Cesare Maniago

Last updated
Cesare Maniago
Maniago, c. 1958 at St. Michaels College
Born (1939-01-13) January 13, 1939 (age 82)
Trail, British Columbia, Canada
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Toronto Maple Leafs
Montreal Canadiens
New York Rangers
Minnesota North Stars
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 19601978

Cesare Maniago (born January 13, 1939) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender. Maniago played the majority of his National Hockey League (NHL) career for the Minnesota North Stars, for whom he stands second all-time in games played in goal.


Playing career

Originally the property of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the young goalie played seven games for the Leafs in the 1960–61 season. Picked up by the Montreal Canadiens in the inter-league draft the following season, Maniago underwent a lengthy apprenticeship in the minor leagues, spending the better part of five years on the farm. The high point of his years with Montreal was a 14-game stint in relief of the ailing Jacques Plante during the 1963 season. He had a sparkling season for the Minneapolis Bruins of the Central Hockey League in 1965, winning the league's most valuable player award, after which he was dealt to the New York Rangers. Maniago competed against Ed Giacomin and Don Simmons for the starting goal position in 1966, playing 28 games for the last place team. On March 12, 1966, in Chicago, Maniago allowed the Chicago Black Hawks' star left winger Bobby Hull's 51st goal of the season, the first time in league history that any player had scored more than 50 goals in one year. After the game, Maniago insisted that Chicago's crafty forward Eric Nesterenko had interfered with him during the play: "Nesterenko lifted the blade of my stick, and the puck went under it." [1] Giacomin firmly won the job the next season as the much-improved Rangers made the playoffs, and Maniago played in just six games as his backup.


With expansion arriving the next season, Maniago had his opportunity. He was the first draft choice of the expansion Minnesota North Stars, immediately becoming their number one goaltender, a job he kept for the next nine seasons. Maniago's play led the North Stars into the playoffs five of their first six seasons. One of his best years was his first with the team, where he had career highs in wins and shutouts while leading underdog Minnesota into the 1967-68 West Division semi-finals. The North Stars struggled the next season, finishing in last place and missing the playoffs.

Unable to find a suitable goalie to help Maniago with the workload (the other goalies the team tried went a combined 11-35-16 in Minnesota's first three seasons) the North Stars obtained Gump Worsley's rights from the Canadiens, talking him out of retirement in 1970. The late-season addition rejuvenated the struggling team, who finished strongly, ending up in third place. Over the next three seasons the tandem led the North Stars into the playoffs, including an appearance against Montreal in the 1971 semifinals. In this series, Minnesota was the first expansion team to defeat an Original Six team in a playoff game, beating the Canadiens twice.

Starting in 1974, the fortunes of the Minnesota club sagged and Maniago's play suffered as well. After that season Worsley retired, leaving Maniago as the sole experienced goalie on the struggling team. After the 1976 season, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks, for whom he played his two final seasons.


Maniago retired with 190 wins in 568 games, recording 30 shutouts and a career 3.27 goals against average, leading Minnesota goaltenders in every meaningful statistical category. At the time of his retirement, he was in the top 25 in NHL history in shutouts, fifth in all-time losses and twelfth in all-time games played.

After his retirement, Maniago served several seasons as the Canucks' goaltender coach.

Maniago remains second in all-time games played and minutes played in net for the Minnesota/Dallas franchise behind Marty Turco, and is third in wins and shutouts to Ed Belfour and Turco.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
1957–58 St. Michael's Majors OHA-Jr. 4821197288017323.60
1958–59 St. Michael's MajorsOHA-Jr.42252013143.12
1959–60 Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen OHA-Sr. 38224014903.99
1959–60 Chatham Maroons Al-Cup 1410318504032.82
1960–61 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74214201702.43.928211145602.48.905
1960–61 Sudbury Wolves EPHL 117316601931.73
1960–61 Vancouver Canucks WHL 2200120502.50
1960–61 Spokane Comets WHL301710318009013.004132401904.75
1961–62 Hull-Ottawa Canadiens EPHL68372110408016832.4713858233202.33
1962–63 Montreal Canadiens NHL145548204203.07.897
1962–63 Quebec Aces AHL 52303001903.80
1962–63 Spokane CometsWHL101060404.00
1962–63 Hull-Ottawa CanadiensEPHL281311416808613.07303185902.92
1963–64 Buffalo Bisons AHL2711131163010303.79
1963–64 Omaha Knights CPHL 2223602303.83
1964–65 Minneapolis Bruins CPHL6734267402018462.755143001913.80
1965–66 New York Rangers NHL28914416139423.50.895
1965–66 Baltimore Clippers AHL271116015728313.17
1966–67 New York RangersNHL0112191403.84.881
1967–68 Minnesota North Stars NHL5222169287613362.77.91314778953902.61.918
1968–69 Minnesota North StarsNHL64183410359919813.30.905
1969–70 Minnesota North StarsNHL5092416288716323.39.908312180612.00.941
1970–71 Minnesota North StarsNHL4019156238010752.70.9148354802803.50.896
1971–72 Minnesota North StarsNHL4320174253911232.65.9194132381203.03.906
1972–73 Minnesota North StarsNHL4721186273613252.89.910523309921.75.939
1973–74 Minnesota North StarsNHL40121810237813813.48.898
1974–75 Minnesota North StarsNHL3711214212914914.20.881
1975–76 Minnesota North StarsNHL4713275270415123.36.901
1976–77 Vancouver Canucks NHL4717219269915113.36.894
1977–78 Vancouver CanucksNHL4610248257017214.02.870
NHL totals5681902579732,5691773303.27.902361521224710032.67.916

"Maniago's stats". The Goaltender Home Page. Retrieved 2017-10-01.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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  1. Kane, Martin (21 March 1966). "HOCKEY'S BIGGEST MOMENT NO. 51". SI Vault. Sports Illustrated . Retrieved 15 September 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
Preceded by
Jeannot Gilbert
CPHL Most Valuable Player Award
Succeeded by
Art Stratton