|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1964|
January 22, 1916|
Toronto, ON, CAN
|Died||October 31, 1972(aged 56)|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)|
|Played for||Montreal Canadiens|
William Ronald Durnan (January 22, 1916 in Toronto, Ontario – October 31, 1972) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Durnan, whom John McGourty of NHL.com refers to as "the greatest nearly forgotten player in the history of the NHL," only played seven seasons in the NHL, but accomplished much in his short career. Durnan was the recipient of the Vezina Trophy as top goaltender in each of his first four seasons, from 1943-44 to 1946-47, becoming the first to capture the award in four successive seasons. A poor season by the Montreal Canadiens in 1947-48 allowed Turk Broda of the Toronto Maple Leafs to end Durnan's streak. Durnan, however, returned to prominence the next season, capturing his fifth and sixth Vezina Trophies in 1948-49 and 1949-50. Durnan was also selected to the First Team All-Star six times during his career, including four consecutive selections from 1944–47.
During the 1947-48 season, Durnan served as the Canadiens' captain. However, he left the crease so often to argue calls that other teams claimed he was giving the Canadiens unscheduled timeouts. After the season, the NHL passed a rule barring goaltenders from performing the duties of captain, known as the "Durnan Rule."
Following the 1949–50 NHL season, at the age of 35, Durnan retired, no longer able to stand the stress of playing professional hockey. He later went into coaching, most notably with the Ottawa Senators of the QSHL in 1950–51, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen of the OHA in 1958–59.
Durnan set a long-standing modern NHL record between February 26 and March 6, 1949, when he registered four consecutive shutouts, not allowing a goal over a span of 309 minutes, 21 seconds. This record stood until 2004, when Brian Boucher, then of the Phoenix Coyotes, broke it.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964. In 383 regular-season games, Durnan had 208 wins, and 112 losses, with 34 shutouts and a 2.36 goals-against average. He had 27 wins, and 12 losses, with two shutouts and a 2.07 average in 45 playoff games. Durnan also won the 1940 Allan Cup with the Kirkland Lake Blue Devils. He died of kidney failure on October 31, 1972. He suffered from diabetes in his last years and his health had been failing steadily.
Durnan was an ambidextrous goalie, equally adept at using his right or left hand (he wore special gloves that permitted him to catch with either hand while still holding his stick). Until Roberto Luongo was named captain of the Vancouver Canucks on September 30, 2008, he was the last goalie to be a captain in the National Hockey League, and one of seven in history.
- Allan Cup champion in 1940.
- NHL First All-Star Team goalie in 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950.
- Won the Vezina Trophy in 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950.
- Played in NHL All-Star Game in 1947, 1948, 1949.
- Stanley Cup champion in 1944, 1946.
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964.
- In 1998, he was ranked number 34 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, despite the relative brevity of his career.
|1931-32||North Toronto Juniors||TJHL||8||—||—||—||480||17||1||2.12|
|1933-34||Toronto British Consol||TMHL||15||12||2||1||910||31||1||2.04|
|1936-37||Kirkland Lake Blue Devils||NOHA||4||4||0||0||240||5||0||1.25|
|1937-38||Kirkland Lake Blue Devils||NOHA||11||8||1||1||610||27||1||2.66|
|1938-39||Kirkland Lake Blue Devils||NOHA||7||7||0||0||420||7||3||1.00|
|1931-32||North Toronto Juniors||TJHL||4||—||—||—||240||10||1||2.50|
|1933-34||Toronto British Consol||TMHL||5||0||2||3||350||21||0||3.60|
|1936-37||Kirkland Lake Blue Devils||NOHA||4||1||0||3||240||8||1||2.00|
|1937-38||Kirkland Lake Blue Devils||NOHA||2||2||0||0||120||2||1||1.00|
|1937-38||Kirkland Lake Blue Devils||Allan Cup||2||0||2||0||120||11||0||3.50|
|1938-39||Kirkland Lake Blue Devils||NOHA||2||2||0||0||120||3||1||1.50|
|1938-39||Kirkland Lake Blue Devils||Allan Cup||5||3||2||0||299||12||2||2.41|
|1939-40||Kirkland Lake Blue Devils||Allan Cup||17||14||1||2||1040||35||1||2.02|
|1940-41||Montreal Royals||Allan Cup||14||8||5||1||850||49||1||3.46|
- Bill Durnan's biography at Legends of Hockey
- Bill Durnan's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
|Montreal Canadiens captain
|Winner of the Vezina Trophy
1944, 1945, 1946, 1947
|Winner of the Vezina Trophy