|5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
184 lb (84 kg)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues
Spruce Grove, ALTA, CAN
|NHL Draft||round 1, 8th overall, 1981
|Pro Career||1981 – 2000|
|Hall of Fame, 2003|
Grant S. Fuhr (born September 28, 1962), is a former goaltender in the National Hockey League and currently the goaltending coach for the Phoenix Coyotes. In 2003, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Born of biracial parents, Fuhr was adopted as a baby and raised in Spruce Grove, Alberta.
In 1979, at the age of seventeen, Fuhr joined the Victoria Cougars of the WHL. After two stellar seasons in Victoria, which included the league championship and a trip to the Memorial Cup in 1981, Fuhr was drafted 8th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Oilers for ten seasons, where he teamed up with Andy Moog for several of them to form one of the most formidable goaltending tandems in history, and won five Stanley Cups. He was the team's starting goaltender on the first four teams, but was injured and did not play in the 1990 playoffs, when the Oilers won for the fifth time. Fuhr played in the National Hockey League All-Star Game in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, and 1989. In 1987, he played in goal for the NHL All-Stars in both games of the Rendez-Vous '87 series against the Soviet National Team. In 1987-88, Fuhr backstopped Canada to a victory at the Canada Cup, playing in all nine games, then played in 75 regular season and 19 playoff games. He won his only Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender that year and finished second in voting for the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP, behind Mario Lemieux and ahead of teammate Wayne Gretzky. He battled shoulder injuries and substance abuse problems at the tail end of his career with Edmonton, and was suspended by the NHL for the first half of the 1990–91 season.
In 1991 Fuhr was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a seven-player deal during the Oilers' post-Gretzky fire sale. After a season and a half in Toronto, he was again traded, this time to the Buffalo Sabres, during the 1992-93 season. In Buffalo, he played a role in the Sabres' dramatic first-round playoff victory over the Boston Bruins, helped instill a winning attitude in the organization, and mentored a young goalie named Dominik Hasek. Fuhr then had a successful 1993–94 season with the Sabres, sharing time in goal with Hasek and winning the William M. Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals scored against in the league with him. However, when Fuhr went down with multiple injuries, Hasek stepped into the starting role, and played well enough to hold onto the job.
With Hasek now ensconced in the Sabres' net, Fuhr was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings, playing briefly with Gretzky again for 14 games. Out of shape and possibly past his prime, his career saw a resurgence when he signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues before the 1995–96 campaign. He played 79 games that season, 76 consecutively, both St. Louis franchise records. The 1996 playoff run for Fuhr ended prematurely as Maple Leafs forward Nick Kypreos ran him in the crease in the first round, causing him to tear several knee ligaments. Jon Casey had to play the rest of the playoffs. They beat Toronto in the first round but Detroit was their next opponent and they didn't even get to the conference finals. Even though over the next three years he became one of the three winningest goaltenders in Blues history (along with Mike Liut and Curtis Joseph), he never quite recovered from the knee injury fully. After the Blues signed Roman Turek as their new number one goaltender in 1999, Fuhr was traded to the Calgary Flames. He spent one season there being a mentor for Calgary's young goalies, including Fred Brathwaite, and on October 22, 1999, he earned his 400th career win versus the Florida Panthers. Before the 2000–01 season he announced his retirement.
In 1990 Fuhr came forward about his drug use after spending two weeks in a counseling center in Florida. A one-year suspension was handed down in September 1990 by NHL president John Ziegler, who called Fuhr's conduct "dishonorable and against the welfare of the league." Once Fuhr was re-instated, fans of opposing teams taunted him at games with bags of sugar.
Fuhr was hired to be the Phoenix Coyotes goaltending coach on July 22, 2004. Fuhr maintains this position at present. He held a similar post with the Calgary Flames in the 2000–2001 and 2001–2002 seasons.
Grant Fuhr was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 2, 2003. In the press at the time, it was frequently noted that Fuhr was the first black person inducted into the hall. Fuhr himself found the insistence on his race surprising for two reasons. Firstly, Fuhr never experienced any racism during his formative years in Spruce Grove, Alberta, or within the NHL. Secondly, Fuhr was adopted and raised by a white Canadian family.
Arguably, the focus on race took away from a ceremony remembering one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of hockey.
Fuhr was named to the 1984 Canada Cup team but saw limited action during the tournament. Grant was again selected to represent Canada for the 1987 Canada Cup. It was here that he cemented his reputation as one of the best goaltenders in the game. Playing against a tough Soviet Union squad, Fuhr turned away shot after shot during the three-game final. He also played for Canada at the 1989 IIHF World Championships.
|1989–90||Cape Breton Oilers||AHL||2||2||-||-||120||6||0||3.00||.919|
|1990–91||Cape Breton Oilers||AHL||4||2||2||0||240||17||0||4.25||.870|
|1991–92||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||65||25||33||5||3774||230||2||3.66||.881|
|1992–93||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||29||13||9||4||1665||87||1||3.14||.895|
|1994–95||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||14||1||7||3||698||47||0||4.04||.876|
|1995–96||St. Louis Blues||NHL||79||30||28||16||4365||209||3||2.87||.903|
|1996–97||St. Louis Blues||NHL||73||33||27||11||4261||193||3||2.72||.901|
|1997–98||St. Louis Blues||NHL||58||29||21||6||3274||138||3||2.53||.883|
|1998–99||St. Louis Blues||NHL||39||16||11||8||2193||89||2||2.44||.892|
|1999–00||Saint John Flames||AHL||2||0||2||0||99||10||0||6.05||.839|
|Winner of the Vezina Trophy
|Edmonton Oilers first-round draft picks|
|WHA: Rogers • Soetaert • Dean • Chapman • Federko • Crossbeen
NHL: Lowe • Coffey • Fuhr • Playfair • Beukeboom • Odelein • Metcalfe • Issel • Soberlak • Leroux • Soules • Allison • Wright • Rucinsky • Hulbig • Arnott • Stajduhar • Bonsignore • Smyth • Kelly • Devereaux • Descoteaux • Riesen • Henrich • Rita • Mikhnov • Hemsky • Niinimaki • Pouliot • Dubnyk • Schremp • Cogliano • Gagner • Plante • Nash