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11-17-2012, 01:51 AM
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Cesare Maniago !!!

Awards and Achievements:
Allan Cup Champion (1960)

2 x Cyclone Taylor Award (team MVP) (1977, 1978)

- He had good staying power in the NHL, with more career GP than most available goalies despite coming of age during the O6 era (with the benefit of a 12-16 team league in his 20s, he would likely have a few hundred more to his credit)
- He was a workhorse goalie, finishing top-10 in minutes 5 times (2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th), and this doesn’t count his 8th and 10th pre-expansion – for obvious reasons those would be misleading to include.
- He was often among the sv% leaders (5th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th)
- Despite playing well into his declining years he maintained a weighted sv% averaging 1.3 points better than the league average in his career
- His 36 playoff games are a pretty decent sample for an AAA goalie
- He actually topped the playoff sv% average by a weighted 5.8 points over his career.
- While he was a “tweener” thanks to an O6 NHL numbers game, he was a pretty successful minor league goalie, going 146-121-13 between 1960 and 1966. Being that he was up-and-down, he often didn’t play enough games to get award consideration, but when he did, the EPHL called him the best goalie in 1962, and the CPHL called him the best goalie and MVP in 1965. He also won the 1960 Allan Cup.
- Maniago retired after playing 46 games in the 1977-78 season. At the time, only the ageless Eddie Johnston (42) was older among goalies in the NHL or WHA.

Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Cesare Maniago exemplified the need for expansion in 1967-68. Maniago was a star in the minor leagues for much of the 1960s, not only a top goaltender but the CHL MVP in 1965. But back in those Original Six days Cesare couldn't crack an NHL lineup. The few times he got called up to the NHL he backed up names like Jacques Plante, Ed Giacomin and Johnny Bower.

The NHL was forced to expand because of players like Maniago. The minor leagues were becoming full of NHL quality players that really were as good as many NHLers. The farm teams could ice a team that could compete against the NHL. If they didn't expand, the minor leagues perhaps could have taken over the NHL as hockey's top league.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Maniago didn't resurface in the NHL until 1965-66, and then, with the New York Rangers. But with expansion, many players received a new lease on their playing lives, and Cesare Maniago was no different. Chosen by the Minnesota North Stars, he played nine seasons there.


In Minnesota, Maniago finally became a frontline goaltender. Standing an exceptionally tall 6' 3", his game was distinguished by acrobatic moves, quick reflexes, and an emphasis on playing the angles.

He became a goal-crease fixture with the North Stars for the nine seasons that followed the draft. On three occasions, he cracked the 20-wins plateau.
Originally Posted by Hockey's Best Books
As one of only five NHL goalies who played 150 games in the 1960s and 250 games in the 1970s, Maniago was an unsung hero who personifies all the greatness and change of pro hockey during his time... renowned as a superb ‘team’ player who was both a throwback and a pioneer, a workhorse and a stalwart.
Originally Posted by Fischler's Hockey Encyclopedia
When he flops to the ice to block a shot, he looks like a whooping crane in extremis, and when he removes his mask he carries the long-faced look of a man who has just lost his dog or his best friend. It could only be Cesare Maniago, veteran cager of the Minnesota North Stars.

...after expansion, proved he was something more than a sub goalie...
Originally Posted by Goaltenders: the expansion Years
The 1969-70 season would prove to be particularly difficult as the mounting defensive problems and the lack of support from a proven backup led to him seriously contemplating retirement...

Scouting Reports:
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1972
Workhorse goalie who was Minnesota's first expansion draft choice...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1974
Agile for a big man and uses legs well to block shots but looks somewhat unorthodox...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1975
"Hail Cesare" has become a familiar cheer around the Met center...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1977
Has aged well... after abandoning thoughts of retiring, carried bulk of North Stars goaltending... reflexes are still sharp...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1978
Ability is often overlooked because he has played with more losers than winners...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1979
Again Canucks' leading goaltender last season... has more savvy than a lot of other goalies... respected as team leader.

Statistical Evaluation:
Some of Maniago's best seasons came when he was paired with Gump Worsley in the Minnesota nets. As a good point of reference, this 41-44-year old HHOFer posted a .918 sv% for Minnesota in these seasons while taking on a light workload (29.4% of the minutes). Maniago posted a .910 sv% while playing 53% of the minutes. Who was outperforming whom? Tough to say.

Minnesota Goalie sv%, 1968-1976:

Worsley (107 GP) .919
Maniago (420 GP) .906
All others (239 GP) .881

If you don't count Worsley as a usual replacement-level backup, then Maniago was 27% better than his backups over his Minnesota tenure. In ATD2010, I showed that Parent outperformed his backups by 21%, exceeded only by Hasek among elite goalies (29%). If you lump Worsley in with the rest, Maniago outperformed them as a group by 14% - still Dryden/Esposito-level dominance.

Last edited by Dreakmur: 12-07-2012 at 02:10 AM.
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