Tony Esposito, a Hall of Fame goaltender who played almost his entire 16-year career with the Chicago Blackhawks, has died following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, the team announced on Tuesday. He was 78.
Esposito debuted with Montreal during the 1968-69 season and appeared in 13 games. He was then taken by the Blackhawks in an intraleague draft, quickly emerging as one of the league’s best goalies.
He won the Calder Trophy in 1970 as the NHL’s best rookie as well as the Vezina Trophy given to the top goaltender. He also won the Vezina in 1972 and 1974.
Esposito is Chicago’s career leader with 418 wins and 74 shutouts, including 15 during his rookie season. in shutouts (74) and wins (418). He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988 and joined his brother Phil, who played 18 seasons in the NHL.