Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Fame goaltender Tony Esposito has died at the age of 78 after briefly battling pancreatic cancer, Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz announced Tuesday.
“The National Hockey League, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the city of Chicago lost a beloved member of the hockey family earlier today with the passing of Tony Esposito,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. “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.”
Esposito joined the Blackhawks from the Montreal Canadiens in 1969. During his first full season in Chicago, he became an All-Star player, won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year, and the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender.
During his 15 years in Chicago, he won the Vezina Trophy three times and made five All-Star teams in total.