With the same barometer that we're using to measure everyone else on the list so far, Belfour is one of the best goaltenders of all time. The only reason that the Russian teams put up such good fights against Canadian teams is because Russian teams have been playing as a unit for ages, and Canadian teams are assembled just prior to the tournaments.
1. Very silly to call people who dedicate whole life to hockey and hockey being their only source of income "amateurs".
2. So if we take, lets say, Nashville and put them against Canada's all-stars, Nashville should win coz they have been playing with each other for ages?
3. Some reasons why Russians "put such good fights": much superior passing game, much better skating, better skills.
Outside of a few international games, Tretiak played his whole career against amateur players. Belfour played against Mario, Gretzky, Bure, and all the rest of the best that the whole world had to offer.
Who do think Belfour's mentor was? It was Tretiak. Tretiak is a major reason why Belfour has had the career that he has had.
Tretiak was not allowed to play in the NHL because of a communist totalitarian government. He dominated European hockey at a greater level than Dominick Hasek did, and I would say that Hasek had some success in the NHL. Also, Hasek was coached by Tretiak. He was a great athlete and a great goaltending intellectual.