Goaltender Jeff Hackett grew up studying his idol Tony Esposito, figuring that if he copied the future Hall of Famer's style, he, too, could make it as an NHL goalie. After a junior hockey career that included the London Diamonds and the Oshawa Generals, Hackett drafted by the New York Islanders in 1987. He split the next two seasons between the Islanders and the Springfield Indians of the AHL (where he won the Jack A. Butterfield playoff MVP trophy) before being picked up by the San Jose Sharks in the 1991 Expansion Draft. After playing 78 games for the Sharks between 1991 and 1993, Hackett was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for a third-round pick in the 1994 Entry Draft.
It was while playing for the Hawks that Hackett's career came full circle: in January of 1996. He entered the Chicago record book with Tony Esposito by recording eight consecutive wins, proving that his prior study of Esposito's game had paid off. After a total of 173 games for the Blackhawks, Hackett was traded to Montreal along with Eric Weinrich, Alain Nasreddine, and a fourth-round draft pick for Jocelyn Thibault, Dave Manson, and Brad Brown in November 1998.
After comparing the media attention he initially received in Montreal with the amount he had watched Michael Jordan undergo in Chicago, Hackett quickly settled down and became a fan favourite. By February 1999, he had been voted one of the three stars eight times, due in no small part to his .914 save percentage, his 2.17 GAA, and his obvious love of his new home.
Hackett went on to play parts of five seasons with Montreal before being acquired by the Boston Bruins in the early stages of the 2002-03 season. One season would be all for Hackett in Beantown, as he became a member of the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2003. Upon his arrival with the Flyers, Hackett went on to play 27 games before retiring from the game midway through the season.