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More About Tony Esposito
One of the greatest goaltenders of all time, Tony Esposito actually began his career with the Montreal Canadiens. Ultimately, he only played 13 games with the fabled Habs, posting a pair of shutouts. Due to the strength of the goaltending tandem in Montreal at the time (Rogatien Vachon and Gump Worsley) Esposito was considered expendable and in the off-season prior to the 1969-70 season he was left unprotected and the Blackhawks snapped him up in the intra-league draft.
It didn’t take long for Esposito to establish himself as an NHL star. In his rookie year he posted 38 wins, a stingy 2.17 GAA and an amazing 15 shutouts, an NHL record for a rookie, and the modern day single season record among goalies in general.
Over the next few seasons Esposito continued to grow his legend. Though he didn’t match his shutout total from his rookie campaign he continued to chalk up the wins and in 1971-72 set another NHL record when he finished the season with a sparkling 1.77 GAA. He was so good he was named to Team Canada for the 1972 Summit Series where he helped his country to a hard fought 8 game series victory over the Soviet Union.
Esposito ultimately played NHL hockey for the Blackhawks until the ripe old age of 40, suiting up for 886 regular season games along the way and winning 423 of them. He finished his career with 76 shutouts, a lofty total that puts him in the top 10 all time in that category to this day and won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender on three separate occasions.