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Tony Esposito Biography

Played Junior And College Hockey, Picked Up By The Blackhawks, Played In Summit Series, Retired As A PlayerCONTACT INFORMATION


Canadian hockey player

Nicknamed "Tony O," Tony Esposito was a Hall of Fame goaltender who was an early proponent of the modern style of butterfly goaltending and the use of an unorthodox, sprawling style to make saves. Younger brother of fellow Hall of Famer Phil Esposito, a forward, Esposito won three Vezina Trophies as the best goaltender in the NHL (National Hockey League) playing primarily for the Chicago Blackhawks. Despite his success, Esposito claimed he didn't really enjoy being a goaltender. After retiring from playing, Esposito and his brother ran the front office of the expansion Tampa Bay Lightening for the first six years of the franchise's existence.

Esposito was born on April 23, 1943, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where he and his elder brother Phil were raised. Their father, Pat, was a construction worker. Phil Esposito was the first to play hockey as a skater, and he often joked that as the younger brother, he forced Tony to play goalie for him. As a child, Esposito learned the position by stopping shots in the driveway and in the basement. While he wanted to be a forward, but he was always put in net in pickup games.

In high school at St. Mary's College, Esposito also played football, track and field, and softball. Some believed that he was a better fullback in football than a hockey player. He quit playing goalie when he was seventeen years old to play football, but returned when asked to play junior hockey for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.


Address: 418 55th Ave., St. Petersburg. Florida 33706. Online: http://www.legendsofhockey.com (with brother, Phil Esposito).

Sketch by A. Petruso

Where Is He Now?

For the years after he was fired from the Tampa Bay Lightening, Esposito relaxed in St. Petersburg with his wife, looking for new opportunities in the game. Because of his business sense, he had no real need to work. However, Esposito continued to make appearances at card shows and did some goaltending instruction for minor league hockey teams like the United Hockey League Madison (Wisconsin) Kodiaks.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsHockey