Curtis Joseph behind the mask for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
April 29, 1967 |
Richmond Hill, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)|
|Played for||St. Louis Blues
Detroit Red Wings
Toronto Maple Leafs
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 King novel 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 played for a number of franchises, rising to prominence during the playoffs with the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. He has also played for the Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames. He was also a member of Canada's gold medal winning team at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Joseph has the most career wins (454) of any goaltender in NHL history who never played on a Stanley Cup-winning team, and also the first goaltender to have 30 or more wins in a regular season for five different teams.
Early life 
Joseph was born to unmarried teenage parents. 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. 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.
For the majority of his childhood, Curtis was raised in East Guillumbury (although it was known as Sharon back then). He initially attended Whitchurch Highlands Public School and then Huron Heights Heights H.S. Curtis 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 (Wilcox, Saskatchewan) to the Centennial Cup and then played for the University of Wisconsin–Madison of the NCAA, he went undrafted. 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.
Playing career 
Joseph is nicknamed "Cujo" and has worn the number 31 for the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and the Calgary Flames. Joseph is a three time NHL All-Star (1994, 1999, 2000), 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. In the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, he was a member of the Olympic Gold Medal winning Canadian men's hockey team.
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. 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.
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. The 1992–93 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 the second round and thanks to Joseph the series went to seven games. The Leafs eventually prevailed. Because of his efforts, he was nominated as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy that season. finishing third in voting behind winner Ed Belfour and Tom Barrasso.
Edmonton Oilers 
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 the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche in 1997 and 1998, respectively, their first playoff series wins since 1992.
Toronto Maple Leafs 
Following the 1997–98 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.
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.
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 2003–04 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.
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.
On January 14, 2008, Joseph signed a one-year, US$1.5 Million contract with the Calgary Flames. On March 1, 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 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 subsequently set a new record and has 371 losses at the end of the 2011-12 season.
Joseph announced his retirement on January 12, 2010 in Toronto.
- Selected to three NHL All-Star Games: 1994, 1999 and 2000
- Winner of the 2000 King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Career statistics 
Regular season 
|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|
|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|
|2008–09||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||21||5||9||1||383||50||0||3.57||.869|
*Note: As of the 2005–06 season, ties have been replaced by an overtime or shootout loss
|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|
|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|
International play 
|Men's ice hockey|
|Competitor for Canada|
|Gold||2002 Salt Lake City|
|World Cup of Hockey|
|Gold||2007 Spengler Cup|
Joseph represented Canada at:
- 1996 IIHF World Championships (Silver Medal)
- 1996 World Cup of Hockey (Lost Final)
- 1998 Winter Olympics (4th place)
- 2002 Winter Olympics (Gold Medal)
- 2007 Spengler Cup (Gold Medal)
See also 
- "Curtis Joseph's profile at hockeydb.com". Hockey db.com the Internet Hockey database. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
- Sportsnet signings
- Larry Wigge (2006-04-03). "Once again, 'Cujo' is in command". NHL. Archived from the original on April 5, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- Wigge, Larry (2000-01-31). "The Man Called Cujo". The Sporting News. Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- "Curtis Joseph". NHL players. TSN.
- "Curtis Joseph—Biography". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "Curtis Joseph". hockeygoalies.org. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- Curtis Joseph, Legends of Hockey, retrieved 2010-12-01
- "Canada wins 2007 Spengler Cup". TSN. 2007-12-31. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "Flames agree to one-year deal with CuJo". Sportsnet.ca. 2008-01-14. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
- "Report: Maple Leafs will not bring Joseph back". Tsn.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
- "Curtis Joseph". Kingston Frontenacs. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
- Official website
- Curtis Joseph's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Curtis Joseph's biography at Legends of Hockey
|Winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy