Houghton, Mich. (WBUP) – Former Michigan Tech goaltender Tony Esposito is on the 2022 Michigan Sports Hall of Fame ballot as one of the professional finalists. Voting is now open for professional finalists, amateur finalists, coach finalists, and media finalists. Esposito passed away on August 10, 2021, at the age of 78 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.
Esposito was a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and played for the Huskies from 1964-67. He was named to the WCHA’s Top 50 Players in 50 Years list in 2002 and to the WCHA’s 1960s All-Decade Team. Esposito was also named to the AHCA’s All-Time West Team and The Hockey News All-Time WCHA First Team and All-Time Best Goaltender in 1997. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.
Esposito was an All-American for the Huskies in 1965, 1966, and 1967 and a three-time WCHA honoree. He was the only netminder in WCHA history to win three league goaltending championships and earned NCAA All-Tournament honors as a member of Michigan Tech’s 1965 NCAA championship squad. Esposito was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame as an individual in 1991 and with the 1965 National Championship Team in 2014.
Esposito went on to play 17 NHL seasons for Montreal and Chicago and was a five-time NHL All-Star and three-time Vezina Trophy winner as the top NHL goaltender in 1970, 1972, and 1974. He earned the Calder Memorial Trophy as the top NHL Rookie in 1970. His career NHL record of 423-306-151 ranks 10th in league history and his number 35 is retired by the Blackhawks. He was a member of Montreal’s 1969 Stanley Cup Championship Team and was named one of the NHL’s 100 Greatest Players in 2017.
The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame was organized in 1954 by Lt. Governor Philip A. Hart, Michigan State University Athletic Director Biggie Munn, Donald Weeks, President of the Greater Michigan Foundation, W. Nicholas Kerbawy, General Manager of the Detroit Lions and George Alderton of the Lansing State Journal who conceived of the project. It is believed to be the oldest State Sports Hall of Fame in the United States, having elected its inaugural Class in 1955.
The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Induction Classes are made up of memorable contributors from multiple sports that have achieved prominence and represented their teams, schools and the State of Michigan.