Phil Esposito is one of the greatest players in NHL history, and he played for both the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. For that reason, one might assume he would be torn when it comes to choosing a team to root for in this year’s Stanley Cup Final. As it turns out, that could not be further from the truth.
During a recent interview with the Toronto Sun, Esposito emphatically stated that he feels no connection to the Bruins or Blackhawks.
“You want to know the truth?” he said. “This series doesn’t mean s*** to me. I have no feeling for these teams. There’s nothing emotional about it. They both got rid of me, traded me. So screw them.”
Esposito was considered the greatest scorer of his generation, becoming the first ever player to score over 100 points in a season when he recorded a whopping 126 in 1969. He led the NHL in scoring for six straight seasons from 1969-1975, and he and Bobby Orr were the anchors of a Bruins team that won Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972.
Esposito came to Boston from Chicago in 1967, before his career really took off. During the 1975-76 season, he was traded from the Bruins to the New York Rangers when he supposedly made a fuss about having his playing time reduced because of his age.
“I didn’t choose to leave Chicago,” Esposito said. “I didn’t choose to leave Boston. I signed a contract in Boston for less money than I could have gotten from going to the WHA. I could have made millions doing that. And you know how they repaid me? Three weeks later, they traded me (to the New York Rangers).”
The fifth-leading scorer in NHL history went on to coach and become general manager of the Rangers after he retired in 1981. In 1987, the Bruins held an emotional ceremony where they retired Esposito’s No. 7 jersey and had Ray Bourque remove the number from his back to reveal his new No. 77. Esposito was moved by the ceremony and later attended a ceremony in Boston when the Bruins retired Bourque’s number, but apparently he has had no association with the team since then. Talk about a crying shame.