Robert Esche

Robert L. Esche (born January 22, 1978) is an American former professional ice hockey goaltender who is the current president of the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Utica City FC of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL). He previously played eight seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Phoenix Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers.

Playing career

Esche started his career with the Phoenix Coyotes, only to be traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in a deal involving Michal Handzuš and Brian Boucher. In 2004, he claimed the starting goaltending spot for the Flyers, and led them to the Eastern Conference Finals, only to fall in seven games to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

While playing in Russia for Ak Bars Kazan, he posted a record of 22–5–2 with a 2.01 goals against average (GAA) and a .912 save percentage, along with four shutouts.

Esche skated with Dinamo Minsk during the 2010–11 KHL season. In 2008–09, he posted a record of 21–14 with a 1.87 GAA and .912 save percentage, as well as nine shutouts.

On June 16, 2011, the SCL Tigers announced they had signed the 33-year-old Esche to a contract, where he played 40 games, going 15-25, with a 3.05 GAA and .898 save percentage.

International play

Esche has represented the United States in the 1997 and 1998 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and the IIHF World Championships in 2000, shutting out Russia in Russia, an accomplishment he still lists as his greatest moment in hockey. He represented the US team in 2001 and also received the starting nod at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Esche was named to the 2006 US Men's Olympic Hockey Team in Turin. He played one game in the Olympic tournament, losing 5–4 to Russia.

Esche played for the 2008 Team USA Hockey team in the World Championships which took place in Canada. He had earned some starts after sitting out the first few games, including a 42 save performance in a controversial 3–2 loss against Finland. He also posted a 9–1 victory against Norway.


Esche has two children with former wife Kelly. He hails from Whitesboro, New York.

Esche is nicknamed "Chico" after former NHL goaltender Chico Resch because his sticks are labeled R. Esche.

Awards and accomplishments

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular seasonPlayoffs
1994–95Gloucester RangersCJHL20106010347004.06
1995–96Detroit WhalersOHL23136011397113.74.876302105402.29
1996–97Detroit WhalersOHL5824282324120623.81.8785143171903.60
1997–98Plymouth WhalersOHL4829134281013532.88.89615878684503.11.920
1998–99Springfield FalconsAHL5524206295713812.80.90510159404.02.867
1998–99Phoenix CoyotesNHL3010130703.23.860
1999–00Springfield FalconsAHL2199212076123.03.9123121801204.01.878
1999–00Houston AerosIHL74214191622.29.922
1999–00Phoenix CoyotesNHL82504082303.38.893
2000–01Phoenix CoyotesNHL25108413506823.02.896
2001–02Phoenix CoyotesNHL22610211455212.72.902
2001–02Springfield FalconsAHL110060010.001.000
2002–03Philadelphia FlyersNHL30129316386022.20.90710030102.00.929
2003–04Philadelphia FlyersNHL402111723227932.04.9151811710604112.32.918
2005–06Philadelphia FlyersNHL4022115228611312.97.8976243142204.20.875
2006–07Philadelphia FlyersNHL185918606214.32.872
2007–08Ak Bars KazanRSL1810953431.86.926106092512.46.885
2008–09SKA Saint PetersburgKHL382114621836891.87.912303185802.59.877
2009–10SKA Saint PetersburgKHL42297525278762.07.917413236902.29.910
2010–11Dinamo MinskKHL24514513837603.30.897421216701.94.942
2011–12SCL TigersNLA4015250230511713.05.898
KHL totals1045535166093231152.27.91011376372402.26.915
NHL totals186786416610,140464102.75.90025131114056412.73.907


1997United StatesWJCDNP
1998United StatesWJC42202381303.28.922
2000United StatesWC2101120110.50.984
2001United StatesWC64203591302.17.931
2004United StatesWCH41302371002.53.909
2006United StatesOG101059505.10.762
2008United StatesWC422198702.12.931
2009United StatesWC8354802503.12.891
Senior totals251113114536112.52.913

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article Robert Esche, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.