|5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
165 lb (75 kg)
|Teams||New York Islanders|
New Jersey Devils
|Born||July 10, 1948,|
Moose Jaw, SK, CAN
|Pro Career||1971 – 1987|
Glenn Allan "Chico" Resch (born 10 July, 1948 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan) is a retired Canadian professional goaltender who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1973 to 1986. He is currently the color commentator on New Jersey Devils telecasts.
Playing career[edit | edit source]
He started his playing career with the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. After earning a four-year degree in education, he turned pro by joining the Muskegon Mohawks of the IHL where he won three prestigious awards in his first season: the James Norris Memorial Trophy (fewest goals against), rookie of the year honours, and selected as a First-Team All-Star.
Having out-grown the IHL, the following year he stepped-up to play for the New Haven Nighthawks of the AHL and then spent most of the 1973–74 season playing for the Fort Worth Wings of the CHL where he won the league's MVP Honours and was voted as a CHL First Team All Star. He made his National Hockey League debut for the Islanders on February 3, 1974 in a 4–2 defeat to the California Golden Seals and earned his first NHL victory two nights later, with a 6–2 win over the Minnesota North Stars before returning to the Wings for the remainder of the season.
The next season, 1974–75, Resch was ready for the NHL and was brought up to play back-up goaltender. In 25 games as a bench-warmer, he had 12 wins, 7 losses, 5 ties and 3 shut-outs with a 2.47 goals against average. His success during the regular season carried over into the playoffs as he had an incredible 8 wins and 4 losses with a 2.17 goals against average. Resch was in goal as the Islanders erased 3–0 deficits to both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. The Isles defeated the Penguins in seven games, winning the decisive game 1–0 on a goal by team captain Ed Westfall. The comeback is considered one of the greatest in sports history and marked one of only three times in history that a North American professional sports team won a best-of-7 series after losing the first three games.
In the following round, the Islanders again rallied from a 3–0 deficit to force a game seven, but the defending champion Flyers eliminated the Islanders with a 4–1 win in the decisive game.
His numbers were so impressive that he earned himself the role of starting goaltender for the next season, 1975–76 and he did not disappoint. In 44 games, he had 23 wins, 11 losses, 8 ties, and 7 shut-outs with a 2.07 goals against average. Over the next few seasons, he would share the workload with another promising young goalie, Billy Smith. Finally, in 1980, his sixth full season with the Islanders, Resch was part of a Stanley Cup win. But Resch was on the bench through most of that playoff run. Billy Smith led the team to victory.
The next season, on March 10, 1981, Resch was traded to the struggling Colorado Rockies along with Steve Tambellini for Mike McEwen and Jari Kaarela. He returned to Long Island for the first time as an opponent on February 20, 1982. The Islanders defeated the Rockies 3–2 on a goal in the final minute by John Tonelli. The victory was the Islanders' 15th straight, which set an NHL record at the time.
While with the Islanders, he never had a losing season and compiled an impressive 157 wins and only 69 losses. After he was traded, he didn't have a winning season again until his very last one with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1986–87 where he went 6–5–2 in 17 games.
Resch played in Colorado for only the rest of the 1980–81 season and the 1981–82 before the franchise picked up and moved to New Jersey and became the New Jersey Devils. Resch shouldered a heavy load over the next few years, but the lowly Devils didn't win many games. Resch was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers on March 11, 1986 for a third round pick in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft (Marc Laniel). The next NHL season would be his last. Resch backed up rookie sensation Ron Hextall in 1986–87 as the team roared through the playoffs and came within one win of taking the Stanley Cup. Though he didn't get any playing time in the '87 playoffs, he was ejected from one of the games for his part in starting a brawl with Montreal's Claude Lemieux in the pre-game warm-up of game 6 of the conference finals contest with the Montreal Canadiens. The Flyers won that series but lost to the Edmonton Oilers in 7 exciting games in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Awards[edit | edit source]
Resch won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 1982 and made a total of three NHL All-Star game appearances in 1976, 1977, and 1984, in the 1984 NHL All-Star Game he was the winning goaltender for the Wales Conference. He also played in two Canada Cups, once for Canada (where he was the third, spare, goaltender) and once for the United States in 1984. Resch also played for Team USA at the 1982 Ice Hockey World Championships (he was originally shortlisted for the 1981 Canada Cup but missed the tournament as his application for American citizenship had not been fully processed by the time the tournament started). In 1980, he helped lead the New York Islanders to their first of four Stanley Cups in a row.
Broadcasting career[edit | edit source]
Resch was considered to be a good interview during his playing days, so it was no surprise that he became a television commentator. He actually began broadcasting during his playing days, often working as an analyst for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Hockey Night in Canada in the playoffs after his team had been eliminated. After retiring as a player in 1987, he had a short broadcasting stint with the Minnesota North Stars, working as a color analyst on the team's television broadcasts during the 1987–88 and 1988–89 seasons. Following work as a general manager for a Canadian junior hockey team and as a professional coach, mainly for the Ottawa Senators, Resch joined Fox Sports NY as a commentator on New Jersey Devils games, where he is paired with Doc Emrick. During the second intermission of Devils television broadcasts, a segment entitled "Chico Eats!" is regularly shown, in which Resch tastes food from the many eateries at the Devils' newly opened Prudential Center.
Famous nickname[edit | edit source]
Resch was given the nickname "Chico" by former Islander teammate Doug Rombough. The nickname is a reference to the character portrayed by Freddie Prinze on the 1970s sit-com Chico and the Man. Chants of "Let's go, Chico!" rang out at every Devils game during his reign as goaltender.
In the early 2000s, the same nickname was passed on to goaltender Robert Esche, then with the Phoenix Coyotes. Like many hockey players, Esche's sticks had his first initial, and then his last name. Hence, "R. Esche" became "Chico".
[edit | edit source]
|Bill Masterton Trophy Winner
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