A Trip Down Memory Lane: Phil Esposito

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Phil Espositio

Phil Esposito played center for the Boston Bruins from 1967 to 1975. He played along side Ken Hodge, who was RW and Wayne Cashman, who was LW. The three players created a very powerful forward line. In fact, it was one of the most renowned lines in NHL history.

Phil Esposito began his professional hockey career with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1963 and was traded to the Boston Bruins in 1967, where he spent most of his professional hockey career and was then traded to the New York Rangers in 1975, where he played the remainder of his years as a professional hockey player, until he retired in 1981.

Esposito was well known for his powerful scoring abilities. He was able to score from any angle. Esposito was quoted as saying, “Scoring is easy. You simply stand in the slot, take your beating and shoot the puck in the net.” Esposito was the greatest goal scorer of his day. He was the first NHL player to score 100 points in a season. The saying back then, in regards to Esposito’s tenacious attitude and ability to score was, “Jesus saves, Espo scores on the Rebound.”

Esposito had a lot of practice before he started his professional career with the NHL. Not only did he play in the minor league, he practiced shooting the puck and scoring goals with his younger brother, Tony Esposito, who played goaltender for both the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks, which is the team he is most known for.

Phil Esposito along with Bobby Orr, would go on to form one of the most powerfully dynamic scoring duos in NHL history. They were unstoppable.  Together, they led the Bruins in winning the Stanley Cup in both 1970 and 1972.

During his professional career in the NHL, Esposito won several awards for his top notch goal scoring.  He won the Art Ross Trophy in 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974. He won the Hart Trophy in 1969 and 1974. He was the winner of the Lester B. Pearson award in 1971 and 1974 and he won the Lou Marsh Trophy in 1972. Esposito was also the NHL Goal Leader in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975. Phil Esposito is also the first NHL player to score 1,000 points in a decade.

Phil Esposito retired as a professional hockey player in 1981. After his retirement, he served as a GM and coach to the New York Rangers, for 3 years. He was one of the founders and became the GM to Tampa Bay Lightning, from 1992-1998. At the end of his professional hockey career, Esposito played 1282 games, with 717 goals, 873 assists and 1590 points. Phil Esposito was inducted into the Hall of fame in 1984.

Phil Esposito’s #7 jersey was retired with the Boston Bruins on December 3, 1987. The retirement of Esposito’s jersey, was a very emotional ceremony, as Boston Bruins’ Ray Bourque, who was wearing the #7 jersey at the time, removed the #7 jersey to reveal his new jersey #77, so that Esposito’s jersey could be retired. Esposito was quoted as saying, “I don’t care about being inducted into the Hall of Fame, to tell you the truth. My biggest thrill was having my number retired at Boston Garden. To me is where it’s at.”

 

Shannon Navarro

I’m a Bruinsfanatic from California

 

Information for the above article, can be found in the links below:

Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Esposito

Greatest Hockey Legends.com

http://bruinslegends.blogspot.com/2006/05/phil-esposito.html

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Tags: Bobby Orr Boston Bruins Goal Scorer Legend Phil Esposito Ray Bourque

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