Jean-Sébastien Giguère

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Jean-Sébastien Giguère
J.S. Giguere.jpg
Giguère with the Colorado Avalanche in 2013
Born (1977-05-16) May 16, 1977 (age 42)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 201 lb (91 kg; 14 st 5 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Hartford Whalers
Calgary Flames
Anaheim Ducks
Toronto Maple Leafs
Colorado Avalanche
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 13th overall, 1995
Hartford Whalers
Playing career 1997–2014

Jean-Sébastien Giguère (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃ sebastjɛ̃ ʒiɡɛʁ]; born May 16, 1977) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender. He played at the major junior level with the Verdun Collège Français and Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), where he was drafted 13th overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He played in the Calgary Flames organization for three seasons before joining the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2000.

In the 2003 NHL playoffs, Giguère anchored the seventh-seeded Mighty Ducks into the Stanley Cup Finals, where he became the fifth and most recent player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy despite not simultaneously winning the Stanley Cup. Giguere ultimately won the Stanley Cup with the newly renamed Anaheim Ducks in 2007.

His later career included stints in Toronto and Colorado. Giguère holds the Anaheim Ducks' franchise record for career wins and shutouts; and was the last active NHL player who had played for the Hartford Whalers.

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

As a youth, Giguère played in the 1990 and 1991 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournaments with a minor ice hockey team from the Mille Îles area of Laval, Quebec.[1]

Giguère was drafted out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) by the Hartford Whalers 13th overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft with a pick acquired from the New York Rangers that Hartford obtained in exchange for Pat Verbeek. After a four-year major junior career that included QMJHL Second Team All-Star honours in 1997,[2] Giguère made his NHL debut with the Whalers, playing eight games at the end of the 1996–97 season.

The following off-season, on August 25, 1997, Giguère was traded to the Calgary Flames, along with centre Andrew Cassels, in exchange for forward Gary Roberts and goaltender Trevor Kidd.[2] Giguère then played the entirety of the 1997–98 season in the American Hockey League (AHL) with Calgary's minor league affiliate, the Saint John Flames. He recorded a 2.46 goals against average (GAA) and a .926 save percentage in 31 games in his professional rookie season with Saint John. Giguère spent a total of four seasons in the Flames organization, making brief 15- and seven-game appearances with Calgary in 1998–99 and 1999–2000, respectively, while spending most of his time in the AHL.

Anaheim Ducks (2000–2010)[edit]

On June 10, 2000, Giguère was traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in exchange for a second-round pick in 2000 (later traded to the Washington Capitals; the Capitals selected Matt Pettinger).[2] He began the 2000-01 season with the Mighty Ducks' farm team, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, until he was recalled from the AHL. Giguère eventually took over Dominic Roussel's backup position to starter Guy Hebert.[3] Due to only brief stints in the NHL during his tenures with Hartford and Calgary, the 2000–01 season qualified as Giguère's rookie NHL season. He played in 34 games, posting a 2.57 GAA and .911 save percentage.

In the off-season, he was re-signed by the Mighty Ducks on August 17, 2001.[2] Giguère continued to improve in 2001–02, his first full season with the Ducks, recording a 2.13 GAA and .920 save percentage in 53 games. In the 2002–03 season, he posted his first winning season with a 34–22–6 record, as well as a career-high eight shutouts.

Giguère's first winning season in the NHL helped the Mighty Ducks enter the 2003 playoffs as the seventh seed in the Western Conference. From that point, Giguere delivered one of the greatest playoff performances in NHL history as he helped lead the team on a Cinderella run to their first Stanley Cup Finals. Facing the defending Stanley Cup champions and second-seeded Detroit Red Wings in the opening round, Giguère set an NHL record for most saves by a goaltender in their playoff debut with 63 in the Mighty Ducks' 2–1 triple overtime win in Game 1, surpassing Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jiří Crha's mark by two saves.[3] This record would later be broken by the Vancouver Canucks' Roberto Luongo, who stopped 72 shots in his playoff debut against the Dallas Stars in 2007. The Ducks would proceed to shock the hockey world by sweeping the Red Wings in four games, with Giguère labelled as the star of the series. The Mighty Ducks then faced Dallas. Giguère stopped 60 of 63 Dallas shots in the series opener, a five-overtime Anaheim win. He recorded his first shutout of the playoffs in Game 4, stopping 28 shots. The Mighty Ducks eventually eliminated the Stars in six games, and moved on to the Western Conference Finals to face the Minnesota Wild. Giguère held the Wild to an all-time, best-of-seven-series low of one goal in the entire series, which included a franchise-record shutout streak of 217 minutes and 54 seconds (later surpassed by Ilya Bryzgalov in 2006).[4]

However, the Mighty Ducks' dream of hoisting the Stanley Cup were stopped by the New Jersey Devils, to whom Anaheim lost in a seven-game series. Giguère finished the playoffs undefeated in seven overtime games, setting a record for the longest playoff overtime shutout streak at 168 minutes and 27 seconds.[3] He finished with a 15–6 record overall, a 1.62 GAA and .945 save percentage, as well as fewer losses than Finals counterpart Martin Brodeur. He was the fifth player to receive the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP as part of the losing team[3] and the first since Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall won in 1987. Along with the Conn Smythe, he received the 2003 ESPY award for Best Hockey Player. The only other goalie ever to do so is Dominik Hašek.

Giguère in action with the Ducks in November 2006.

Giguère's playoff MVP performance was rewarded in the off-season with a four-year contract extension, signed on September 10, 2003.[2] However, his performance was inconsistent throughout much of the 2003–04 season as the Mighty Ducks missed the 2004 playoffs. Giguère posted a 17–31–6 record and his GAA increased to 2.62. Due to the 2004–05 NHL lock-out that cancelled the entire 2004–05 NHL season, Giguère went overseas to play for the Hamburg Freezers in Germany.

Giguère returned to an improved Mighty Ducks squad as NHL play resumed in 2005–06. Anaheim returned to the playoffs and made it to the Western Conference Finals, where they were eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers. Giguère, however, appeared in just four games, as Russian rookie backup Ilya Bryzgalov took over the starting position during the post-season. Giguère missed the first game of the opening round against Calgary due to injury, but returned for Games 2 through 5. During Game 5, Giguère was pulled after allowing three goals on eight shots, where Bryzgalov took over and subsequently reeled off three-straight shutouts spanning the first and second rounds against Calgary and the Colorado Avalanche, tying an NHL playoff record and breaking Giguère's 2003 club record of consecutive playoff shutout minutes.[4]

Entering the final season of his contract in 2006–07, Giguère reclaimed the starter's role. In the first month of the season, October 2006, he did not lose a single game in regulation.[5] He proceeded to put up a career-high 36 wins in 56 games. Prior to the beginning of the 2007 playoffs, Giguère and his wife welcomed a newborn son. Giguère missed the Ducks' last three regular season games as well as the first three games of their opening round matchup with Minnesota, with Bryzgalov taking over in Giguère's absence. Giguère returned late in the series and was the Ducks' starter the rest of the way. During the second round against Vancouver, his eight-game overtime winning streak in the playoffs was snapped on April 27, 2007, in a 2–1 defeat in Game 2.[6] Nevertheless, Giguère and the Ducks went on to eliminate the Canucks en route to the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, where they won their first-ever Stanley Cup championship in a 6–2 Game 5 win over the Ottawa Senators on June 6.

On June 21, 2007, the Ducks announced that they had re-signed Giguère to a multi-year contract. Giguère posted a 35–17–6 record with a career-best 2.12 GAA in the 2007–08 season. Despite his personal numbers, however, the defending champion Ducks were defeated in the first round of the 2008 playoffs by the Dallas Stars in six games.

Giguère recorded sub-par numbers during the 2008–09 season, going 19–18–6 with a 3.10 GAA, sharing an increased amount of playing time to his backup Jonas Hiller. This did not deter him from being voted into the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in his hometown of Montreal. As Hiller outplayed Giguère throughout the season, he was chosen over Giguère to start during the 2009 playoffs. Giguère's only appearance for the Ducks in the playoffs was in relief of Hiller in the third period of Game 4 of the Ducks' second round series with the Detroit Red Wings, to whom the Ducks would eventually fall in seven games.

Giguère suffered a groin strain early in the 2009–10 season on October 24, 2009. With Hiller's continued emergence as a bona fide starter, Giguère publicly told L.A. Daily News on November 10 that he "would rather retire than be a backup goalie," fuelling a goaltending controversy on the team.[7] Losing his starting position to Hiller, he did not record his first win of the season until November 23 in a 3–2 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames.[8]

Toronto Maple Leafs (2010–2011)[edit]

Giguère in 2010 as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Giguère was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 31, 2010, in exchange for goaltender Vesa Toskala and forward Jason Blake.[9] Three days later, Giguère played his first game for the Maple Leafs and recorded a 30-save shutout against the New Jersey Devils. He registered another shutout in his next game against Ottawa on February 6 to become the first goalie in franchise history to record shutouts in his first two games.[10] This accomplishment led Giguère to be named the NHL's Second Star of the Week on February 8.[11] After having recorded a 3.14 GAA and .900 save percentage in 20 games with the Ducks before being traded, he improved to a 2.49 GAA and .916 save percentage in 15 games with Toronto.

The following season, Giguère suffered a groin injury in mid-November 2010, sidelining him for three weeks. Upon his return, he played in several games before re-injuring his groin. During that time, the Leafs were in need of a goaltender, forcing them to call-up James Reimer from the AHL's Toronto Marlies, who took over the starter's position in Giguère's absence.

Colorado Avalanche (2011–2014)[edit]

On July 1, 2011, free agent Giguère signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche.[12][13] He embraced his role in the Colorado locker room as the veteran mentor, especially for young starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Giguère's leadership was key in a four-game home stand in mid-December when Varlamov was sidelined with a back ailment; Giguère started all four games and won them all, securing the Avalanche a team-record, eight-straight wins at home. It was the most consecutive home wins the franchise had seen since the Quebec Nordiques won ten-straight in 1995 before the club moved to Denver later that year to become the Avalanche. Giguère was named one of the three NHL's three stars of the week for late December. A groin pull on February 15, 2012, during a losing effort to the Vancouver Canucks, however, sidelined Giguère, allowing Varlamov the opportunity to redeem himself and reclaim the starting position in net for the remainder of the race to the 2012 playoffs, which Colorado ultimately did not qualify for. On August 13, 2012, Giguère signed a one-year, US$1.5 million contract extension through the 2013–14 season.[13][14]


Giguère announces his retirement in Blainville, Quebec, in August 2014

On May 26, 2014, reports surfaced that Giguère was prepared to retire, and had likely played in his final NHL game, amidst much speculation.[15] In what proved to be his final NHL start, Colorado's regular season finale in Anaheim, he received a video tribute and warm ovation from the crowd. At the end of the game, Giguère shared a victory lap with former teammate Teemu Selänne, who had already confirmed his own retirement and was playing in his final regular season game.[16] On August 21, Giguère formally announced his retirement.[17] He was the last active NHL player to have played for the Hartford Whalers.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Giguère was born in Montreal, Quebec, but grew up in Blainville, Quebec. Giguère's father died of cancer on December 15, 2008, and this greatly affected his performance for the rest of the season. Giguère went into the All-Star Game that year with a very weak record, with only one win in his last nine games.[19] Giguère's mother died in late February 2013.

Giguère suffers from a rare gastric condition that causes his body to take in too much air when he drinks fluids. As a result, his body has difficulty absorbing water, leading to severe dehydration when he sweats.[20] He would drink from a water bottle fitted with a straw while playing hockey.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
1992–93 Laval-Laurentides QMAAA 27 12 11 2 1498 76 0 3.04 12 6 5 654 38 0 3.49
1993–94 Verdun Collège Français QMJHL 26 13 7 2 1288 69 1 3.21 .878 1 0 0 29 2 0 4.14 .889
1994–95 Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL 47 14 27 5 2755 181 2 3.94 .889 7 3 4 417 17 1 2.45 .934
1995–96 Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL 55 26 23 2 3230 185 1 3.44 .894 6 1 5 354 24 0 4.07 .874
1996–97 Hartford Whalers NHL 8 1 4 0 394 24 0 3.65 .881
1996–97 Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL 50 28 19 3 3014 170 2 3.38 .902 16 9 7 954 58 0 3.65 .899
1997–98 Saint John Flames AHL 31 16 10 3 1758 72 2 2.46 .926 10 5 3 536 27 0 3.02 .897
1998–99 Calgary Flames NHL 15 6 7 1 860 46 0 3.21 .897
1998–99 Saint John Flames AHL 39 18 16 3 2145 123 3 3.44 .905 7 3 2 304 21 0 4.14 .859
1999–00 Calgary Flames NHL 7 1 3 1 330 15 0 2.73 .914
1999–00 Saint John Flames AHL 41 17 17 3 2243 114 0 3.05 .897 3 0 3 178 9 0 3.03 .880
2000–01 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 34 11 17 5 2031 87 4 2.57 .911
2000–01 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 23 12 7 2 1306 53 0 2.43 .917
2001–02 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 53 20 25 6 3127 111 4 2.13 .920
2002–03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 65 34 22 6 3775 145 8 2.30 .920 21 15 6 1407 38 5 1.62 .945
2003–04 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 55 17 31 6 3210 140 3 2.62 .914
2004–05 Hamburg Freezers DEL 6 301 12 0 2.39 .925 2 0 2 100 7 0 4.20 .881
2005–06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 60 30 15 11 3381 150 2 2.66 .911 6 3 3 318 18 0 3.40 .864
2006–07 Anaheim Ducks NHL 56 36 10 8 3245 122 4 2.26 .918 18 13 4 1067 35 1 1.97 .922
2007–08 Anaheim Ducks NHL 58 35 17 6 3310 117 4 2.12 .922 6 2 4 358 19 0 3.18 .898
2008–09 Anaheim Ducks NHL 46 19 18 6 2458 127 2 3.10 .900 1 0 0 17 0 0 0.00 1.00
2009–10 Anaheim Ducks NHL 20 4 8 5 1108 58 1 3.14 .900
2009–10 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 15 6 7 2 915 38 2 2.49 .916
2010–11 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 33 11 11 4 1633 78 0 2.87 .900
2011–12 Colorado Avalanche NHL 32 15 11 3 1820 69 2 2.27 .919
2012–13 Colorado Avalanche NHL 18 5 4 4 908 43 0 2.84 .908
2013–14 Colorado Avalanche NHL 22 11 6 1 1212 53 2 2.62 .913
NHL totals 597 262 216 25 50 33,717 1423 38 2.53 .913 52 33 17 3167 110 6 2.08 .925

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
Second All-Star Team 1997
Hap Holmes Memorial Award 1998
Conn Smythe Trophy 2003 [21]
Best NHL Player ESPY Award 2003
Stanley Cup champion 2007
NHL All-Star Game 2009



  1. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Jean-Sebastien Giguere - TSN". The Sports Network. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  3. ^ a b c d "Jean-Sebastien Giguere - Legends of Hockey". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  4. ^ a b Michaelis, Vicki (2006-05-09). "Bryzgalov has Ducks opponents seeing goose eggs". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  5. ^ "2006-2007 NHL Season Anaheim Ducks".
  6. ^ "Vancouver 2 Anaheim 1 (2OT)".
  7. ^ "Report: Giguere says he'd rather retire than be a backup". The Sports Network. 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  8. ^ "Giguere gets first win as Ducks down Flames". The Sports Network. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  9. ^ "Ducks trade Jean-Sebastien Giguere to Toronto". Los Angeles Times. January 31, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  10. ^ "Jiggy Shuts The Door On Senators". Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
  11. ^ Hunter, Paul (February 8, 2010). "Giguere's shutouts earn him NHL star honour". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  12. ^ "Avalanche acquire goalie Varlamov from Capitals; sign veteran Giguere". National Hockey League. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  13. ^ a b "Jean-Sebastien Giguere". Archived from the original on 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  14. ^ "Avalanche sign Giguere to contract extension". The Sports Network. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  15. ^ Goss, Nicholas (May 26, 2014). "Report: Avalanche Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere Ready To Retire From NHL". Article. NESN. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  16. ^ Stubits, Brian (May 26, 2014). "VIDEO: Teemu Selanne takes final lap with Jean-Sebastien Giguere". Article. CBS Sports. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  17. ^ Knabenbauer, Ron (August 21, 2014). "Jean-Sebastien Giguere Announces Retirement". Colorado Avalanche Official Website. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  18. ^ Halford, Mike (January 29, 2013). "J.S. Giguere, the last remaining Whaler, says Hartford will "always be special to me"". Article. NBC Sports. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  19. ^ Elliott, Helene (January 25, 2009). "A bittersweet All-Star weekend for Jean-Sebastien Giguere". Article. LA times. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  20. ^ "Stanley Cup Winner JS Giguere Tackles Hydration Issue with Sweat Test". 2007. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  21. ^ "Conn Smythe Trophy". National Hockey League. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2012-04-15.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jeff O'Neill
Hartford Whalers first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Nikos Tselios
Preceded by
Nicklas Lidstrom
Conn Smythe Trophy winner
Succeeded by
Brad Richards