Goaltender Curtis Joseph To Retire Today

Goaltender Curtis Joseph retired Tuesday after a 19-year career. Joseph, 42, is the fourth winningest goalie of all-time.

Our Maple Leafs blog, Pension Plan Puppets, has a look back at the great career of Curtis Joseph:

It would take another two years - and the recovery from a season-ending knee injury in '90-91 - before reality was acknowledged and Joseph was finally crowned as the Blues' number one netminder.  By the spring of 1993 he was back to being a playoff wonder, stoning the heavily-favoured Hawks and scaring the blazes out of the Leafs.

Fast-forward half a decade to the summer of 1998, and Curtis Joseph is now the pre-eminent free agent goaltender available.  He'd led the Oilers to a couple of upsets, but Edmonton was in the throes of both a small market and a bad dollar and there was no way they were keeping him.

The Leafs were in a pretty sad state, but had a brand new coach in Pat Quinn.  Rather than expressing hope, the Quinn hiring had the local media types lamenting about the lost opportunity to try someone young and fresh, rather than just rehashing the same-old same old (note that things really never change in Toronto).  

On July 15, though, Curtis Joseph signed a huge deal in Toronto - four years, $24 million - and the Leafs gained instant credibility.  

With much the same group of players that barely eked out 69 points playing the left-wing lock, the Leafs became a 97-point team that led the league in goals scored.  The difference was that Quinn was able to turn his forwards loose, confident that the stops would be made when they needed to be.  Joseph would back the Leafs to four straight seasons of between 90-100 points, including the first  division title since 1963.

Curtis Joseph started his career with the St. Louis Blues, before moving on to the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames. After playing one last season in Toronto, CuJo will retire from the NHL as a Maple Leaf where he enjoyed the best seasons of his career.

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