Chico Resch

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Chico Resch
Glenn Chico Resch 1978.JPG
Resch in 1978
Born (1948-07-10) July 10, 1948 (age 67)
Moose Jaw, SK, CAN
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for New York Islanders
Colorado Rockies
New Jersey Devils
Philadelphia Flyers
National team  Canada 
 United States
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1971–1987

Glenn Allan "Chico" Resch (born July 10, 1948) is a retired Canadian American professional ice hockey goaltender and television sportscaster. He played 14 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1973 to 1986, winning one Stanley Cup with the New York Islanders in 1980. He has served as the color commentator for New Jersey Devils telecasts on MSG Network and MSG Plus.

Playing career[edit]

Junior hockey[edit]

Resch started his playing career as goalie for 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 outgrown the IHL, the following year he stepped up to play for the New Haven Nighthawks of the American Hockey League 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.

New York Islanders[edit]

The next season, 1974–75, Resch was ready for the NHL. In 25 games, he had 12 wins, 7 losses, and 5 ties, with 3 shut-outs and 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 [1] and marked one of only five times in history that a North American professional sports team won a best-of-7 series after losing the first three games, the others being the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs (also ice hockey), the 2004 Boston Red Sox (Major League Baseball), the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, and the 2014 Los Angeles Kings.

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.

Resch saw increased action in 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.

In 1978-79, the tandem of Resch and Smith backstopped the Islanders to the best regular season record in the league, with Resch earning Second All-Star team honours. However, the team was upset by the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup semifinals.

In 1980, his sixth full season with the Islanders, Resch was part of a Stanley Cup win, but generally served as the backup through most of the team's playoff run. Resch was one of the key players from the Islanders' 1979 first place team who left the team or had their roles relegated; before the end of the 1980 regular season, General Manager Bill Torrey had traded away longtime and popular veterans Billy Harris and Dave Lewis to the Los Angeles Kings in return for Butch Goring.

Colorado Rockies/New Jersey Devils[edit]

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.

Resch played in Colorado for only the rest of the 1980–81 season and the 1981–82 NHL season before the franchise moved to New Jersey to become the New Jersey Devils. Resch shouldered a heavy load over the next few years, but the Devils didn't win many games.

Philadelphia Flyers[edit]

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, as Resch backed up rookie sensation Ron Hextall in 1986–87.

Resch didn't get any playing time in the 1987 playoffs, where the Flyers defeated his old team, the New York Islanders, in seven games during their second-round matchup. In the pre-game warm-up of game 6 of the conference finals contest with the Montreal Canadiens, Resch was ejected from one of the games for his part in starting a brawl with Montreal's Claude Lemieux. The Flyers won that series but lost to the Edmonton Oilers in 7 exciting games in the Stanley Cup Finals.

While with the Islanders, he never had a losing season and compiled a record of 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.

When he retired, he was the last active player to be born in the 1940s.

International career[edit]

Resch is the only goaltender to ever represent two different countries at Canada Cup. In 1976, he was a member of Canadian ice hockey squad, while in 1984, he represented United States, after he got his US Citizenship (married an American and being a legal resident for many years). Also, in 1981, he turned down Don Cherry's offer to represent Canada at the 1981 IIHF World Championships in Sweden, and represented the US at the same tournament the following year in Finland.


"Doc" and "Chico"

Resch resides in Emily, Minnesota in the off season. During the NHL season he resides in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, having resided in Little Ferry and Ridgewood during his playing career with the Devils. Resch and his wife chose Lyndhurst for its small-town feel, public transportation access and proximity to both Manhattan and Newark, where the Devils play their home games.[2] His daughter, Holly is an artist and was an illustrator of one of Resch's books: Tales from the Devils Ice. Resch is one of the supporters and coaches for Hockey Ministries International in the off-season, teaching young boys and girls the hockey and ethic skills at Christian Hockey Camps.

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
All-WCHA Second Team 1970–71

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. Resch was named to the Postseason Second All-Star team in 1979. In 1980, he was a part of the New York Islanders first of four Stanley Cups in a row, abeit as the backup goaltender.

Broadcasting career[edit]

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 (later renamed MSG Plus) as a commentator on New Jersey Devils games, where he was paired with Mike Emrick for 15 years.[3] After Emrick left to work for NBC exclusively, Resch spent the next 3 years paired with Steve Cangialosi. Shortly before the end of the 2013–14 season, Resch has announced that he will be leaving the Devils crew and moving to Minnesota at the wish of his wife. He called his last Devils game on April 13, 2014.

Famous nickname[edit]

The mustachioed 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.[2] 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 Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Robert Esche because his goalie sticks were labeled 'R.ESCHE', making it look like 'RESCHE'.


  2. ^ a b Yorio, Kara. "Canadian born, former Islander, Flyer and Devil has become a Jersey guy ", The Record (Bergen County), October 13, 2013. Accessed October 13, 2013. "Resch is well-known in his Lyndhurst neighborhood where he and his wife, Diane, have lived during the NHL season for the last decade."
  3. ^ " - Chico Resch". Retrieved 29 December 2009. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mike Cormier
CHL Most Valuable Player Award
Succeeded by
Wayne Schaab
Preceded by
Blake Dunlop
Bill Masterton Trophy winner
Succeeded by
Lanny McDonald