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09-01-2013, 12:40 AM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Phil Espostio is a bad example he thought training camp and getting in shape was drinking a case of beer in the sauna.

Frankly stars of yesteryear didn't have to stay in shape or exercise as much or train as stringently because very few other players did so it was all relative.
It would be hard to stick to a training regimen when you have a job in the off season though.

Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Im not disputing that. Im just not readily believing this particular claim from this particular player. Phil Esposito was a Locker Room Lawyer & knew exactly what everyone was getting paid. Not without ego. Theres no way he wouldve just been subservient, taken whatever Boston offered & that was that. Not a chance. Ive dealt with this guy. You kiddin me? Makes for a great story I'll give it that. "Woe is me, had ta work in a foundry. Twelve bucks an hour. 135 degree's in the ol' steel plant. Yep"....I mean c'mon. All I can think to say is eat me Phil. What a crock.

Ya ok. Up til the Boston trade. I'll accept that. Maybe even until 69, maybe. Prolly had a job hosing down trucks or whatever. Nothing really all that taxing. This is Phil Esposito were talking about, and God love him, but that boy does know how to spin a yarn.

Ya. I do. Proof that he worked in a Steel Mill past 1968/69 at the latest. Not buyin it. He knew what Orr was getting, well aware of his own worth, in fact some might say "only too well". Phil Esposito was no pushover in negotiations. Wouldnt just blithely accept whatever was offered. He'd ask questions, make demands, and he had every right to do so. If he "worked" summers in like 70-71-72 & beyond it was at his own damn hockey camp, maybe a guest appearance at someone elses, but there is no way he was bustin his butt up in the Soo perched over a cauldron. No chance.
Quotes out of Esposito's book "Thunder and Lightning"

pg. 35 - "When my first daughter Laurie was born August 14, 1965 I wasn't at the hospital with Linda. I was working my shift at the steel plant. We were living with my parents at the time. I ended up working at that steel plant until I was 30 years old."

pg. 54 - In 1967 on his trade to Boston negotiating with GM Milt Schmidt: "I want $12,000 a year."
"Impossible" Milt said.

Eventually Esposito negotiated a deal that gave him $16,500 only because he hit his bonuses. This was the 1967-'68 season. Even taking inflation into account, there is no doubt that isn't enough to support a family especially since you aren't getting paid in the summer. He was working at the mill in the summer of 1967 as well. Probably did it the next year and the year after that. In 1970 the Bruins win the Cup, he is 28 years old at this time. Could have worked in the summer then as well. Maybe got some endorsements after that and perhaps (although this is speculation) he didn't have to work after that. He and Tony cancelled their hockey school in the summer of 1972 for the Summit Series. So when Esposito says he had to work in the summers until he was "30 years old" that isn't far off. He was 30 in 1972. Might have worked in 1971 when he was 29 at the steel mill.

It is very hard to believe in this day and age. Patrick Kane assaults a cabby for pennies, Evander Kane posts a picture of himself with a "money" phone. Even old coots like Alfredsson are turning down $4 million contracts. But this is not how the game always was. Red Kelly was a Senator in Ottawa (sort of like Congress for all you non-Canadians out there). Tim Horton had his own business, and we all know how that turned out.

There is a story of Wayne Cashman giving Bobby Hull free tickets to one of the Summit Series games. Bobby wondered why he was doing this and Cashman simply stated "Thanks to you my salary tripled". So yeah, up until 1972 it isn't hard to believe that players had to work in the off season. Esposito had a family at that time. Hard to believe, but it happened.

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