Sadly, the Chicago Blackhawks announced on Tuesday evening that Hall of Fame netminder Tony Esposito has passed away.
We are heartbroken to have lost a legend in Tony Esposito, who passed away today after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.#TonyO ??— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) August 10, 2021
Esposito, 78, played 15 seasons with the Blackhawks. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1970 and won three Vezina Trophies (1970, 1972, 1974) with Chicago. To this day, Esposito is the organization’s all-time leader in shutouts (74) and wins (418). His #35 was retired by the Blackhawks on November 20, 1988 at the Chicago Stadium.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement regarding the passing of Esposito:
“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,” Commissioner Bettman said. “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. Beyond the individual awards – and there were many, including a Calder Trophy, numerous All-Star and Vezina Trophy recognitions, and ultimately election to the Hockey Hall of Fame – it was Esposito’s style, charisma and heart that endeared him most to hockey fans not only in Chicago but across the NHL. ‘Tony O’ was a fierce competitor who also took great pride in being an entertainer, whether it was with his pioneering butterfly style during his playing days or interacting with fans across the League as one of this game’s great ambassadors.
“The hockey world will miss him greatly. The NHL family extends its deepest sympathies to his wife, Marilyn, sons Mark (Kim) and Jason, and grandchildren Lauren and Kamryn.”