Completely agree. He definitely didn't have the longevity of a Roy or Brodeur which is why he usually doesnt go down as the best ever. But IMO he had the best "prime" of any goalie in history. Just so much better then the second best goalie in the league.
A lot of experts do rank him number one all time. He did have longevity, technically, since he played for so long. It may not have always been in the NHL, which does get counted as a knock against him. But still, a lot of people rank him first.
His tenure in Buffalo was the highest peak any goalie ever reached. The 1998 Gold Medal and 1999 Finals run was the pinnacle of that, although some would argue it was the Hart trophies. Truthfully, he could have won the Hart trophy every year during that stretch.
I tend to agree with you, actually. Boston Garden, Chicago Stadium, and the old Olympia should never have been torn down. At the very least, they could have been preserved and reused like the Montreal Forum (now a Canadiens-themed shopping complex in the original shell) and Maple Leaf Gardens (now a multi-purpose building in the original shell as well).
The Joe is not one of those old historic 1920s "cathedrals of hockey" like I mentioned, though. Its a late 70s dump.
I am serious. If we tear down every stadium after only 30 years of existence, then we won't have any more Boston Garden, and Montreal Forum type places. You can't create historic stadiums if you only keep them around a few decades. The JLA would have history if it was allowed to stand.
I hate how little respect they have in this country for stadiums and history. Maybe it's because the country hasn't been around for as long as others. A few years ago, Yankee Stadium was demolished. Boston Garden was demolished in the 90's. How can you get rid of those stadiums and all the history associated with that?
In Europe, the most famous soccer stadiums have been around over 50 years. Some stadiums in England have been around over 100 years. Yes, those stadiums undergo massive renovations and look nothing like they did 50 years ago, but at least they're still there. When people go to those games, they can say they're in the same stadium so and so used to play at.
I know things are done differently here, but I'm not a fan of tearing the JLA down.