TAMPA, Fla. – Most consider Phil Esposito as one of the greatest hockey players ever. Phil says he accomplished a lot as a player, but being awarded an NHL franchise in Tampa Bay tops all, for him.
“I did a lot of good things as a player, a lot of things, but God gave me talent to play,” Esposito says. “I exploited that talent. He didn’t give me talent to raise $55 million, and to get players,”
Phil was reminiscing at a press conference at Amalie Arena to kick off the inaugural class in the Lightning Hall of Fame. Phil will be going in with Bolts’ greats Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis on March 17.
In the news: Phil Esposito Talks Lightning Hall Of Fame Election, Team’s Early Days
Esposito has a ton of accomplishments as a player including a two-time Stanley Cup Championship, yet wheeling and dealing to get an NHL franchise still blows Phil’s mind.
“Long after I’m gone this thing will still be going and I hope it goes forever,” Esposito said. “Because without a doubt, this is the greatest thing I’ve ever done in hockey.”Phil compares business to on the ice and to be successful he says you have to all work together as one.
“I was with all good people around me and I realize you’re only as good as the people you hire around you, ” Esposito said. “When you play on a team, you’re only as good as your teammates are good with you. That’s the way I looked at it from the beginning, a team effort.”
The Lightning Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be on Friday, March 17 at 7:30 pm.
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