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Tony Esposito

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Tony Esposito
Tony Esposito
Position Goaltender
Caught Right
Height
Weight
5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)
185 lb (84 kg)
Teams WHL
 Vancouver Canucks
CHL
 Houston Apollos
NHL
 Montreal Canadiens
 Chicago Black Hawks
Nationality Flag of Canada & Flag of the United States
Born April 23, 1943,
Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CAN
Pro Career 1967 – 1984
Hall of Fame, 1988

Anthony James "Tony O" Esposito (born April 23, 1943 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) is a retired professional goaltender, who played in the National Hockey League, most notably for the Chicago Black Hawks. He was one of the pioneers of the now popular butterfly style.

Hockey careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Esposito grew up Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with his brother, fellow future NHL star Phil Esposito. He played college hockey for Michigan Tech University.

A three-year hockey letter winner, Esposito was a three-time first-team All-America selection. He was a driving force in helping the Huskies to the 1964–65 NCAA Championship and was named a first-team NCAA All-Tournament Team choice in 1965. Still currently the MTU career leader in goals against average (2.55) and second in career saved percentage (.912), Esposito was also a three-time All-WCHA first-team selection.

Esposito turned pro with the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Hockey League in 1967–68 and played with the Houston Apollos in the Central Hockey League in 1968–69.

He first played in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens during the 1968–69 season. A famous game against the Boston Bruins, led by his brother Phil, ended in a 2–2 tie, in which Phil scored both goals for Boston. Esposito played 13 regular season games, due to both Gump Worsley and Rogatien Vachon being injured. However, Esposito returned to the minors when they both returned from their injuries. Worsley was injured again during the playoffs, so Esposito was called again. Tony Esposito served as backup to Vachon dressing for all 4 games in the finals. Tony's name was added to the Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens. As the Canadiens club was very deep in goaltenders at that time, with Gump Worsley, Rogatien Vachon and others in the system, Esposito was left unprotected by the Canadiens in 1969.

Rise to fameEdit

For 1969–70, the Chicago Black Hawks claimed him from Montreal on waivers, known at the time as the "intra-league draft". Esposito had a spectacular season with Chicago, posting a 2.17 GAA and setting a modern day NHL record with 15 shutouts. Having not played enough games with Montreal, he was still eligible for, and won the Calder Trophy as the league's best rookie. He also took the Vezina Trophy and was named to the First All-Star team at season's end. He also balloted second for league MVP (Hart Trophy). It was during this record setting season he earned the nickname Tony 'O'. In 1970–71, he again proved to be one of the league's top goalies and helped Chicago finish first in the NHL's West division. The Black Hawks made it to the Stanley Cup finals, but lost in 7 games to Montreal. The following season he posted the lowest GAA of his career (1.77) and shared the Vezina with backup Gary Smith. He was again selected to the NHL's 1st All-Star team.

Esposito was named to Team Canada for the Summit Series of September, 1972. He was the first goalie to earn a win against the Soviets, splitting Canada's goaltending duties with Montreal's Ken Dryden. Esposito posted the lowest GAA of the three goalies who appeared in the series.

Despite the loss of Bobby Hull, Esposito and the Hawks led their division in 1972–73, but lost the Stanley Cup Final in 6 games to Montreal. 1973–74 was another brilliant season with a sparkling 2.04 GAA and 10 shutouts. Esposito won his 3rd Vezina, sharing it with Philadelphia's Bernie Parent.

The Black Hawks declined the next few seasons although Esposito remained among the top netminders in the NHL. In 1979–80, Esposito enjoyed a fine season with 6 shutouts and his third 1st All-Star team selection. In 1981 he became an American citizen and played for Team USA in the Canada Cup (he had previously represented Canada at the 1977 Ice Hockey World Championship tournament). He played a few more seasons in the Chicago, retiring after the 1983–84 season.

Tony Esposito is the younger brother of Phil Esposito, who also played for Team Canada during the Summit Series of 1972.


RetirementEdit

He retired from professional play in 1985 and was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. His number 35 was retired by the Blackhawks.

Tony Esposito later became General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins rather briefly, where he hired former Black Hawks teammate Gene Ubriaco as head coach, until they were both terminated.

In 1991, when his brother helped found the Tampa Bay Lightning, Phil hired Tony as chief scout. Both Espositos were fired in 1998.

In 1998, he was ranked number 79 on List of 100 greatest hockey players by The Hockey News, 61 places behind No. 18-ranked Phil.

In 2007, Tony was inducted (alongside brother Phil) into the Sault Ste Marie Walk of Fame.

On March 19, 2008, the Chicago Blackhawks honoured Esposito with "Tony Esposito Night", where he was formally introduced as an Ambassador in the Blackhawks organization. Then-Blackhawk goaltenders Patrick Lalime and Nikolai Khabibulin both wore Esposito's #35 jerseys in the pre-game warmups, and Khabibulin recorded a shutout in a Hawks 5–0 win over the Washington Capitals.

Awards and accomplishmentsEdit


Career statistics Edit

Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1962–63 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds NOJHA - - - - - - - -
1963–64 Michigan Tech Huskies WCHA - - - - - - - -
1964–65 Michigan Tech Huskies WCHA 17 - - - - - 1 2.35
1965–66 Michigan Tech Huskies WCHA 19 - - - - - 1 2.68
1966–67 Michigan Tech Huskies WCHA 15 - - - - - 0 2.60
1967–68 Vancouver Canucks WHL 63 25 33 4 3734 199 4 3.20
1968–69 Montreal Canadiens NHL 13 5 4 4 746 34 2 2.73
1968–69 Houston Apollos CHL 19 10 7 2 1139 46 1 2.42
1969–70 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 63 38 17 9 3763 136 15 2.17
1970–71 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 57 35 14 6 3325 126 6 2.27
1971–72 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 48 31 10 6 2780 82 9 1.77
1972–73 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 56 32 17 7 3340 140 4 2.51
1973–74 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 34 14 21 4143 141 10 2.04
1974–75 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 71 34 30 7 4219 193 6 2.74
1975–76 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 68 30 23 13 4003 198 4 2.97
1976–77 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 69 25 36 8 4067 234 2 3.45
1977–78 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 68 28 22 14 3840 168 5 2.63
1978–79 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 63 24 28 11 3780 206 4 3.27
1979–80 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 69 31 22 16 4140 205 6 2.97
1980–81 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 66 29 23 14 3935 246 0 3.75
1981–82 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 52 19 25 8 3069 231 1 4.52
1982–83 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 39 23 11 5 2340 135 1 3.46
1983–84 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 18 5 10 3 1095 88 1 4.82
NHL totals 886 423 306 151 52,583 2563 76 2.92


Awards
Preceded by
Danny Grant
Winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy
1970
Succeeded by
Gilbert Perreault
Preceded by
Glenn Hall
and Jacques Plante
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
1970
Succeeded by
Eddie Giacomin
and Gilles Villemure
Preceded by
Eddie Giacomin
and Gilles Villemure
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Gary Smith

1972
Succeeded by
Ken Dryden
Preceded by
Ken Dryden
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
tied with Bernie Parent

1974
Succeeded by
Bernie Parent
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Phil Esposito
NHLPA President
February 10, 1981-October 24, 1984
Succeeded by
Bryan Trottier
Preceded by
Eddie Johnston
General manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins
1988 - 1989
Succeeded by
Craig Patrick
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Tony Esposito. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).


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