Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: phil esposito
Even after 35 years, this one stands out:
Phil Esposito. Shortly after he hoodwinked the NHL into granting him the Tampa Bay Lightning expansion franchise (which finally landed in saner, richer hands), Esposito and the Lightning came to Toronto for their first game against the Maple Leafs. My assignment was to get a question-and-answer out of him.
For some reason, perhaps connected to his turn as a star for Team Canada in the 1972 Soviet series a good 20 years earlier, Esposito hated the Toronto media. It was apparent the minute he walked in the door that night.
He reluctantly agreed to the interview. He started to answer the first question and then said, “The hell with this. I’m not answering any of your effing questions,” and walked off. This was between the first and second period. After the game, he was approached by Bob McKenzie, who worked for the Toronto Starat the time. There was an exchange of words and Esposito punched him. McKenzie called the cops and had Esposito charged with assault. The charges were dropped when Espo apologized.
Told by David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail in an interview with On The Fourth Floor, where you can read more from Shoalts.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
When Phil Esposito is spotted in Russia, the reaction from a throng of people is a sight to behold.
"One time, my wife (Bridget) looked at me and said, 'I didn't know I was travelling with Brad Pitt,' " Esposito said with a laugh.
"Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by the admiration, the adoration, whatever word it is. It's overwhelming. I'm 70 years old and, man, it's wonderful to still be recognized and known.
"I think I'm more famous over here (in Russia) than I am there (in Canada and the United States). Does that make any sense?"
continued with video too...
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes at the Tampa Bay Times,
“I’m really having major difficulties with this,” Esposito told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday. “I’m just in total shock. I cannot believe it even as I sit and talk to you. I expect her to call me and say, “April fool.’ “
Carrie Selivanov, 43, who was married to former Lightning star Alex Selivanov, died Monday, apparently of a sudden illness, Esposito said. The couple had two children: Nikko, 13; and Rocko, 9. Dylan, 18, was Carrie’s son from a previous marriage.
Esposito said he last spoke to his daughter, one of three he had in two previous marriages, about four days ago.
“She never said a word,” Esposito said. “She said she was fine.”
Esposito, though, said he knew his daughter had been ill and that about 10 days ago she “coughed up some blood.”
But Carrie declined to see a doctor.
TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning Founder Phil Esposito released the following statement this evening:
“On behalf of Alex Selivanov, Carrie’s sisters Laurie and Cherise, and my wife Bridget, I’d like to thank everyone in the Tampa Bay community and in the hockey fraternity for their thoughts, prayers and well wishes as we grieve Carrie’s passing yesterday. We are shocked and saddened with her death but we will remember her for the energy and vigor that she brought to each day of her life. Our focus will now center on her sons Dylan, Nikko and Rocco.”
Carrie Esposito Selivanov passed away on Monday, January 30 in Germany after suffering from an unknown illness. She had been living in Germany with husband and former NHL and Lightning player Alex Selivanov and their three children Dylan (18), Nikko (13) and Rocco (10) as Selivanov has been most recently playing and coaching in the Netherlands. Private funeral services will be held later this week in Germany.
Condolences for the family can be sent to: Phil Esposito, c/o Tampa Bay Lightning, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602. The family has yet to determine where memorial donations should be made. More information will be forthcoming when available.
From Zuri Berry at Boston.com:
In an interview with Fox 13 Tampa last week, NHL hall of famer Phil Esposito—a member of the Bruins’ 1972 and 1970 Stanley Cup championship teams whose jersey hangs from the rafters at TD Garden—said he “could give one damn about Boston.”
“I don’t care about Boston,” Esposito told the local Fox affiliate. “Tampa Bay is my home. The Lightning are like my child. I gave birth to it. It took everything I had physically and probably mentally.”
The interview video is below:
from Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune,
“Why should we begrudge these owners, who pay exorbitant amounts for their franchise and pay out salaries and debt on their stadiums, a decent return on their investment?’’ said Esposito, who served as president of the NHL Players Association during his final two seasons as a player, more than 30 years ago.
In 2004, shortly after the Lightning paraded the Stanley Cup through the streets of downtown Tampa, the NHL turned to an outside counsel by the name of Bob Batterman to assist in talks with the NHLPA.
If you’ve been watching TV updates on pro football’s ongoing labor dispute, you saw NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walking into a Washington office building last week accompanied by his league’s outside counsel.
Yes, that Bob Batterman.
“If you really want to bring about a major change in the way you do business, shut it down,’’ a longtime NHL executive told me, referring to the NFL’s labor strife. “Shut the game down for a year and NFL owners will get what they want — on their terms.’‘
The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning share a home state, divisional alignment and the perks of leaving their home rinks to 80 degree-plus temperatures on the regular.
Their tenure as National Hockey League member franchises is nearly identical as well, with Tampa entering the league for the 1992-93 season and Florida one year later.
But you won’t find much evidence of a rivalry when speaking to current players from these clubs and, from members of the organizations of years gone by, what once sounded like legitimate hostilities have either fizzled into forced assertions or a longing for the good ol’ days.
It can’t hold a candle to the long-standing, emotionally charged levels of Calgary/Edmonton, Boston/Montreal or Colorado/Detroit.
It’s not likely to ever split households, a la Islanders/Rangers or Canadiens/Maple Leafs.
And, though both teams have had their share of supreme talents over the years, the odds of a superstar-driven rivalry, as in Ovechkin-Crosby/Capitals-Penguins, between the Lightning and Panthers are poor.
But there has to be something there still, right?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
There were no specifics given by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, just an acknowledgment Lightning founder Phil Esposito might be in line for an expanded role with the organization. And while Vinik said the final decision will be up to new CEO Tod Leiweke, Vinik sounded as if Esposito could be an asset on the community and marketing side of the organization.
“We want him involved with this team,” Vinik said this week. “We want him out in the community. We want him involved with us. He’s a great ideas person.”
Expanding Esposito’s role from his long-time gig as an analyst on radio broadcasts of Lightning home games, a job for which he has said he never has signed a contract, makes sense for an organization ready to embrace its past and make a better effort to market the team both in the St. Pete Times Forum and Tampa Bay area.
“We had a group in the running for this. We lost to Koules, and we lost to (current owner) Jeff (Vinik). We raised an awful lot of money. We had enough money to buy five franchises. I don’t think we got outbid. I think (NHL commissioner Gary) Bettman thought Jeff was the right guy. And so do I.
“We were close (to buying the team). We were really close. We went to New York, met with attorneys and different people. We stopped short of Gary because we wanted to be absolutely sure before we got to him.’‘
-Phil Espostio talking about a group he was part of that was prepared to buy the Lightning. More on Tampa from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times.
from Chris Young at the Toronto Star,
“What he’s done is ridiculous,” Esposito says of Balsillie. “You’ve gotta go through the rules. Buy the team first, then follow their rules. That’s the way it works. That’s what we did in Tampa. They gave us a book and we followed the book.”
“I don’t think Hamilton’s the right place to put a team. Toronto can afford another team, I have no doubt, but not Hamilton. It’s too close to Buffalo, for one thing, and that arena (in Hamilton) needs $200 million of upgrades? Ridiculous. You can’t play there.”
“This is not a little business. This is a big business. Whether you like him or not, Gary Bettman is trying to do the right thing here.”
‘Minor Memories’ at CBC.ca:
CBCSports.ca: Where was the most memorable tournament you ever played, and why?
Esposito: Team Canada ‘72, without a doubt, because it was the unknown. We had no idea that these guys could play like they did, no idea. In fact, the Toronto Maple Leafs scouts scouted them, and they told us they couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that. I made a statement saying no wonder the Leafs are in last place, their scouts are stupid. They couldn’t pick anybody, ‘cause this was a good hockey team. I think that was the most memorable tournament for me.