Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Bob Essensa
Robert Earle (Bob) Essensa was drafted 69th overall in the 1983 Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets.

After playing junior at Henry Carr, he enrolled at Michigan State University in 1983 and went 11-4-0 in 17 games as a CCHA freshman. The following year, he went 15-2-0 and was named a CCHA First Team All-Star. The junior season produced a result of 17-4-1 and a CCHA Second Team All-Star selection. In his senior year, Essensa went 19-3-1 for a four-year combined total of 62-13-2.

Essensa was 23 when he made his NHL debut in 1988-89 and went 6-8-3 in 20 games. In 1989-90, that record improved 18-9-5 with a 3.15 goals-against average, while being named the NHL All-Rookie goaltender. In 1990-91, Essensa posted four shutouts and won the Jets' Molson Cup award, given to the player with the most points accumulated through three-star selections at the conclusion of each game.

In 1991-92, Essensa registered a league best five shutouts and was the second runner up for the Vezina and Jennings trophies. After posting a career-high 33 games in 1992-93, Essensa was traded to the Detroit the Red Wings for Tim Cheveldae and Dallas Drake. But, he never got the playing time he had hoped for in the Motor City and played most of those two seasons in the minors.

In 1999-2000, Essensa rejoined the Phoenix Coyotes, the old Winnipeg Jets team, and posted a 13-10-3 record. On July 26, 2000, Essensa signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks and split goaltending duties first with Felix Potvin and then Dan Cloutier. He went 18-12 with a 2.68 GAA and helped the Canucks make the playoffs for the first time in five years. In the playoffs, he started two of the Canucks four games.

In September 2001, Essensa signed as a free agent with the Buffalo Sabres where he will serve as backup to Martin Biron. In some circles he has been called the ultimate fill-in goaltender, never complaining about his role as second fiddle. Although he would like the chance at getting another starting role, at close to 37, he's content with where he is in Buffalo.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP W L T SO Avg GP W L T SO Avg
1981-82 Henry Carr Crusaders ON-Jr.B 17 0 4.99
1981-82 Markham Waxers ON-Jr.A 1 0 0 0 0 20.00
1982-83 Henry Carr Crusaders ON-Jr.B 31 2 3.20
1982-83 Markham Waxers ON-Jr.A 1 1 0 0 0 1.00
1983-84 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 17 11 4 0 2 2.79
1984-85 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 18 15 2 0 2 1.64
1985-86 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 23 17 4 1 1 3.33
1986-87 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 25 19 3 1 2 2.78
1987-88 Moncton Hawks AHL 27 7 11 1 1 4.66
1988-89 Winnipeg Jets NHL 20 6 8 3 1 3.70
1988-89 Fort Wayne Komets IHL 22 14 7 0 0 3.26
1989-90 Winnipeg Jets NHL 36 18 9 5 1 3.15 4 2 1 0 3.50
1989-90 Moncton Hawks AHL 6 3 3 0 0 2.51
1989-90 Canada WEC-A 4 0 2.97
1990-91 Winnipeg Jets NHL 55 19 24 6 4 3.15
1990-91 Moncton Hawks AHL 2 1 0 1 0 2.88
1991-92 Winnipeg Jets NHL 47 21 17 6 5 2.88 1 0 0 0 5.45
1992-93 Winnipeg Jets NHL 67 33 26 6 2 3.53 6 2 4 0 3.27
1993-94 Winnipeg Jets NHL 56 19 30 6 1 3.85
1993-94 Detroit Red Wings NHL 13 4 7 2 1 2.62 2 0 2 0 4.95
1994-95 San Diego Gulls IHL 16 6 8 1 0 3.39 1 0 1 0 3.05
1995-96 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 3 1 2 0 0 3.69
1995-96 Fort Wayne Komets IHL 45 24 14 5 1 2.89 5 2 3 0 2.41
1996-97 Edmonton Oilers NHL 19 4 8 0 1 2.83
1997-98 Edmonton Oilers NHL 16 6 6 1 0 2.55 1 0 0 0 2.22
1998-99 Edmonton Oilers NHL 39 12 14 6 0 2.75
1999-00 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 30 13 10 3 1 2.78
2000-01 Vancouver Canucks NHL 39 18 12 3 1 2.68 2 0 2 0 2.95
2001-02 Buffalo Sabres NHL 9 0 5 0 0 2.91
NHL Totals 446 173 176 47 18 3.14 16 4 9 0 3.54


CCHA First All-Star Team (1985)
CCHA Second All-Star Team (1986)
NHL All-Rookie Team (1990)
Traded to Detroit by Winnipeg with Sergei Bautin for Tim Cheveldae and Dallas Drake, March 8, 1994. Traded to Edmonton by Detroit for future considerations, June 14, 1996. Signed as a free agent by Phoenix, September 5, 1999. Signed as a free agent by Vancouver, July 26, 2000. Signed as a free agent by Buffalo, August 3, 2001.
Officially announced retirement September 10, 2002.
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