Tony Esposito, the Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender, died Tuesday “after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer,” his longtime workforce, the Chicago Blackhawks, introduced. Esposito was 78.
Esposito, who was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, performed all however 13 video games of his 16-season N.H.L. profession with Chicago. Often referred to easily as Tony O, he joined the Blackhawks for the 1969-70 season, profitable the Calder Trophy because the rookie of the 12 months and the primary of his three Vezina Trophies because the league’s greatest goaltender. He was an early pioneer of the butterfly type of goaltending in an period when stand-up was prevalent.
Esposito’s 423 wins rank 10th on the N.H.L.’s profession record. Chicago retired his No. 35 in 1988, and he had labored as a workforce ambassador since 2008.
“Tony was one of the most important and popular figures in the history of the franchise as we near its 100th anniversary,” Rocky Wirtz, the workforce’s chairman, stated in a press release. “Four generations of our family — my grandfather Arthur, my father Bill, my son Danny and I — were blessed by his work ethic as a Hall of Fame goalie, but more importantly, by his mere presence and spirit.”
Esposito was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988, 4 years after his older brother Phil, who performed for Chicago, the Boston Bruins and the Rangers. In 2017, because the N.H.L. approached its 100th anniversary, each Tony and Phil Esposito have been named among the many league’s 100 greatest players.
“From his arrival in the Windy City in the late 1960s through an illustrious playing career and decades as a franchise icon, Tony left an indelible mark — both on the ice and in the community — over the next 52 years,” Gary Bettman, the N.H.L. commissioner, stated in a press release.
In addition to his brother, Phil, Esposito’s survivors embrace his spouse, Marilyn; his sons, Mark and Jason; and his grandchildren, Lauren and Kamryn, according to the Blackhawks’ statement.