Tony Esposito dies at 78, Hockey Hall of Reputation goalie

Tony Esposito earned a collection apart beside his brother within the Hockey Hall of Reputation by a hit more than 400 games with the Chicago Dim Hawks and having maybe the good season of any rookie goalie in NHL history.

“The Blackhawks and the National Hockey League contain lost a sage in Tony Esposito, who passed away this day after a short battle with pancreatic cancer,” Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz talked about in a observation.

Esposito changed into as soon as born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, on April 23, 1943, 14 months after Phil. Unlike his older brother, who took the odd route of having fun with junior hockey sooner than coming to the NHL, Tony opted to play college hockey within the united states, having fun with three seasons at Michigan Tech sooner than signing with the Montreal Canadiens in 1967. The Canadiens brought him to the NHL all over the 1968-69 season; he went 5-4 with four ties in 13 games and changed into as soon as a backup on Montreal’s fourth Stanley Cup championship group in 5 seasons.

Nevertheless in June 1969, the Canadiens needed to determine on from keeping Esposito or frail Gump Worsley within the intraleague draft. They opted to guard Worsley; the Dim Hawks took Esposito and solved their goaltending problems into the 1980s.

Esposito changed into an rapid hit in Chicago by going 38-17 with eight ties, a 2.17 targets-against sensible and 15 shutouts, mute the stylish-day single-season file for an NHL goalie. He changed into as soon as voted winner of the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year, received the Vezina Trophy for helping Chicago allow the fewest targets, and joined Phil, a heart with the Boston Bruins, as NHL First-Crew All-Stars.

Tony helped the Dim Hawks reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1971 and 1973, although they lost to the Canadiens at any time when.

“The National Hockey League, the Chicago Blackhawks and the city of Chicago lost a liked member of the hockey family earlier this day with the passing of Tony Esposito,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman talked about. “From his arrival within the Windy Metropolis within the boring 1960s thru an illustrious having fun with career and decades as a franchise icon, Tony left an indelible designate — both on the ice and within the neighborhood — over the following 52 years. Previous the particular person awards — and there had been many, along side a Calder Trophy, a sizable option of All-Necessary person and Vezina Trophy recognitions, and in a roundabout blueprint election to the Hockey Hall of Reputation — it changed into as soon as Esposito’s style, charisma and coronary heart that endeared him most to hockey fans no longer good in Chicago however across the NHL. ‘Tony O’ changed into as soon as a fierce competitor who moreover took gigantic pride in being an entertainer, whether it changed into as soon as with his pioneering butterfly style all over his having fun with days or interacting with fans across the League as one among this game’s gigantic ambassadors.

“The hockey world will cross over him vastly. The NHL family extends its deepest sympathies to his spouse, Marilyn, sons Tag (Kim) and Jason, and grandchildren Lauren and Kamryn.”

Esposito obtained Chicago to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in every of his first 14 seasons. A 3-time Vezina winner (moreover 1971-72 and 1973-74), he ended his NHL career as a 40-year-former in 1984 with a file of 423-306 with 152 ties, a 2.93 GAA and 76 shutouts, and changed into as soon as inducted into the Hall of Reputation in 1988, four years after his brother.

He moreover played for Canada against the Soviet Union within the 1972 Summit Series.

“I first met Tony Esposito all over the effectively-known 1972 Absorbing Series between the usa and Canada,” Vladislav Tretiak, old goalie and Hockey Hall of Famer talked about. “Tony participated in four of the eight fits, and we had been named essentially the most productive gamers of Sport 2. He changed into as soon as a sturdy goalkeeper, who changed into as soon as named essentially the most productive within the NHL on three times. He held his stick to his left hand, and his trademark transfer changed into as soon as how he laid on his facet and dived beneath the opposing player with his pads. I feeble the same technique till others obtained the hold of it.

“Tony changed into as soon as a right, precious person. … The closing time I noticed Tony changed into as soon as eight years within the past on the Hall of Reputation. All of us within the ice hockey community will cross over Tony, and I’d bask in to ship my condolences to his family individuals, chums, colleagues, companions and the Canadian other folks.”

Tony changed into as soon as the fashioned manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins for 19 months sooner than being fired in December 1989, then changed into as soon as chief scout of the Tampa Bay Lightning, founded by Phil, from the franchise’s NHL debut in 1992 till October 1998. His closing drafts incorporated facilities Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards, two cornerstones of the Lightning’s Stanley Cup-a hit group in 2004.

“The total Tampa Bay Lightning group is amazingly saddened to listen to of the passing of Tony Esposito this day trustworthy weeks after his evaluation,” the Lightning talked about in a observation. “Tony changed into as soon as a founding, cornerstone member of the Lightning family who changed into as soon as a fixture at games and, along with his brother Phil, played an integral perform in laying the groundwork for a winning franchise within the Sunshine Verbalize when many thought it changed into as soon as unimaginable. His perform can’t be understated. Tony changed into as soon as a right sage on the ice and off of it. We lengthen our deepest sympathies to his spouse, Marilyn, his family, chums and all of those he touched within the hockey community.”

The Blackhawks retired his No. 35 on Nov. 20, 1988, then honored him again on March 19, 2008, by staging “Tony Esposito Night,” at which he changed into as soon as named a group ambassador.

“He changed into as soon as tireless, official and a gigantic teammate,” Wirtz talked about. “Whenever you happen to had been a brand novel player in Chicago, Tony and Marilyn repeatedly made you’re feeling welcome and tickled. Inexperienced persons had been invited to their dwelling for loads of dinners, and when the Espositos held their annual Christmas birthday party, all individuals connected with the Blackhawks changed into as soon as there. All individuals, whether you had been an established frail or an awed rookie.

“… It’s a sad day for the Blackhawks and all of hockey. Nevertheless with his beautiful family, allow us to contain an even time a lifestyles effectively lived. Tony Esposito’s banner will seemingly be section of the United Middle without end, as will his legacy as a celebrity, on and off the ice.”

The Esposito family talked about in a observation, “To the Blackhawks and the National Hockey League, Tony Esposito changed into as soon as a Hall of Reputation goalie. To us, he changed into as soon as a Hall of Reputation husband, father, and grandfather. Chicago felt bask in dwelling from the time Tony first arrived in 1969, as a consequence of the Wirtz family and other folks 18,000 Blackhawks fans who treated him bask in family every evening on the Stadium, take dangle of or lose or tie. As we mourn Tony’s passing, we bask in the recollections and the love, when he changed into as soon as a player and later as an ambassador. We’re without end grateful to your enhance, and we feel blessed now to contain your prayers at a distinguished time. Tony changed into as soon as a deepest person, however he felt your like and he cherished you wait on.”

Dilapidated Dim Hawks goalie Darren Pang, who debuted with Chicago the season after Esposito retired, recalled attending to perceive the player whose style he emulated rising up and attending events he hosted for goalies and defensemen.

“By no technique in a million years did ever I’ve that I’d meet him,” talked about Pang, a commentator on NHL Community and St. Louis Blues television declares. “… I trustworthy keep in mind going to his basement. It changed into as soon as in Elmhurst (Illinois), where he had his dwelling. Going down the steps, hunter green paint, hundreds and hundreds of framed dark and white and eight-by-10s and 5-by-8 photography of hockey and pads on the partitions, sticks laying spherical. I keep in mind taking a jam of pads off the wall, hanging them on my legs and Tony would reveal every bit of it.

“I relate to set apart it in point of view, must you develop up concerned with a player as if they are a god, one thing you by no technique think you presumably may maybe be going to be and assembly the person and finding out the person is as right or greater than you thought, that’s what leaves a designate. That, to me, is one thing that’s right special.”

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