Tony O’s joyful Montreal homecoming

Tony Esposito in his 1968-69 Canadiens portrait. He played 13 games for Montreal before setting off in Chicago on his road to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

His name on the Stanley Cup, as it appears its one and only time, is A. Esposito. Of course, no one has called him Anthony since his mom was angry with him.

Last night, Hall of Fame goalkeeper Tony Esposito returned to the city where nearly 40 years ago he got his start in the National Hockey League, playing 13 games for the Canadiens.

And to the town where he returned many times, in a Chicago Blackhawks jersey, to foil the Canadiens time and time again.

The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs reports today on Tony O’s homecoming.

And see below for some vintage photos of the legend who’s proud to have begun his career in Montreal.

From top: Tony Esposito as he looked in the dressing room and in action with the Michigan Tech Huskies in the mid-1960s, when he was signed to the Canadiens by scout Mickey Hennessey; foiling Canadiens’ Yvan Cournoyer at the Forum in 1970; with teammate (and future Hab) Denis DeJordy at the Forum, also in 1970; and Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, renewing his friendship with Canadiens legend Ken Dryden.

Photos: Michigan Tech; Adrian Lunny and Bill Robson, Montreal Star; Christinne Muschi, Reuters


  1. Habifax says:

    Great Photos. Brings back memories. How about the gear. Looks like they have nothing underneath thoose sweaters compared to todays goalies.

    Tony O was always a great goalie but we always seemed to beat him. 72 was particularly great. 2 in the third hello Stanley!

  2. Sami says:

    Arm/chest pads in those days were made out of a material similar to bed pads. Very little protection, if any. Thank the goalie Gods for coming up with better equipment that minimizes the bruises. I can still feel the pain. Thanks Dave for a great gallery.

  3. Habifax says:

    One question, who did we get when we traded Tony to the Hawks? Anyone know?
    Thanks…. maybe Denis Dejordy and someone else.

    No just googled it….

    Though he played well, Esposito was left unprotected by the Canadiens in the June intraleague draft and was picked up by the Chicago Blackhawks before the 1969-70 season.

  4. vic says:

    Great goaltender.I believe canadiens let him go because he went down too much.
    Stand up goalies those days.

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