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Curtis Joseph

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Curtis Joseph
Curtis Joseph behind the mask.jpg
Curtis Joseph behind the mask for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Born (1967-04-29) April 29, 1967 (age 51)
Keswick, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for St. Louis Blues
Edmonton Oilers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings
Phoenix Coyotes
Calgary Flames
National team  Canada
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1989–2009

Curtis Shayne "Cujo" Joseph (né Munro; April 29, 1967) is a Canadian ice hockey coach and former professional player. He last played for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League during the 2008–09 NHL season.[1]

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 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 retired with the most career wins (454) of any goaltender in NHL history who never played on a Stanley Cup-winning team (which has since been surpassed by Roberto Luongo), and was also the first goaltender to have 30 or more wins in a regular season for five different teams.[2]

Early life[edit]

Joseph was born on April 29, 1967[3] to unmarried teenage parents.[2] Five days after his birth, his mother, Wendy Monro, 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 two older stepbrothers, Grant and Victor. He also has three older stepsisters and a stepbrother from a previous marriage. The family is of mixed race with Harold and Victor being black.[4] 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.[4]

For the majority of his childhood, Curtis was raised in the East Gwillimbury community of Sharon. He initially attended Whitechurch Highlands Public School and then Huron Heights Secondary School. Curtis grew up playing hockey for the East Gwillimbury Eagles of the OMHA until moving west to play for Notre Dame College in (Wilcox, Saskatchewan)[5] Although he led the Notre Dame Hounds to the Centennial Cup in 1987–88, and he played for the University of Wisconsin–Madison of the NCAA, he was undrafted by the NHL.[6] He signed as a free agent with the Blues in 1989. In the 1989–90 season, he played 23 games with the Peoria Rivermen in the IHL.

Playing career[edit]

Nicknamed "Cujo," Joseph has worn the number 31 for the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and the Calgary Flames.[7] 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[edit]

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.[8] 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[edit]

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, but 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; the Blues swept them in four games in the first round of the playoffs. The Blues then faced the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round, and though the Leafs prevailed, the series went to seven games thanks to Joseph's play. 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. After a disappointing first-round exit in the 1995 playoffs, St. Louis Blues Coach and General Manager Mike Keenan declined to resign Joseph and traded his rights to the Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton Oilers[edit]

The Oilers began their training camp with two starting goaltenders, signed incumbent Bill Ranford and the unsigned Joseph. Edmonton failed to work out a contract or trade Joseph's rights, leaving Joseph without a team to start the 1995-96 season. He signed a contract with the IHL's Las Vegas Thunder and dominated, reminding the NHL that he deserved to be there. The Oilers entertained trading Joseph to the Boston Bruins but would finally sign Joseph to a contract and trade Ranford to Boston. 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[edit]

Following the 1997–98 season, Joseph signed as a free agent with his favorite team growing up, the Toronto Maple Leafs. While his playoff heroics in St. Louis and Edmonton were not ignored, it was with the Leafs that Joseph became a superstar. 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.[1]

After Leafs General Manager Pat Quinn was unwilling to give Joseph a four-year contract (he offered three years), he left after the 2001–02 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's move to Detroit was highly publicized and unpopular in Toronto.

Detroit Red Wings[edit]

The Detroit Red Wings had just won the Stanley Cup in 2002. Entering the 2002-03 season, the team remained mostly unchanged. Detroit brought in coach Dave Lewis to replace the retiring and legendary Scotty Bowman and Joseph with a 3 year, $24 million dollar contract to replace the newly-retired Dominik Hašek. 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. With a anemic offense, Detroit was upset in the first round of the playoffs in 2003 by the eventual conference champions, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a four straight game sweep. Detroit fans and media focused their frustration on Joseph after he was outplayed by the eventual 2003 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jean-Sébastien Giguère.

During the 2003 off-season, Dominik Hašek announced his intentions to come out of retirement. With fears of Hašek signing with a competitor, Detroit General Manager Ken Holland re-signed him to a contract with the intention of trading Joseph. With Joseph's large contract and off-season surgery, he was unmovable. Detroit was forced to enter the 2003-04 season with two starting goaltenders earning $8 million USD per year. After a stint in the minors, Joseph 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. In February, Hašek decided to call it quits for the season, which once again solidified Joseph's position on the Red Wings roster.

Detroit finished first overall in the league. Detroit entered the first round of the playoffs with Manny Legace as their starting goalie. After great play in the first two games, Legace struggled in games 3 and 4. Joseph took the reigns in game 5 and delivered, winning two straight and helping Detroit defeat the Nashville Predators in six games. The Red Wings were defeated in the second round of the playoffs in six games by the eventual Western Conference champions, the Calgary Flames. Joseph, statistically, was the top goaltender in the 2004 playoffs. Little criticism was focused at Joseph after enduring a challenging season and performing so well in the playoffs.

Phoenix Coyotes[edit]

In the summer of 2005, several teams were interested in signing Joseph, including the Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes. After taking a call from the new Phoenix coach, Wayne Gretzky, Joseph signed a one-year deal with Phoenix. 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. In the summer of 2006, Joseph returned to Phoenix for another season on a one-year contract. While he was with the Coyotes, Curtis became the first goaltender to have 30 or more regular season wins for five different teams (St. Louis, Edmonton, Toronto, Detroit, and Phoenix); Joseph eventually recorded at least 50 regular season wins with each of those teams.[citation needed]

2007 Spengler Cup and Calgary Flames[edit]

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.[9]

On January 14, 2008, Joseph signed a one-year, US$1.5 million contract with the Calgary Flames.[10] 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 Miikka 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.

Back to Toronto[edit]

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, he recorded his 450th career win in a 4–3 overtime victory against the Atlanta Thrashers, and on April 8, 2009, he recorded his 352nd NHL loss, tying Gump Worsley for the NHL record for most losses by a goaltender. Martin Brodeur subsequently set a new record and finished with 397 losses,[11] Joseph's 352 losses were also later surpassed by Roberto Luongo.

Joseph announced his retirement on January 12, 2010 in Toronto.[12] His career would end with 454 regular season wins, 5th most all time. His 63 playoff victories are the most by a goaltender without winning a Stanley Cup.

During the 2016-17 season, Joseph was a goaltending consultant in the organization of the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL.[13]


Joseph has been married twice and has seven children, including a nephew he is raising with his second wife. Joseph was previously married to Nancy. The couple had four children together before divorcing in 2009. Joseph married former Playboy playmate Stephanie Glasson in 2012. The couple have two children together.[14]

His autobiography, Cujo: The Untold Story of My Life On and Off the Ice, was released in 2018.

Awards and honours[edit]

Joseph inducted into the St.Louis Sports Hall of Fame, 2015. Radio Personality Randy Karraker presents his plaque.
Award Year
All-WCHA First Team 1988–89 [15]
AHCA West Second-Team All-American 1988–89 [16]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season Team League GP W L T* MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1988–89 Wisconsin WCHA 38 21 11 5 2267 94 1 2.49
1989–90 Peoria Rivermen IHL 23 10 8 2 1241 80 0 3.87
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
1995–96 Edmonton Oilers NHL 34 15 16 2 1935 111 0 3.44 .886
1996–97 Edmonton Oilers NHL 72 32 29 9 4089 200 6 2.93 .907
1997–98 Edmonton Oilers NHL 71 29 31 9 4132 181 8 2.63 .905
1998–99 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 67 35 24 7 4001 171 3 2.56 .910
1999–2000 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
2005–06 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 60 32 21 3 3424 166 4 2.91 .902
2006–07 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 55 18 31 2 2993 159 4 3.19 .893
2007–08 Calgary Flames NHL 9 3 2 0 399 17 0 2.55 .906
2008–09 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 21 5 9 1 383 50 0 3.57 .869
NHL totals 943 454 352 90 54055 2516 51 2.79 .906

*Note: As of the 2005–06 season, ties have been replaced by an overtime or shootout loss


Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SA SO GAA SV%
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
1996–97 Edmonton Oilers NHL 12 5 7 767 36 405 2 2.82 .911
1997–98 Edmonton Oilers NHL 12 5 7 715 23 319 3 1.93 .928
1998–99 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 17 9 8 1011 41 440 1 2.43 .907
1999–2000 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
2007–08 Calgary Flames NHL 2 1 0 79 1 33 0 0.76 .970
NHL totals 132 63 66 8,106 327 3,904 16 2.45 .917

International play[edit]

Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Representing Canada Canada
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2002 Salt Lake City
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1996 Austria
World Cup of Hockey
Silver medal – second place 1996 Canada
Spengler Cup
Gold medal – first place 2007 Spengler Cup

Joseph represented Canada at:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sportsnet signings". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Larry Wigge (2006-04-03). "Once again, 'Cujo' is in command". NHL. Archived from the original on April 5, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  3. ^ "Curtis Joseph's profile at". Hockey the Internet Hockey database. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  4. ^ a b Wigge, Larry (2000-01-31). "The Man Called Cujo". The Sporting News. Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  5. ^ "Curtis Joseph". NHL players. TSN. Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  6. ^ "Curtis Joseph—Biography". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  7. ^ "Curtis Joseph". Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  8. ^ Curtis Joseph, Legends of Hockey, retrieved 2010-12-01
  9. ^ "Canada wins 2007 Spengler Cup". TSN. 2007-12-31. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  10. ^ "Flames agree to one-year deal with CuJo". January 14, 2008. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Report: Maple Leafs will not bring Joseph back". Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  13. ^ Williams, Terrell (July 1, 2016). "Canes Add Joseph as Goaltending Consultant". Carolina Hurricanes. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  14. ^ Neil Davidson (October 24, 2018). Neglected as a child, Curtis Joseph was driven to succeed in NHL nets, Canadian Press.
  15. ^ "WCHA All-Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  16. ^ "Men's Ice Hockey Award Winners" (PDF). Retrieved June 11, 2013.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rick Berens
WCHA Freshman of the Year
Succeeded by
Scott Beattie
Preceded by
Robb Stauber
WCHA Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Gary Shuchuk
Preceded by
Rob Ray
Winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Succeeded by
Shjon Podein