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Joseph is nicknamed "Cujo", in reference to the Stephen King novel as well as the first two letters of his first and last names, 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 was awarded the 1999–00 King Clancy Memorial Trophy for exemplifying leadership qualities on and off the ice and making noteworthy humanitarian contributions to his community. Perhaps his greatest achievement came in Salt Lake City in 2002, where he was a member of the Olympic Gold Medal winning Canadian men's hockey team.
Joseph was born to unmarried teenage parents on April 29, 1967. Five days after his birth, his mother, Wendy Munro, gave him up for adoption to 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, and also has 3 older stepsisters and a step brother from a previous marriage. 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.
Joseph initially attended Whitchurch Highlands Public School until the family relocated to the Keswick area. Although Joseph led his high school team, Notre Dame College in 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 the 1989–90 season he played 23 games with the Peoria Rivermen in the IHL.
St. Louis Blues (1989-1995)Edit
Joseph began his NHL career when was signed by the St. Louis Blues in 1989. 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 would be, as 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 of 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, as the Blues swept them in four games in the first round of the playoffs. The Blues then faced the Toronto Maple Leafs in a second-round series that went seven games, thanks in large part to Joseph. The Leafs eventually prevailed. Because of his efforts, he was nominated as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy that season. He finished third in voting behind winner Ed Belfour and Tom Barrasso.
Edmonton Oilers (1995-1998)Edit
In 1995, Joseph was traded along 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 as team MVP, and one Most Popular Player award. He guided the Oilers to first round playoff upsets of the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche in 1997 and 1998, respectively. The victory over the Stars was the Oilers' first playoff series wins since 1992.
Toronto Maple Leafs (1998-2002)Edit
Following the 1997-98 season, Joseph signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs, a move which made him unpopular in Edmonton. However, it was with the Maple Leafs that Joseph became a superstar, as he was consistently one of the most popular players of both his team and in the league. While with the Maple Leafs, he had three consecutive seasons of 30 or more 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. Joseph played a key role in the Maple 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, a win where the Maple Leafs were outshot 33-21.
Detroit Red Wings (2002-2004)Edit
After Maple Leafs general manager Pat Quinn was unwilling to give Joseph a four year contract, but instead was willing to offer a three year contract, Joseph 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. Joseph had also hinted at wanting to play for a team that could win a Stanley Cup championship, implying the Leafs were not such a team. Joseph's move to Detroit was highly publicized and unpopular in Toronto.
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. In the 2003–2004 season, Joseph was originally set as Detroit's backup goaltender when Dominik Hasek came out of retirement. However, as Detroit had a capable backup goaltender in Manny Legace, the Detroit management tried to trade Joseph. However, Joseph's $8 million per year contract made him difficult to trade. After a stint in the minors, he returned to the Red Wings lineup while Hasek was nursing a groin injury. The Red Wings plan was to attract him to other teams until Hasek returned to the lineup. But in February, Hasek 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.
Phoenix Coyotes (2005-2007)Edit
Joseph moved to the Phoenix Coyotes via free agency in 2005 and signed a one year deal. On October 27, 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 goaltending list in wins, 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.
Calgary Flames (2008)Edit
On January 14, 2008, Joseph signed a one-year, $1.5 Million contract with the Calgary Flames. On March 1st of 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 three of the Flames' first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks. Joseph led the Flames to a comeback 4-3 win after initially falling behind 3-0. This win made him the first goaltender in NHL history to win a post-season game as a member of five different teams. Joseph accomplished this while a member of St.Louis, Edmonton, Toronto, Detroit, and Calgary.
Return to the Maple Leafs (2008-)Edit
On July 1, 2008, Joseph rejoined the Toronto Maple Leafs by signing a 1 year, $700,000 contract. Joseph came on to the team with the knowledge that he would serve as backup to starting goaltender Vesa Toskala, as well as mentor to the young and rebuilding Maple Leafs team.
|2008-2009||See 2008-2009 Statistics for current season totals|