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Manny Legace
Manny Legace
Goaltender
(LEH guh see)
Number: 34
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 200
Catches: Left
Born: Feb 4, 1973
Birthplace: Toronto, ON, Canada
Acquired: Signed as a free agent by Detroit on August 9, 1999.
Drafted: HFD / 1993 NHL Entry Draft
Round: 8th (188th overall)
Born in Toronto, Manny Legace played Junior C with the Alliston Hornets then competed in the MTHL with the Vaughan Raiders and Thornhill T-Birds. The talented backstopper then enjoyed three excellent seasons with the Niagara Falls Thunder of the OHL. His best year was 1992-93 when he won 22 games for the Thunder, was named to the league's First All-Star Team and was drafted 188th overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1993 NHL entry draft. That year he also led Canada to the gold medal at the World Junior Championships and was named to the Tournament All-Star Team.

After spending the 1993-94 season with the Canadian national team, Legace went on to play several years in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons. His finest performance came in 1995-96 when he led the league with five shutouts and a 2.27 goals against average. He also won the Baz Bastien Memorial trophy as the top goalie in the AHL and was voted on to the league's First All-Star Team. In June, 1997, Legace's rights were transferred to the Carolina Hurricanes when the Hartford franchise relocated. After another year in the minors with the IHL's Las Vegas Thunder, Legace was traded to the Los Angeles Kings.

Legace played 17 games for the Kings in 1998-99 and spent the rest of his time with the IHL's Long Beach Ice Dogs. In August, 1999 he signed with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent and won 17 games for the IHL's Manitoba Moose in 1999-00. He also went 4-0-0 in brief recall to Motown which put him in a good light with management when the back up position to Chris Osgood opened up the next year. Playing with confidence behind the Wings' steady defensive system, Legace posted two shutouts, a 2.05 goals against average, and a 24-5-5 record.

After the Wings acquired Dominik Hasek in the summer of 2001, Legace and the rest of the team felt strong about the team's chances at capturing yet another Stanley Cup. With Hasek under contract, the Wings further helped their chances when then signed snipers Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull. All the ingrediences were in place and the Wings went on to eliminate Legace's old team, the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup finals.

Capturing his first Stanley Cup in 2002, Legace and his teammates looked to ride the wave of success in to the 2002-03 season. However, with the loss of Dominik Hasek to retirement and captain Steve Yzerman recovering from knee surgery, the team made a move and signed free agent netminder Curtis Joseph in the off season.

Even with the signings of Hasek and Joseph, Legace continued to be one of the top back up goaltenders in the league, and had only two losing seasons in nine years of professional hockey. In 2003-04, Legace took over the number one job in Detroit after the injuries limited Dominik Hasek to 14 games and Curtis Joseph to 31. In his first full season as the number one guy, Legace finished the year with a 23-10-5 record.

The following season Legace would start 51 games with the Red Wings, however the club was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the third year in a row.

During the off-season, Legace was not offered a contract from the Red Wings and as a result signed as a free agent with the St.Louis Blues.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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