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Roger Crozier
Roger Crozier
Goaltender
(KROH zyuhr)
Number: 1
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 165
Catches: Right
Born: Mar 16, 1942
Birthplace: Bracebridge, ON, Canada
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Acquired: Traded to Detroit by Chicago with Ron Ingram for Howie Young on June 5, 1963.
Born in Bracebridge, Ontario on March 16 1942 goaltender Roger Crozier made his NHL debut when Detroit Red Wings star netminder Terry Sawchuck was felled by injury. Crozier played the last 15 games of the season for Detroit and impressed the brass enough that exposed Sawchuk in the waiver draft. When Sawchuck was claimed by the Maple Leafs, Crozier was handed the starting job.

Crozier put together an incredible rookie season, playing 70 games while winning a league-leading 40 of them as well as leading the NHL in shutouts with six. Crozier was named to the First All-Star Team as well as being anointed the leagues top rookie. Crozier, who suffered from pancreaitis missed the beginning of the 1965-66 season, but when he returned he was able to deliver a worthy encore to his solid rookie campaign. Again Crozier led the league in games played and shutouts and his solid play led the Wings to the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals. Though they fell to the Montreal Canadiens, Crozier was named the playoff MVP in defeat.

Injuries and illness kept Crozier from building on his early success and in 1970 he was traded to the expansion Buffalo Sabres. With Buffalo Crozier platooned with Dave Dryden and later Gerry Desjardins. His most successful year with Buffalo came in 1974-75 when he recorded a 17-2 record then teamed with Desjardins to backstop the Sabres to the Stanley Cup Finals in just their fifth season.

In 1976-77 Crozier hadn't played at all when the Buffalo Sabres traded his rights to the Washington Capitals on March 3rd, 1977. He played three contests for the Capitals, the last three games of his career.

With his playing days now behind him, Crozier joined the Capitals front office and briefly served as the clubs General Manager as well as Head Coach for a single game.

Roger Crozier died from cancer on January 11th, 1996. In 2000 the NHL unveiled the Roger Crozier Award given annually to the netminder who posts the best save percentage in each season.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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