Ed Belfour during his time in Toronto
Photo credit: Dave Sandford

Ed Belfour shares surprising story of how he became a Toronto Maple Leaf

Published February 2, 2024 at 3:46 PM
BY MATT GARLAND

Hall of Fame goalie Ed Belfour sat down with the crew from The Leafs Nation's Leafs Morning Take this week to discuss a variety of things, including his decision to sign with the Maple Leafs in the summer of 2002.

At the time, Toronto was going through a change in the crease as long-time starting goalie Curtis Joseph had decided to move on to Detroit Red Wings leaving a gaping hole in net for Toronto.

The veteran Belfour was coming off a rough season during the 2001-02 campaign. He saw his GAA balloon to 2.65 and save percentage drop to .895. In the process Belfour lost the starting crease in Dallas to Marty Turco during his last season with the Stars. He also revealed that the deal with the Leafs almost didn't happen.

"I was talking more with Detroit at the moment leading up to Free Agency. My agent Ron Salcer was like, 'Ed, I think we're going to end up signing with the Red Wings'. All of a sudden, July 1st at midnight, we get a call from Toronto. Little did we know that Curtis left Toronto. The Red Wings chose Curtis over me. I said 'okay that's awesome. I love the Maple Leafs, It's my mom's favorite team'.


I signed the contract. I loved Pat Quinn right from the start. Always looked up to Pat. It was an amazing time."


The deal would work out well for the Leafs and Belfour. Eddie was able to establish himself within the league again after posting two 30+ win seasons during his three years with Toronto. Belfour would finish his career with a record of 484-320-125. He ranks 5th all-time in wins, (484) sixth all-time in games played (963) and 11th all-time with 76 shut outs.

Funny to think about how the deal almost never happened and just how close the Leafs were to being left out in the cold had CuJo opted to sign elsewhere instead of Detroit.
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Ed Belfour shares surprising story of how he became a Toronto Maple Leaf

Which goalie was your favorite with the Maple Leafs?

Curtis Joseph59654.4 %
Ed Belfour13512.3 %
Felix Potvin36433.2 %
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