Tony Esposito, Hockey Hall of Famer, Dies at 78
Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Tony Esposito died Tuesday “after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer,” announced his longtime team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Esposito was 78 years old.
Esposito, who was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Has played in all but 13 games of her 16-season NHL career with Chicago. Often referred to simply as Tony O, he joined the Blackhawks for the 1969-70 season, winning the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year and the first of his three Vezina Trophies as the league’s top goaltender. . He was one of the early pioneers of the butterfly style of goalie during a time when stand-up was rife.
Esposito’s 423 wins rank 10th on the NHL’s career list. Chicago retired his number 35 in 1988 and he had worked as the team’s ambassador since 2008.
“Tony was one of the most important and popular figures in franchise history as we approach his 100th birthday,” Rocky Wirtz, team president, said in a statement. “Four generations of our family – my grandfather Arthur, my father Bill, my son Danny and I – have been blessed by his work ethic as a Hall of Fame goaltender, but more importantly, by his work ethic as a Hall of Fame goaltender. simple presence and its spirit. “
Esposito was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988, four years after his older brother Phil, who played for Chicago, Boston Bruins and Rangers. In 2017, as the NHL approached its 100th anniversary, Tony and Phil Esposito were named among the league’s top 100 players.
“From coming to Windy City in the late 1960s to an illustrious playing career and decades as a franchise icon, Tony has left an indelible mark – both on the ice and in the community. – over the next 52 years, ”Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, said in a statement.
In addition to his brother, Phil, Esposito’s survivors include his wife, Marilyn; his sons, Marc and Jason; and his grandchildren, Lauren and Kamryn, according to the Blackhawks’ statement.
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