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Tony Esposito

Picked Up By The Blackhawks

Esposito finally was called up to the Montreal Canadiens early in the 1968-69 season. He appeared in thirteen games beginning on November 29. Though he played well, Esposito was left unprotected by the Canadiens in the June intraleague draft and was picked up by the Chicago Blackhawks before the 1969-70 season.

In 1969-70, Esposito's true rookie season, Coach Billy Reay had confidence in the young netminder, making veteran Denis DeJordy his backup. Though Esposito lost the season opener in St. Louis, 7-2, he went on to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year and the Vezina Trophy as best goaltender. Esposito had a great rookie season—one of the best ever for a rookie goaltender. He won 38 games, 15 by shutout. The Blackhawks made it to the Stanley Cup semifinals against Boston Bruins, for which his brother Phil played, but the Blackhawks were swept in four games.

Proving his rookie season was no fluke, Esposito almost repeated as the Vezina Trophy winner in 1970-71, but missed it by seven goals. He and the Blackhawks appeared in the Stanley Cup finals that season, but lost. In 1971-72, Esposito again won Vezina Trophy with Gary Smith. They had a combined 2.12 goal against average. Esposito's own was 1.76 goals against average in the forty-eight games in which he played.

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Famous Sports StarsHockeyTony Esposito Biography - Played Junior And College Hockey, Picked Up By The Blackhawks, Played In Summit Series, Retired As A Player - CONTACT INFORMATION