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Tony Esposito

Worked As Hockey Executive

After retiring from the Blackhawks, Esposito remained connected to hockey. In his first post, he spent time with the NHL Players Association as an official. But he soon returned to more direct involvement, working in the front office of several teams.

In April 1988, Esposito was hired as director of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He ran the club on a day to day basis, and later named himself general manager for the struggling Penguins. During the 1988-89 season, Esposito's team was in a battle for playoff spot with his brother's team. (Phil Esposito was the general manager of the New York Rangers, in the same division as Pittsburgh). When the team continued to struggle, Esposito was fired in December 1989.

By 1992, Esposito was the director of hockey operations and assistant general manager for Tampa Bay Lightening, an expansion team. His brother was the team's general manager. The brothers were fired together in October 1998 by the team's new owner, Art Williams. It had proven hard to get the team going with money limitations imposed by the previous owners, and the Lightening had struggled since its inception.

Though Esposito had been a relatively unsuccessful hockey executive, his stylistic contributions as a goaltender and his success with the Blackhawks distinguished him. Ironically, Esposito did not enjoy his job as a professional hockey player. As he was quoted in A Breed Apart by Douglas Hunter, "It's a job, that's what it is, a job. I have to do it. But it's tough. I don't like it. To be playing well as a goalkeeper, you have to be afraid. Not afraid that you'll get hurt, but afraid that they're going to score on you. Every time they come down the ice with that puck, I'm afraid the puck is going to go in."

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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