The 71-year old Hockey Hall of Famer was approached by The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons recently because two of the teams Esposito formally played for, the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks, are currently facing each other in the Stanley Cup Final. Esposito’s fame was mostly cemented during his time with Boston, when as a member of Bobby Orr’s “big bad Bruins” he won two Stanley Cups, led the league in scoring multiple times, and twice won the Hart Trophy for the league’s most valuable player. His brother, Tony Esposito, was a star goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks, and it seemed like a natural story to get the siblings’ takes on the franchises that made them household names.
Then Phil spouted out with this nonsense…
“You want to know the truth,” Esposito, 71, the fifth-leading goal scorer in NHL history, told the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons in a story published Tuesday. “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.
You have no feeling for these teams?
“Screw” the Boston Bruins?
Sir, as a lifelong fan of the Boston Bruins, I can tell you with complete certainty that while you may have “no feeling” for the Boston Bruins, the fans of that team certainly have feelings for you. Two cups, hundreds of goals, and great on-ice moments aside, one of the most memorable moments in Boston Bruins, if not NHL history, was the emotional ceremony when your number seven jersey was retired. And I don’t need to remind you that the player who was wearing number seven at the time was none other than Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, arguably the second greatest Bruin of all time. That guy handed you your number seven and said the following words:
“This is yours big guy, and its always been yours. It never should have been anyone else’s.”
Then he peeled off the jersey he was wearing to reveal a #77, which he wore throughout his career, and was later retired in both Boston and Colorado. No Bruin has worn number seven since, and do you know why? FOR YOU.
“Screw” the Bruins?
THIS means nothing?
What an amazingly ungrateful prick.
By the way, this isn’t the first time Espo has shot off his mouth against the fans that made him a star. In 2011, when Boston was playing the Tampa Bay Lightning on their way to their first Stanley Cup since #7 won it for them in 1972, the classless blowhard came out strong in favor of Tampa Bay. Yes, to be fair, he had helped found the Florida NHL franchise, but he certainly didn’t mince any words while talking to the Fox Tampa Bay Affiliate. His exact words were that he “could give one damn about Boston.”
And you know what? He’s a grown up. He’s allowed to not like Boston. Phil Esposito may have some personal beef with the Bruins organization that I don’t know about and is completely legit, but he didn’t have to air his dirty laundry in public and insult his fans. How hard would it have been to say “You know what? I’m a Tampa guy now, and that’s where my rooting interest lies in this one, but if it doesn’t go our way, and the great fans in Boston who cheered me and supported me during my playing career were to get another Stanley Cup, well I’d sure be happy for them.”
Or, he could have could just said this: “no comment.”
But Phil Esposito didn’t say no comment and he didn’t conduct himself with class, and he has now gone out of his way to insult a city and a fanbase who supported him, cheered him and made him rich and famous.
If he really doesn’t “give one damn about Boston” and he really thinks this series “doesn’t mean s__t” well then maybe it’s time to lower that #7 back down from the rafters. There’s a pretty good rookie on the Boston Bruins right how named Torey Krug who wears the number 47.
And the way Phil Esposito is talking, as a Bruins fan, I’d be just as happy if they ripped off that four.