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Esposito, Tony
Chicago Blackhawks

To say that his style was unorthodox would be an understatement. Legs spread wide apart, the left-handed goaltender gave the shooters a lot of net to shoot at, but he seldom failed to eliminate the hole at the last possible second in order to stop the puck from entering the net. TONY ESPOSITO, born April 23, 1943 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, took a different path to the NHL than most of his peers. TONY went the university route, starring with the Michigan Tech Huskies before being signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens. In 1968-69, TONY got into 13 regular season games with the Canadiens, and watched from the end of the bench as his teammates won the Stanley Cup. That summer, the Chicago Black Hawks selected ESPOSITO in the intra-league draft, hoping he'd be an adequate back-up to Denis DeJordy. TONY O not only was an adequate back-up, he proved to be a damned fine starting goalie, and in 1969-70, earned 38 wins, saw but 17 losses and had eight ties in his 63 games played. And within those 38 wins, ESPOSITO shut out the opposition 15 times. Both the number of games won and the quantity of shutouts that season led the NHL in 1969-70, and in fact were the highest single season marks TONY would enjoy in his 16 season career. At the end of that remarkable season, one in which TONY led the Hawks to a first place finish, ESPOSITO walked out of the NHL Awards banquet with the CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY as Top Rookie (beating the Rangers' Bill Fairbairn), the Vezina Trophy for the league's lowest goals-against average and was named goaltender on the NHL's First All-Star Team.

Esposito, Tony