This is an excerpt from a piece I wrote today for tmlfans.ca.
Hearing about Curtis Joseph’s impending official retirement was no surprise
seeing how he hasn’t played an NHL game since suiting up against the Buffalo
Sabres on April 08th, 2009. Most players would appreciate the honour of
tying a league record in their final career tilt, but odds are there were no
cupcakes in King City to celebrate defeat 452, an achievement shared with
Lorne “Gump” Worsley. Memo to those who think that dubious distinction alone
discounts Joseph from inclusion into the Hockey Hall of Fame: Worsley’s in
there, along with the tenth biggest loser in NHL goaltending history, some
guy with hearing problems by the name of Patrick Roy.
Other pundits, ones who remember every win, loss, tie and OTL, can fight
that debate. The waves of nostalgia flooding the ice in my snow bank of
Curtis Joseph memories – some while he was a Leaf and some while he
tormented them in playoffs – are more personal.