For better or worse, hockey goalies have a reputation for being colorful characters; given the stress and unique challenges of the position, it’s kind of understandable. Ed Belfour, however, may have lived up to that stereotype a bit more than his peers.
While plenty of NHL players have lucky charms and pregame rituals, Ed Belfour’s questionable behavior also caused some issues away from the rink. In 2000, for example, he offered police offices $1 billion to let him go without charges after a drunken incident in a hotel.
Ed Belfour’s impressive NHL career
No matter the sport, there are always a few talented players who slip through the cracks on draft day. In the world of NHL hockey, Ed Belfour is one of the biggest examples of that reality.
The goalie got his start in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League before taking his talents to the University of North Dakota. Despite some impressive NCAA performances—he helped the then-Fighting Sioux to a national title—Belfour entered the professional ranks as an undrafted free agent, signing with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Belfour made his NHL debut during the 1988-98 campaign but didn’t take on a full workload until the following season. He promptly claimed the Calder Trophy as the league’s Rookie of the Year and the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie; he posted a 43-19-7 record, a .910 save percentage, and a 2.47 goals-against average.
While Belfour ended up bouncing around the league a bit—he suited up for the Blackhawks, Sharks, Stars, Maple Leafs, and Panthers—he still did pretty well for himself during his 17-year NHL career. In addition to the trophies he won in Chicago, the goalie claimed a second Vezina and lifted the 1999 Stanley Cup. He won 320 games during his time in the league and, in 2011, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Not too bad for an undrafted player.
An intoxicated incident in a Dallas hotel
During the 1999-2000 NHL season, Ed Belfour was playing for the Dallas Stars. His time in Texas, however, wasn’t without incident.
“On March 8 , an intoxicated Belfour, and a woman went to The Mansion at Turtle Creek,” a CBC report explained. “Belfour became loud and hotel security was called. The woman told hotel officials she was afraid of Belfour and was escorted to a cab.”
The situation, however, didn’t end once the woman left. If anything, Belfour’s issues were just getting started.
“When a guard tried to subdue Belfour, the former Vezina Trophy winner slammed the man up against the wall and put him in a headlock,” the story continued. “He continued to fight with the man until police sprayed him with pepper spray, a report said.”
Ed Belfour offered police officers $1 billion to let him go
Under ordinary circumstances, a police intervention and some pepper spray would probably be enough to defuse a drunken situation. Ed Belfour didn’t give up, though.
According to a CBS News report, Belfour “was placed in the rear seat of the vehicle and was seatbelted when he began attempting to lay down in the seat and putting his cowboy boots on the radio console … Shortly afterward, Belfour ‘threw up all over his chest.”
After police secured the goalie’s ankles to keep him from thrashing about, Belfour was apparently ready to start bargaining. “Belfour began ‘begging’ officers not to take him to jail by offering them money,” the story continued. He ” first offered Dallas police officers $100,000, then $1 billion, if they would not jail him.”
Ed Belfour eventually pled guilty to resisting police transfer and received 24 months probation and a $3,000 fine.
Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference