Could this be the season when the Detroit Red Wings end their lengthy Calder Trophy drought? It’s been 56 years since Detroit goaltender Roger Crozier won the Calder as NHL rookie of the year following the 1964-65 season. In fact, Detroit’s five Calder wins are the fewest among the so-called Original Six NHL franchises.
The Wings certainly won’t suit up the betting favorite to win the award. That will be Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caufield. He joined the Habs late in the regular season and enjoyed a sold playoff as Montreal rolled to the Stanley Cup final.
However, with defenseman Moritz Seider, goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic and perhaps even forwards Lucas Raymond or Jonatan Berggren, the Wings list no shortage of potential Calder contenders. A finalist for the Calder last season, Nedeljkovic only played 23 games in 2021, meaning he still qualifies as an NHL rookie.
Let’s look back at the five who brought the Calder to Hockeytown.
Roger Crozier (1964-65)
An acrobatic sensation between the pipes, Crozier was the most recent NHL goalie to play in all of his team’s games during a single season. He saw duty in each of Detroit’s 70 games in 1964-65.
— Tom's Old Days (@sigg20) August 6, 2021
Replacing the legendary Terry Sawchuk in the Detroit goal, Crozier led the NHL in wins (40), shutouts (six) and minutes played (4,168). The Wings finished in first place and Crozier was named to the NHL First All-Star Team.
Glenn Hall (1955-56)
Taking over for Sawchuk after the Hall of Famer’s first departure from Detroit (he’d be reacquired in 1957), Hall tied a Red Wings franchise record with 12 shutouts. Hall backstopped Detroit to first-place finish.
Hall was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team. He ended up playing all 70 games, launching what would be an NHL-record 502 consecutive starts. Hall led the NHL in ties (16), minutes played (4,200) and shutouts.
Terry Sawchuk (1950-51)
During the 1950s, Detroit employed three Hall of Fame goalies, Sawchuk, Hall and Harry Lumley. Sawchuk replaced the traded Lumley this season in goal for the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
He finished with an NHL-leading 44 wins and 11 shutouts, starting all 70 games for the first-place Red Wings. Sawchuk was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team.
Jim McFadden (1947-48)
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, McFadden’s family moved to Canada and he took up Canada’s game. The center turned in a dominant rookie campaign.
McFadden led all rookies in goals (24) and points (48), finishing with 14 more than runner-up Pete Babando of the Boston Bruins. The Detroit forward was also the NHL rookie leader in power-play goals (six) and points (12) and game-winning goals (five).
Carl Voss (1932-33)
The NHL rookie award was introduced this season. The honor wouldn’t be renamed the Calder Trophy until 1936.
American-born center Voss began the 1932-33 campaign with the New York Rangers, collecting 2-1-3 totals through 10 games. Dealt to the Red Wings, Voss put up 6-15-21 numbers in 38 games and ended up leading all NHL rookies in scoring.
Carl Voss was the first winner of the Calder Trophy. Unlike today, the winner was chosen by #NHL president Frank Calder. He later became an NHL referee and inducted into the HHOF as a builder. pic.twitter.com/WWvDJ0pm7c
— Jen (@NHLhistorygirl) May 4, 2020
He gained greater fame following his playing days. Voss served for 15 seasons as NHL Referee-In-Chief. In 1974, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder.
Also a outstanding football player, Voss is among three men to have won both a Stanley Cup (1937-38 Chicago Blackhawks) and a Canadian football Grey Cup (Queen’s, 1924) as a player. As well, he was the first player ever signed to a contract by the Toronto Maple Leafs.