PHIL ESPOSITO is a player, coach and executive, and current broadcaster for the Tampa Bay Lightning. A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, he played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers, winning two Stanley Cups with Boston. Esposito played 1282 regular season games with 717 regular season goals and 910 penalty minutes.
50 years ago, Esposito participated in the most storied hockey series with the 1972 Summit Series and lifting Canada to a historic win over the then Soviet Union.
He is considered one of the greatest players of all time and is the older brother of fellow Hall-of-Famer Tony Esposito, a goaltender. He became the first player to score more than 100 points in a season, with 126 in 1968-69, a feat he would later achieve 5 more times, also becoming the first player to score 50 goals in a season 5 times in a row, including the then record of 76 goals in 1970-71 to go with the then record 152 points the same year. Altogether, he won the Art Ross Trophy as the leading point scorer five times, lead the league in goals six times, was voted the MVP by winning the Hart Trophy twice, and was named as a first team All-Star centre six times.
After retiring as a player, Esposito served as head coach and general manager for the Rangers for two seasons. In 1991, he and his younger brother co-founded the Tampa Bay Lightning, the first NHL expansion team in Florida. The elder Esposito served as the franchise’s first president and general manager until 1998; he now serves as Tampa Bay’s radio colour commentator.
In 2017, Esposito was named one of the ‘100 Greatest NHL Players’ in history. His #7 jersey was retired by the Bruins on December 3, 1987, and there is a statue in his likeness at Tampa Bay’s Amalie Arena.