-year extension

The Minnesota Wild have signed defenseman Nate Prosser to a two-year contract extension. The 25-year-old Prosser has six assists in 23 games for the Wild this season. The Wild are 14-7-2 with the rookie in the lineup, and coach Mike Yeo has praised his poise and ability to implement the new system that has been installed. The team announced the deal on Monday. Prosser grew up...

Wild gear up for stretch run

MONDAY'S STORY LINE:Darroll Powe summed things up succinctly Monday, noting that he and his Minnesota Wild teammates "have dealt with a lot already this season." The Wild have been through a lot of good and bad in the 2011-12 campaign. The bad, was a lost month from Dec. 14-Jan. 19; in that time, the team lost several key players to injury and put up awoeful2-10-4...

Wild rookie D Prosser inks two-year extension

The Minnesota Wild signed rookie defenseman Nate Prosser to a two-year contract extension on Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed. Prosser, 25, has collected six assists and averaged 20:17 of ice time in 21 games for the Wild this season.

Wild sign D Prosser

The Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Nate Prosser to a two-year contract extension on Monday.

Zidlicky unchained, will return to the lineup tonight at Dallas

Marek Zidlicky, scratched four consecutive games, returns in Dallas

Prosser signs two-year extension with Wild

The Minnesota Wild have signed defenseman Nate Prosser to a two-year contract extension.

Change of scenery might be answer for Wild’s Marek Zidlicky

During a recent edition of SportsNet‘s HockeyCentral Trade Tracker, the panel discussed the possibility of Minnesota Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky being dealt before the February 27 trade deadline. The 35-year-old defenseman has had...

Bill Meltzer: Star Gazing: 2/5/12

It wasn't exactly a statement game, but the Dallas Stars skated off with two desperately needed points after tying the Minnesota Wild, 1-1, and then prevailing in a shootout after a successful late-game penalty kill got the game to overtime. Kari Lehtonen was tremendous in goal for the Stars, who honored Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Ed Belfour in a pregame ceremony. The big...

Wild look to beat up on lowly Blue Jackets

By MIKE LIPKA, STATS EditorThe Minnesota Wild have finally been playing better hockey on the road, and a visit to the NHL's worst team could help extend that trend.The return of their captain figures to provide an even bigger boost.Mikko Koivu may be back in the lineup Tuesday night as Minnesota looks for a third straight win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.The Wild's promising...

Wild-Blue Jackets Preview

The Minnesota Wild have finally been playing better hockey on the road, and a visit to the NHL's worst team could help extend that trend. The return of their captain figures to provide an even bigger boost. Mikko Koivu may be back in the lineup Tuesday night as Minnesota looks for a third straight win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Wild's promising start looked like...

StarGazing - February 4th vs. Minnesota Wild

SATURDAY’S GAME: Dallas Stars (26-22-2, 54 points – 3rd, Pacific Division) vs. Minnesota Wild (25-19-7, 57 points – 2nd, Northwest Division) ...

Minnesota Wild (25-19-7) at Dallas Stars (26-22-2), 8 p.m. (ET)

The Wild are coming off one road victory over a team that is chasing them in the Western Conference standings. Minnesota hopes for similar results tonight, but to do that it will have to beat the Stars in Dallas for the first time in almost nine years.
Wild News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.