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Tony Esposito (1943–2021), legendary Chicago Blackhawks goalie

by Kirk Fox

Tony Esposito was a legendary Hall of Fame goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Blackhawks legend

Tony Esposito was a star goaltender in college for Michigan Tech. He was a back-up goalie for the Montreal Canadians his rookie season and then picked up in the intraleague draft by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1969. He set the modern-day record for most shoutouts in a season with 15 his first year in the net with the Blackhawks. He became a star and one of the most popular players in Blackhawks history, affectionately known as “Tony O.” A pioneer of the butterfly goalie style, he played the next 15 seasons for the team before retiring in 1984. Esposito led the Hawks to two Stanley Cup finals, won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie three times, and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. His older brother, Phil Esposito, was a star center in the NHL and is in the Hall of Fame.

Notable Quote

“I was behind two veterans in Montreal, Rogie Vachon and Gump Worsley.” “So I was anxious to go to a place where I might have a chance to play more. Plus, I had played a game against the Blackhawks the previous season. Even though they were struggling a bit, they had a lot of talent. I thought they had a strong upside, good possibilities.” – He told NHL.com in 2017

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Tributes to Tony Esposito

Full Obituary: Chicago Tribune

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