Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

All Phil Esposito

from Lucas Aykroyd of Billy,

You were 29 when you peaked with 152 points for the Bruins in 1971. If a 29-year-old Phil Esposito got to play in today’s league, how would he do?

If my aunt had b---, she’d be my uncle. What kind of question is that? How would I know? I don’t know. These guys are faster, they’re bigger, they’re stronger. The equipment is to die for. I don’t know even know how they get hurt, to tell you the truth, with the equipment and the goaltending equipment and all that. But the one thing they don’t have that we had was respect for one another. And without respect, you’ve got nothing.

I don’t agree with all the training today. I think that’s why they get hurt so much. With me, you know, they had to go through an inch, an inch and a half of fat before they got the muscle. Now they spear you and they’ve got muscle.

Overall, how do you like the way the game is played today?

Well, there’s certainly not enough scoring in the game. The goaltending equipment is huge. The defence is huge. With all that padding, everybody blocks shots. That I don’t like about the NHL. I don’t like the fact that guys are able to hit from behind with no repercussions. I mean, they don’t give a crap. I don’t like that at all. I don’t like the fact that you’re not allowed to protect yourself, and I especially hate the after-whistle scrums, where they’re pushing one another.

In my day, if I pushed a guy like that, the guy would have punched me right in the face, and I wouldn’t have done it again. Now they mill around, and you’ve got guys who aren’t brave at all, yapping about it. I just don’t like that at all.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+esposito


WingedRider's avatar

But the one thing they don’t have that we had was respect for one another. And without respect, you’ve got nothing.

So very true and not just in Hockey. Not just the young athletes

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 08/08/17 at 10:39 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Everything Phil says about the difference between today’s game and the game he played is 100% right.

No respect for others? Check.

Oversized goalie equipment? Check, and double check.

After-the-whistle scrum bullshit? Check.

Not “loaning” of players to the Olympics? Check.

And then there’s this…

If my aunt had b(alls), she’d be my uncle. What kind of question is that?

Now that’s the way Babcock should have answered Trevor Thompson incessantly stupid between-period questions. It would have been a lot more honest than simply rolling his eyes and changing the subject.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/08/17 at 11:44 PM ET


Yes, please, let’s all pretend that Phil and his pals all had so much respect for one another. The Summit Series was the ultimate in players respecting each other. Oh, and Gordie Howe trying to shove his elbow down the gullet of every player he ever played against.


Make the NHL great again?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/09/17 at 08:33 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Phil is right on much of this, but at the same time he is involved in a bit of historical revisionism, as CDM says.

Phil sounds like your grumpy old grandpa. He’s right, but he is also looking at the past through rose-colored glasses.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 08/09/17 at 09:39 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com