Terry Sawchuk's NHL record for career wins by a goalie stood for 30 years before Patrick Roy broke it. Roy's mark then lasted nine years before Martin Brodeur beat it – and Brodeur kept winning and winning before settling on 691 career victories, which is miles ahead of Roy (551) and Sawchuk (445) and anyone else who has ever strapped on pads in the big leagues.
It's highly unlikely that anyone approaches Brodeur's all-time wins mark, but there are at least a couple of current netminders who have a shot at 500 career wins.
Let's take a look at the NHL's top 10 all-time and top 10 active goalie leaders in career wins.
Top 10 all-time NHL goalies: Career wins
Martin Brodeur 691
Patrick Roy 551
Roberto Luongo 489
Ed Belfour 484
Marc-Andre Fleury 466
Henrik Lundqvist 459
Curtis Joseph 454
Terry Sawchuk 445
Jacques Plante 437
Tony Esposito 423
Brodeur unbeatable: Never say never – after all, who would've ever thought that Wayne Gretzky's NHL-record goal total of 894 would be in jeopardy – but Brodeur's career win total looks untouchable. The Devils legend has 140 more wins than all-time runner-up Roy and more than 200 wins than third-place Roberto Luongo. Consider it from this perspective: Brodeur averaged 38 wins per season during the most productive 16-year segment of his 21-year career. No other goalie has even come close to that sustained level of success for such a long period. (By way of comparison, Roy averaged 32 wins during his best 15-year stretch.) Flyers goalie Carter Hart is 22 years old with 40 NHL wins to his credit. If he goes full Brodeur – and that's a huge leap of faith in its own right – and averages 38 wins per season for the next 16 years, he'd be 38 years old with 648 wins. He'd still need a couple of 20-plus win seasons to pass Brodeur. So, yes, it's theoretically possible. But plausible? Not remotely.
Best of the rest: Patrick Roy's career total of 151 playoff wins might be as untouchable as Brodeur's all-time regular-season record. Brodeur is the only other goalie to record 100-plus career playoff wins, and he's way back at 113. Grant Fuhr sits third with 92...Florida, man: Roberto Luongo surely would have gotten away with 500-plus career wins if not for those pesky Panthers. Florida failed to make the playoffs in 10 of the 11 seasons that Luongo tended net there...Ed Belfour established his single-season career high with 43 wins as a rookie goalie for Chicago in 1989-90...See below for active all-timers Marc-Andre Fleury and Henrik Lundqvist...Curtis Joseph maxed out with 36-win campaigns in 1993-94 with St. Louis and 1999-2000 with Toronto...Terry Sawchuk recorded back-to-back 44-win campaigns in his first two full NHL seasons with Detroit in 1950-51 and '51-52...Jacques Plante won 30-plus games in seven of his first eight full NHL seasons with Montreal, including a pair of 42-win campaigns. And then there's this: Plante went 15-14-1 in his final pro season with Edmonton in the WHA in 1974-75 – at the ripe old age of 46...Tony Esposito's rookie season was his most successful NHL campaign, with 38 wins and 15 shutouts, a modern-day league record that still stands.
Top 10 active NHL goalies: Career wins
Marc-Andre Fleury 466
Henrik Lundqvist 459
Pekka Rinne 359
Carey Price 348
Jonathan Quick 325
Tuukka Rask 291
Braden Holtby 282
Sergei Bobrovsky 278
Jaroslav Halak 272
Mike Smith 262
500 or bust, Pt. 1: Marc-Andre Fleury is 36 and he's under contract for two more seasons with Vegas, so you'd think he's looking good to become the NHL's third-ever goalie to win 500 games. The problem, of course, is the arrival of Robin Lehner and Fleury's subsequent demotion to backup duty. If another team decides to pick up Fleury's $7-million annual stipend, he'd have a much better chance. Even a modest 10-15 wins this season and then, say, a starting role with expansion Seattle next year would likely give Fleury enough runway to reach 500.
500 or bust, Pt. 2: He's only seven wins behind Fleury, but Henrik Lundqvist's road to 500 looks much more difficult. For starters, he's two years older than Fleury at 38. And his recent performance reflects that fact: Lundqvist recorded diminishing win totals of 28, 18 and 10 with the Rangers over the past three seasons, and ultimately lost the starting role in 2019-20. He signed a one-year deal with Washington, where there will be plenty of wins to be had, but Lundqvist will almost surely settle into a mentor/backup role with Ilya Samsonov, who appears ready to roll with the No. 1 job.
Best of the rest: Pekka Rinne had a great decade-plus run as the Predators starter, but his days as the No. 1 in Nashville appear to be over after he watched the 2020 post-season from the bench. He was a three-time 40-plus winner, with a personal best of 43 victories in 2011-12...At 33 with 348 career wins, Carey Price has a shot at 500, but it'll mean staying healthy, which has been an issue for the Montreal netminder in the past, and continuing to post 30-win seasons as he enters his mid-30s and beyond. The good news is, he's under contract for six more years, so it's not completely crazy to believe that Price might become the NHL's third netminder with 500 wins...Jonathan Quick turns 35 in January and the Kings are in the bottoming-out phase of their rebuild. Forget 500, he'll be fortunate to hit 400...Tuukka Rask turns 34 in March and enters the last year of his contract with Boston. Between injuries and a managed workload, he has averaged 29 wins (and 47 appearances) over the past three seasons. If he re-signs with the Bruins and maintains that pace, Rask could reach 400 career wins...Braden Holtby tied Brodeur's single-season record of 48 wins in 2015-16, sandwiched between 41- and 42-win campaigns. But Holtby's play has faltered over the past few years and he's moved on from Washington to Vancouver, going from unchallenged No. 1 to a mentor/platoon role with Canucks goalie-of-the-future Thatcher Demko...Sergei Bobrovsky hit a high of 41 wins in 2015-16 and won two Vezina Trophies during his time in Columbus. But the 32-year-old is coming off his worst statistical season in the NHL – in his first year in Florida after signing a seven-year, $70-million deal...It's a little surprising to see Jaroslav Halak among the NHL's active winningest goalies, considering he's been cast in a platoon/backup role for most of his career. Halak set a personal best with 38 wins for the Islanders in 2014-15 – the only time he's reached the 30-win plateau...Like Halak, Mike Smith is a well-travelled netminder with only one 30-win season to his credit, but, like Halak, it was a 38-win high point (with Phoenix in 2011-12).