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“It is a great honor to be asked back into the Blackhawks family,” said Esposito. “In my heart, I have always been and always will be a Blackhawk. I want to thank Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough for giving me the opportunity to come back to the Blackhawks organization. I love the new approach the team is taking. Everything about the Blackhawks is very upbeat and I am proud to be a part of this new beginning.”
“We’re very excited to have Tony Esposito join Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita as Blackhawks ambassadors,” said Blackhawks Team President John McDonough. “Tony is a Hall of Fame goaltender and one of the greatest players to ever wear the Blackhawks jersey. I’m sure all our fans will join me and the entire Blackhawks organization in welcoming Tony Esposito back into the Blackhawks family. ”Tony Esposito will be honored in special pre-game ceremonies prior to the game on Wednesday night, March 19th, when the Blackhawks play host to the Washington Capitals.
Esposito broke into the NHL during the 1968-69 season with
the Montreal Canadiens. He appeared in 13 games with a 5-4-4 record and a
2.73 GAA. Esposito was a member of the 1969 Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup
Following the 1968-69 season, the Blackhawks claimed the rookie goaltender from the Canadiens on June 15, 1969 for $25,000.
That claim paid immediate dividends for the Blackhawks, as Esposito posted a 38-17-8 record and a 2.17 GAA during his rookie season in 1969-70. Esposito captured the Vezina Trophy (Top Goaltender) and the Calder Trophy (Top Rookie) and was named to the First-Team All-Star squad. Esposito also set an NHL record that still stands today, recording 15 shutouts during the 1969-70 season. Esposito is the All-Time Blackhawk career leader with 74 shutouts. His 38-win season in 1969-70 began a streak of seven consecutive 30+ win seasons for Esposito, who finished his Blackhawk career as the All-Time Blackhawk career leader with 418 wins.
Esposito was a First Team All-Star selection in 1970,
1972, and 1980 and was a Second Team All-Star selection in 1973 and 1974. He
shared the Vezina Trophy with teammate Gary Smith in 1972 and shared the
Vezina with Philadelphia’s Bernie Parent in 1974. He appeared in six NHL
All-Star games, from 1970-74 and 1980), accumulating a 2.55 GAA. During his 16-year NHL career, Esposito compiled a
423-306-151 record and ranks as the fourth winningest goaltender in NHL
history. His 76 career shutouts ranks eighth in NHL history.
Esposito was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame
in 1988. He is one of only five players to have jersey number retired by the
Blackhawks. Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Glenn Hall and Denis Savard are the
The National Hockey League Alumni Association is pleased to announce its partnership with several NHL alumni to bring you the NHL Alumni Signature Wine Series™. The NHL Alumni Signature Wine Series™ boasts 12 different bottles of wine, 6 Chardonnay and 6 Cabernet Sauvignon, all bearing a beautiful gold-relief likeness of some of hockey’s greatest legends. These limited edition wines are sure to attract both the wine enthusiast and the hockey fan alike.
There are three charitable components to the NHL Alumni Signature Wine Series™ wine program. First, for every bottle of wine that is sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the charity of each player’s choice. Second, each of the teams’ Alumni Associations will be receiving a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the wine to be further donated to the charities of their choice. Finally, a portion of the proceeds will also benefit the NHL Alumni Association’s “Hockey’s Greatest Family Fund” which helps bring together former players to support charitable causes, assist former players in life after hockey and generally promote the game of hockey. www.nhlalumni.net
The NHL Alumni Association is also pleased to announce its collaboration with Ironstone Vineyards for the production of the wine. Ironstone Vineyards is the tenth largest family-owned and operated award-winning winery located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills region of California. Stephen Kautz, President of Ironstone Vineyards, runs the operation with a focus on producing consistent high-quality wines. www.ironstonevineyards.com
Artemis Sports Group LLC is a sports-marketing and consulting firm that provided program development and coordination for the project. www.artemissports.com
“The NHL Alumni Association is excited to undertake this new endeavor, promoting and assisting the many wonderful charities that are affiliated with this wine program. We are honored to partner with such a prestigious winery and we look forward to a long and ‘fruitful’ relationship with Ironstone Vineyards. Many thanks to Artemis Sports Group who have been so instrumental in facilitating this program.” - Mark Napier, Executive Director and Wendy McCreary, Alumni Relations Manager.
Each player has selected a charity to which a portion of
the proceeds from the sale of their wine will be donated. The following is a
list of the players and their chosen charities:
Tony Esposito Cougars Selects Youth Hockey (www.cougarsselects.com)
Esposito Appearances for 2008
July 18-20, 2008
The Chicago Blackhawks are pleased to announce that the Inaugural Blackhawks Convention slated for July 18-20. An anticipated crowd of 10,000 will be on hand to attend what is believed to be the first event of its kind in the history of the National Hockey League. Tony Esposito will be one of the main players.
Update March 20, 2008