CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Blackhawks legend and Hall of Fame goalie Tony Esposito passed away Tuesday following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 78.
Esposito played all but one of his 16 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, and was a three-time Vezina Trophy winner as the top goaltender in the league in 1970, 1972 and 1974.
Esposito remains the franchise leader in career wins and shutouts. The Blackhawks retired his No. 35 on November 20, 1988, but he made countless friends after his playing career was over as a Blackhawks ambassador.
Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a written statement: "Tony Esposito's banner will be part of the United Center forever, as will his legacy as a superstar, on and off the ice."
Esposito is survived by his wife, two sons and two grandchildren.
Tony Esposito, Chicago Blackhawks legend and Hall of Fame goalie, dead at 78