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Esposito was 'goal machine' in more ways than one

Hall of Famer shattered single-season scoring mark with Bruins, helped popularize street hockey

by Stan Fischler / Special to

Legendary hockey reporter and analyst Stan Fischler writes a weekly scrapbook for Fischler, known as "The Hockey Maven," will share his knowledge, humor and insight with readers each Wednesday. Once a month, he will let a picture from his vast collection do the talking in his "Picture is Worth 100 Words" feature.

This month, he writes about Hall of Famer Phil Esposito, one of the greatest goal-scorers in NHL history, who got involved in the business of hockey during his career -- when he wasn't putting the puck in the net himself.

They called Phil Esposito "The Goal Machine" for good reason. During the 1970-71 season he shattered the NHL record by scoring 76 goals for the Boston Bruins. That was 18 more than the previous single-season mark of 58 set in 1968-69 by Bobby Hull, a former teammate of Esposito's with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Esposito had five consecutive seasons of at least 55 goals, was a six-time First-Team All-Star center and twice won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. He and linemates Ken Hodge and Wayne Cashman helped power the Bruins to Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972, and he became one of Boston's most venerated sports heroes.

In his spare time, Esposito got involved in the business side of hockey, including the production of pucks for street hockey play.

In this photo, he displays a product of his company's goal machine. Judging by the smile on his face, business was good.

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