On the latest episode of NBC Sports Chicago's Blackhawks Talk Podcast, legendary Blackhawks goalie Ed Belfour had some advice for the goalies battling for the Hawks starter job at training camp.
Similar to what Collin Delia, Malcolm Subban and Kevin Lankinen are currently experiencing at Blackhawks training camp — which began on Monday — was the goalie competition that Belfour found himself in at a Hawks camp in the early '90s.
A three-way goalie battle emerged from over 10 goalies the team was giving a look at to determine who would start for Chicago. It came down to Jimmy Waite (now the Blackhawks goalie coach), who was a highly-touted first-round pick; Dominik Hasek, who went on to become a Hall of Famer; and Belfour.
"We were all competing for positions and all competing to show how good we could be and show our stuff, and we were highly competitive guys and I think it made the organization better," Belfour said of the goalie contest on the podcast. "It really helps the team, [knowing] that you have good goaltending, competitive goaltending, that the guys that are back there are going to give 110%.
"You never know what can happen out of this type of situation where guys are competing for that position. They go out of their ways to do extra things, they're not sitting on their laurels . . . I wouldn't expect anything less from these guys. They're going to give it their all and I think the team in front of them will play hard for them and see that hard work. I believe that the team always works harder when they see that type of goaltender back there that works hard in practice, works hard at the gym, does the extra things, focuses 100% on and off the ice to winning."
From when he was a rookie until now, the rich history of Hawks goaltending that preceded him with such greats as Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito, was never lost on Belfour, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
"Being a Blackhawks goalie is special," Belfour said before giving advice to the netminders fighting for a spot at camp:
"The new guys coming up: just work hard every day, battle for your position every day and treat every game and every practice like it's your last and you'll never let yourself down."
Ed, who's now the President and CEO of Belfour Spirits, not only won his Hawks goalie competition early on in his NHL career but led the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Final in 1992, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in four games.
"The Eagle", as he came to be called, won the Calder Trophy (NHL's best rookie) and two Vezina trophies (league's best goalie) with Chicago.