Tony O

    I have always enjoyed the goaltender position either playing in net or watching spectacular saves and shut-outs in a well played defensive contest.

     The goaltender position does get respect but compared to goal scorers in the NHL “goalies” take a back seat in most highlight videos.

     When I initially took interest in Hockey as a child in the late Sixties it was during Tony Esposito’s first season in the NHL and he won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens.

    Oddly enough, for the next NHL season Tony Esposito gets selected in the NHL intra-league draft by the Chicago Blackhawks and goes on to win the Calder Memorial and Vezina Trophies.

     The oddity is that a player in the NHL who was already wearing a Stanley Cup Championship ring from the last season with one team has the opportunity to earn and did capture rookie of the year honors by winning the Calder Memorial Trophy with another team in the next season.

     Some of my earliest memories of Tony Esposito were in the 1975 Stanley Cup Quarter Finals between my boys and the Blackhawks. All one can say is that this particular series was not Mr. Esposito’s finest moments played for his Chicago Blackhawks.  

     I have weaned myself off of morbid curiosity and by this I mean I do not celebrate “death dates” of people and players I admire, instead I have been celebrating their “birth dates”.

     For example with Tony Esposito I will mark my Hockey calendar April 23rd his birthday to remember his NHL achievements and to take note of such an incredible career.  

Author: Buffalo Winter


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