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Curtis Joseph



 Curtis Joseph

Curtis Shayne “CuJo” Joseph (born Curtis Munro on April 29, 1967) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. He last played for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League.

Joseph is immediately recognizable on the ice for his masks featuring a snarling dog, drawing inspiration from the Stephen Kingnovel Cujo, which also happens to be his nickname, derived from the first two letters of his first and last names. Throughout his NHL career, Joseph has played for a number of franchises, rising to prominence during playoff series with the Edmonton Oilers, and later with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was also a member of Canada’s gold medal winning team at the 2002 Winter Olympics. He has also played for the St. Louis BluesDetroit Red WingsPhoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames.

Joseph has the most career wins (454) of any goaltender in NHL history who never played on a Stanley Cup-winning team.

Early life

Joseph was born to unmarried teenage parents.[3] Five days after his birth, his mother, Wendy Munro, placed him for adoption with Jeanne Joseph, a nurse who had befriended her during her hospital stay, and her husband Harold Joseph. Jeanne and her husband decided to name the baby Curtis after his birth father Curtis Nickle. Curtis grew up with an older stepbrother Grant and a stepbrother Victor; he also has three older stepsisters and a step brother from a previous marriage. The family was of mixed race with Harold and Victor being black.[4] It was not until he signed with the St. Louis Blues that Joseph legally changed his name from Curtis Shayne Munro to Curtis Shayne Joseph.[4]

Joseph initially attended Whitchurch Highlands Public School until the family relocated to the Keswick area. He grew up playing hockey for the East Gwillimbury Eagles of the OMHA until moving west to play for his high school team, Notre Dame College(WilcoxSaskatchewan)[5] to the Centennial Cup and then played for the University of Wisconsin–Madison of the NCAA, he went undrafted.[6] He signed as a free agent with the Blues in 1989. In 1989–90 season he played 23 games with the Peoria Rivermen in the IHL.

[edit]Playing career

Joseph is nicknamed “Cujo” and has worn the number 31 for the St. Louis BluesEdmonton OilersToronto Maple LeafsDetroit Red WingsPhoenix Coyotes and the Calgary Flames.[7] Joseph is a three time NHL All-Star (199419992000), and he was awarded the 1999–2000 King Clancy Memorial Trophy for exemplifying leadership qualities on and off the ice and making noteworthy humanitarian contributions to his community. Perhaps his greatest achievement came in Salt Lake City 2002, where he was a member of theOlympic Gold Medal winning Canadian men’s hockey team.

[edit]University of Wisconsin

Curtis Joseph began his college play at the University of Wisconsin. While playing for the Badgers, Joseph won 21 games and was voted to the WCHA All Conference Team.[8]Shortly after his freshman season, Joseph, despite not having been drafted, was signed by the St. Louis Blues to a free-agent entry-level contract.

[edit]St. Louis Blues

Joseph broke into the NHL in 1989, playing for the St. Louis Blues. In the off-season following the 1990–91 NHL season, the Blues signed Brendan Shanahan from the New Jersey Devils. Shanahan was a restricted free agent, and thus the Devils were entitled to compensation. The teams could not agree on what the compensation was; the Blues offered Curtis Joseph, Rod Brind’Amour, and two draft picks, while the Devils wanted Scott Stevens. Joseph seemed to be the answer the Devils were looking for in goal, however the case went to arbitration, and a judge ruled that Stevens was to be awarded to the Devils in September 1991. Joseph would remain with the Blues until 1995. The1992–93 NHL season was his most successful season as he played a key role in the upset of the Chicago Blackhawks, the reigning Clarence Campbell Conference regular season champions, sweeping them in four games in the first round of the playoffs. The Blues then faced the Toronto Maple Leafs in a second-round series that went seven games, thanks in large part to Joseph. The Leafs eventually prevailed. Because of his efforts, he was nominated as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy that season. He finished third in voting behind winner Ed Belfour and Tom Barrasso.

In 1995, he was traded (with Mike Grier) to the Edmonton Oilers for a first-round pick in the 1996 entry draft (eventually Marty Reasoner) and a first-round pick in the 1997 entry draft. With Edmonton, Joseph won two Zane Feldman Trophies (team MVP) and one Most Popular Player award. He backstopped the Oilers to first round playoff upsets of theDallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche in 1997 and 1998, respectively, their first playoff series wins since 1992.

[edit]Toronto Maple Leafs

Following the 97′-98′ season, Joseph signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs, a move which made him unpopular in Edmonton. In his first road game against Edmonton as a member of the Leafs, Joseph posted a shutout and was named the first star of the game. Throughout the game, he was greeted with boos, however, he was cheered by the fans in Edmonton upon being announced the first star of the game due to being a fan favourite. It was with the Leafs that Joseph became a superstar and he was consistently one of the most popular players of both his team (since Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour) and in the league. While with the Leafs, he had three consecutive seasons of 30+ wins, he was twice runner-up for the Vezina Trophy in 1999 and 2000, a finalist for the Lester B. Pearson Award in 1999, and won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2000. The NHL Awards presentation was held in Toronto in both 1999 and 2000, both years that Joseph was runner-up for the Vezina. When Dominik Hasek was announced the winner in 1999 and again when Olaf Kolzig was announced the winner in 2000, the audience in Toronto booed loudly, and also broke out into chants of “Cujo, Cujo!”. Joseph played a key role in the Leafs’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1999 and 2002. In 2000, during Game One of the series against the New Jersey Devils, he was considered the deciding factor in the 2-1 win where the Leafs were outshot 33-21.[1]

After Leafs General Manager Pat Quinn was unwilling to give Joseph a four year contract (he offered three years), he left after the 2001–2002 season to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. Some also speculated that the relationship between Quinn and Joseph was frosty because Quinn had benched Joseph in the Salt Lake City Olympics after the first game, although Joseph himself denied the rumours, saying that he played a bad first game against Sweden (losing 5-2) and that Martin Brodeur played very well for the rest of the tournament, earning his spot as the starter. Joseph had also hinted at wanting to play for a team that could win it all, implying the Leafs were not such a team. Joseph’s move to Detroit was highly publicized and unpopular in Toronto.

[edit]Detroit Red Wings

Joseph moved to the Detroit Red Wings, who had just won the Stanley Cup. Joseph initially was not popular with Red Wings fans but eventually found his form in the latter half of the 2002–03 season to backstop his team to the division title. Detroit was upset in the first round of the playoffs in 2003 by the eventual conference champions, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. In the 2003–2004 season he was originally Detroit’s backup goalie when Dominik Hašek came out of retirement, and Detroit management tried to trade Joseph, since the team also had a capable backup in Manny Legace. However, Joseph’s $8 million USD per year contract made him hard to move. After a stint in the minors, he returned to the Red Wings lineup while Hašek was nursing a groin injury. The Red Wings plan was to attract him to other teams until Hašek returned to the lineup. But in February, Hašek decided to call it quits for the season, which once again solidified Joseph’s position as the Red Wings starting goaltender. The Wings finished first overall in the league. The Wings were defeated in the second round of the playoffs in six games by the eventual Stanley Cup finalists from the Western Conference, the Calgary Flames.

[edit]Recent years

Joseph moved to the Phoenix Coyotes via free agency in 2005 and signed a one year deal. On October 28, 2005, he won his 400th NHL game. On March 28, 2006, he posted his 424th career win, thereby moving into sixth place on the NHL’s all-time list, passing Tony Esposito. Joseph had shown interest in re-joining the Toronto Maple Leafs, indicating that he would be fine with a back-up role and a reduced salary. In September 2007 the Ottawa Senators quietly expressed interest in acquiring Joseph if they could unload Martin Gerber and his large contract. Joseph was a member of Team Canada in the 2007 Spengler Cup, leading them to the championship on December 31, 2007.[9]

On January 14, 2008, Joseph signed a one-year, US$1.5 Million contract with the Calgary Flames.[10] On March 1 of 2008, Joseph moved past Terry Sawchuk for fourth place in all-time NHL wins with 448 in a 3-1 win over his former team, the Phoenix Coyotes. On April 13, 2008, Joseph replaced Mikka Kiprusoff less than four minutes into the first period of Game #3 of the Flames’ first round series of the 2008 playoffs with the San Jose Sharks. Joseph backstopped the Flames to a come from behind 4-3 win after initially falling behind 3-0. This win made him the first goaltender to win a post-season game as a member of five different teams: St.Louis, Edmonton, Toronto, Detroit and Calgary.

On July 1, 2008, Joseph rejoined the Toronto Maple Leafs by signing a 1 year, $700,000 contract. Joseph served primarily as a back-up for most of the season, only playing 21 games.

On December 30, 2008, Joseph recorded his 450th career win in a 4-3 overtime victory against the Atlanta Thrashers.

On March 24, 2009 against the Washington Capitals, he pulled off one last hurrah in front of the Leafs faithful. Starting goalie Martin Gerber was tossed out of the game in the final minute of the third period and 41-year-old Joseph came into the game cold. He proceeded to stop every shot, including Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin in the shootout, as the Leafs went on to win in a memorable 3-2 result.[11]

On April 8, 2009, Joseph recorded his 352 NHL loss, which tied Gump Worsley for the NHL record for most losses by a goaltender. Martin Brodeur subsquently set a new record and has 371 losses at the end of the 2011-12 season.[12]

Joseph announced his retirement on January 12, 2010 in Toronto.[13]

Currently Joseph is a goaltending coach for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL [14]

[edit]Career statistics

[edit]Regular season

Season Team League GP W L T* MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1988–89 Wisconsin Badgers WCHA 38 21 11 5 2267 94 1 2.49
1989–90 Peoria Rivermen IHL 23 10 8 2 1241 80 0 3.87
1989–90 St. Louis Blues NHL 15 9 5 1 852 48 0 3.38 .890
1990–91 St. Louis Blues NHL 30 16 10 2 1710 89 0 3.12 .898
1991–92 St. Louis Blues NHL 60 27 20 10 3494 175 2 3.01 .910
1992–93 St. Louis Blues NHL 68 29 28 9 3890 196 1 3.02 .911
1993–94 St. Louis Blues NHL 71 36 23 11 4127 213 1 3.10 .911
1994–95 St. Louis Blues NHL 36 20 10 1 1914 89 1 2.79 .902
1995–96 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 15 12 2 1 873 29 1 1.99 .929
1995–96 Edmonton Oilers NHL 34 15 16 2 1935 111 0 3.44 .886
1996–97 Edmonton Oilers NHL 72 32 29 9 4089 200 6 2.93 .907
1997–98 Edmonton Oilers NHL 71 29 31 9 4132 181 8 2.63 .905
1998–99 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 67 35 24 7 4001 171 3 2.56 .910
1999–00 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 63 36 20 7 3801 158 4 2.49 .915
2000–01 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 68 33 27 8 4100 163 6 2.39 .915
2001–02 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 51 29 17 5 3065 114 4 2.23 .906
2002–03 Detroit Red Wings NHL 61 34 19 6 3566 148 5 2.49 .912
2003–04 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 1 1 0 0 60 1 0 1.00 .952
2003–04 Detroit Red Wings NHL 31 16 10 3 1708 68 2 2.39 .909
2005–06 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 60 32 21 3 3424 166 4 2.91 .902
2006–07 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 55 18 31 2 2993 159 4 3.19 .893
2007–08 Calgary Flames NHL 9 3 2 0 399 17 0 2.55 .906
2008–09 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 21 5 9 1 383 50 0 3.57 .869
NHL totals 943 454 352 90 54055 2516 51 2.79 .906

*Note: As of the 2005–06 season, ties have been replaced by an overtime or shootout loss

[edit]Playoffs

Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SA SO GAA SV%
1989–90 St. Louis Blues NHL 6 4 1 327 18 166 0 3.30 .892
1991–92 St. Louis Blues NHL 6 2 4 379 23 217 0 3.64 .894
1992–93 St. Louis Blues NHL 11 7 4 715 27 438 2 2.27 .938
1993–94 St. Louis Blues NHL 4 0 4 246 15 158 0 3.66 .905
1994–95 St. Louis Blues NHL 7 3 3 392 24 178 0 3.67 .865
1996–97 Edmonton Oilers NHL 12 5 7 767 36 405 2 2.82 .911
1997–98 Edmonton Oilers NHL 12 5 7 715 23 319 3 1.93 .928
1998–99 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 17 9 8 1011 41 440 1 2.43 .907
1999–00 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 12 6 6 729 25 369 1 2.06 .932
2000–01 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 11 7 4 685 24 329 3 2.10 .927
2001–02 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 20 10 10 1253 48 557 3 2.30 .934
2002–03 Detroit Red Wings NHL 4 0 4 289 10 120 0 2.08 .917
2003–04 Detroit Red Wings NHL 9 4 4 518 12 197 1 1.39 .939
2007–08 Calgary Flames NHL 2 1 0 79 1 33 0 0.76 .970
NHL totals 132 63 66 8,106 327 3,904 16 2.45 .917

[edit]International play

Curtis Joseph
Medal record
Competitor for 22px Flag of Canada.svg Curtis Joseph Canada
Men’s ice hockey
Olympic Games
Gold 2002 Salt Lake City Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 1997 Finland Ice hockey
Silver 1996 Austria Ice hockey
World Cup
Silver 1996 World Cup of Hockey Ice hockey
Spengler Cup
Gold 2007 Spengler Cup Ice hockey

Joseph represented Canada at:

[edit]Awards

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