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NHL legend Phil Esposito looking to sell solid gold, rare puck from Boston Bruins

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(Kitco News) - Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, Phil Esposito, is selling one of his most prized possessions: a solid gold puck he was awarded during his days playing for the Boston Bruins, one of four ever made.

“[I got the gold puck] from the Boston Bruins the year all four of us scored over 100 points. Gold was not even on the market then,” Esposito told Kitco News.

Considered one the best hockey players of all time, Esposito has played 18 seasons in the NHL for the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, and later co-founding the Tampa Bay Lightning after retiring from the rink.

1969, he set a record for being the first NHL player to score 100 points in a season, a record he would maintain throughout the early 1970s.

Esposito’s first foray into gold investing came when a fellow ice hockey player convinced him to buy shares in a gold mining company.

“It started years and years ago. There was a gold discovery up in Canada, and one of the ex-hockey players I played with called me and told me [about it]. It was like pennies, five cents, one of those deals. We collected about $5,000 from all the guys, we put it in, and eight months later we got back $15,000, it was terrific,” he said.

On hockey, Esposito said what started as a Canadian game has evolved to draw in more nationalities and has grown tremendously in popularity in the U.S.

“The Americans, now I’ve got to tell you, I am proud about what they’ve done with their hockey programs. They’ve done a magnificent job. For example, here in Tampa Bay, when I first came here in 1990, they had one ice arena. Now we’ve got eighteen. The kids are playing hockey all over the place, I’m so proud of that,” he said.

Esposito still follows hockey closely, and said that Alexander Ovechkin, one of his favorite players to watch now, could have a shot at beating Wayne Gretzky’s record of the all-time most scores made.

“If he stays with Washington and he has that great team around him, I think he could do that. But, there are so many intangibles, like injuries. Alex is a strong guy, he doesn’t miss a lot of games, but as you get older, things creep in a little bit more,” he said.

Esposito’s advice to aspiring NHL players to be ready to adapt to the changing nature of the game.

“If you really, really want it, you’ve got to be ready. You never know when your break is going to come, and no matter what you want to do in life, you’ve got to be ready. Do people need a break? Absolutely, I believe that,” he said. “The way the game is progressing, everybody is huge, big, fast, and it just blows me away.”

While hockey has been, and always will be his passion, Esposito said that one of his proudest achievements in life is founding the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“The thing that strikes me most for me as a human being was founding the Tampa Bay Lightning because being a hockey player, God gave me talent, and I exploited that talent. I don’t think he gave me the talent, or I guess he did, to go raise $55 million to found an NHL expansion team in Tampa Bay, Florida,” he said.

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