The Vezina Trophy is awarded annually to the goaltender deemed to be the best in the NHL. The winner is decided by the votes of the General Managers of the 30 NHL clubs.

Prior to 1981-82 the award was given to the goaltender(s) who'd allowed the fewest goals during the season. Billy Smith was the first goalie to win the award after the switch was made.

The awarding of the Vezina Trophy goes harkens back to the 1926-27 season. George Hainsworth of the Montreal Canadiens was the inaugural winner, and in fact, won the award the first three years of its existence.

Another legendary Montreal Canadiens goaltender - Jacques Plante - holds the record for winning the most Vezina Trophies in a career. He won the award on seven separate occasions. Bill Durnan won it six times, as did Dominik Hasek, though all of Hasek's Vezinas were earned under the GM voting system.

Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins is the latest recipient (as of 2011) of the Vezina, winning the trophy for the second time in three years. It is hard to argue Thomas's selection as the unorthodox goalie posted an NHL record .938 save percentage during the season. See below for a list of Vezina Trophy winners by year from 1927 to present:

List of Vezina Trophy Winners by Year

2011 - Tim Thomas - Boston Bruins
2010 - Ryan Miller - Buffalo Sabres
2009 - Tim Thomas - Boston Bruins
2008 - Martin Brodeur - New Jersey Devils
2007 - Martin Brodeur - New Jersey Devils
2006 - Miikka Kiprusoff - Calgary Flames
2004 - Martin Brodeur - New Jersey Devils
2003 - Martin Brodeur - New Jersey Devils
2002 - Jose Theodore - Montreal Canadiens
2001 - Dominik Hasek - Buffalo Sabres
2000 - Olaf Kolzig - Washington Capitals
1999 - Dominik Hasek - Buffalo Sabres
1998 - Dominik Hasek - Buffalo Sabres
1997 - Dominik Hasek - Buffalo Sabres
1996 - Jim Carey - Washington Capitals
1995 - Dominik Hasek - Buffalo Sabres
1994 - Dominik Hasek - Buffalo Sabres
1993 - Ed Belfour - Chicago Blackhawks
1992 - Patrick Roy - Montreal Canadiens
1991 - Ed Belfour - Chicago Blackhawks
1990 - Patrick Roy - Montreal Canadiens
1989 - Patrick Roy - Montreal Canadiens
1988 - Grant Fuhr - Edmonton Oilers
1987 - Ron Hextall - Philadelphia Flyers
1986 - John Vanbiesbrouck - New York Rangers
1985 - Pelle Lindbergh - Philadelphia Flyers
1984 - Tom Barrasso - Buffalo Sabres
1983 - Pete Peeters - Boston Bruins
1982 - Billy Smith - New York Islanders
1981 - Denis Herron, Michel Larocque, Richard Sevigny - Montreal Canadiens
1980 - Don Edwards, Bob Sauve - Buffalo Sabres
1979 - Ken Dryden, Michel Larocque - Montreal Canadiens
1978 - Ken Dryden, Michel Larocque - Montreal Canadiens
1977 - Ken Dryden, Michel Larocque - Montreal Canadiens
1976 - Ken Dryden - Montreal Canadiens
1975 - Bernie Parent - Philadelphia Flyers
1974 - Bernie Parent - Philadelphia Flyers / Tony Esposito - Chicago Blackhawks
1973 - Ken Dryden - Montreal Canadiens
1972 - Tony Esposito, Gary Smith - Chicago Blackhawks
1971 - Ed Giacomin, Gilles Villemure - New York Rangers
1970 - Tony Esposito - Chicago Blackhawks
1969 - Glenn Hall, Jacques Plante - St. Louis Blues
1968 - Lorne Worsley, Rogatien Vachon - Montreal Canadiens
1967 - Denis DeJordy, Glenn Hall - Chicago Blackhawks
1966 - Charlie Hodge, Lorne Worsley - Montreal Canadiens
1965 - Johnny Bower, Terry Sawchuk - Toronto Maple Leafs
1964 - Charlie Hodge - Montreal Canadiens
1963 - Glenn Hall - Chicago Blackhawks
1962 - Jacques Plante - Montreal Canadiens
1961 - Johnny Bower - Toronto Maple Leafs
1960 - Jacques Plante - Montreal Canadiens
1959 - Jacques Plante - Montreal Canadiens
1958 - Jacques Plante - Montreal Canadiens
1957 - Jacques Plante - Montreal Canadiens
1956 - Jacques Plante - Montreal Canadiens
1955 - Terry Sawchuk - Detroit Red Wings
1954 - Harry Lumley - Toronto Maple Leafs
1953 - Terry Sawchuk - Detroit Red Wings
1952 - Terry Sawchuk - Detroit Red Wings
1951 - Al Rollins - Toronto Maple Leafs
1950 - Bill Durnan - Montreal Canadiens
1949 - Bill Durnan - Montreal Canadiens
1948 - Turk Broda - Toronto Maple Leafs
1947 - Bill Durnan - Montreal Canadiens
1946 - Bill Durnan - Montreal Canadiens
1945 - Bill Durnan - Montreal Canadiens
1944 - Bill Durnan - Montreal Canadiens
1943 - Johnny Mowers - Detroit Red Wings
1942 - Frank Brimsek - Boston Bruins
1941 - Turk Broda - Toronto Maple Leafs
1940 - Dave Kerr - New York Rangers
1939 - Frank Brimsek - Boston Bruins
1938 - Tiny Thompson - Boston Bruins
1937 - Normie Smith - Detroit Red Wings
1936 - Tiny Thompson - Boston Bruins
1935 - Lorne Chabot - Chicago Blackhawks
1934 - Charlie Gardiner - Chicago Blackhawks
1933 - Tiny Thompson - Boston Bruins
1932 - Charlie Gardiner - Chicago Blackhawks
1931 - Roy Worters - New York Americans
1930 - Tiny Thompson - Boston Bruins
1929 - George Hainsworth - Montreal Canadiens
1928 - George Hainsworth - Montreal Canadiens
1927 - George Hainsworth - Montreal Canadiens