After a battle with pancreatic cancer, hockey legend and butterfly-style pioneer, Tony Esposito, has passed away at 78.
Tony Esposito was arguably one of the best goaltenders of all time. He played for the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks, made a name for himself in the 16 years that he played in the NHL. His talent has been felt for years after his retirement in 1984, where his jersey was eventually retired. Esposito also joined his brother, Phil in the formation of what we know today as the Tampa Bay Lightning.
So it pains the hockey world to know that we lost a legend. Esposito passed away Tuesday evening.
Esposito, who was a hall-of-famer, 16-season vet, and franchise leader in career wins, passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer
The Blackhawks took to Twitter to announce the loss of one of their own.
Esposito has been a veteran and innovator to the game in many ways. He was one of the first to wear the number 35 in a time where the number wasn’t granted to everyone. He also was an integral factor in the butterfly, a position that goalies have ingrained in their style of play for decades. A three time Venzina trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion, Esposito also became enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988, four years after his retirement.
While this is a huge loss, his impact has been and will be felt much longer. Esposito’s presence and gift to the game is still felt today and will be greatly missed.