Throughout his eighteen-year professional hockey career as a goaltender, BC-raised Cesare Maniago played fifteen seasons in the NHL with Toronto, Montreal, New York, Minnesota and Vancouver. He netminded a total of 568 games, recorded thirty shutouts, and achieved a goals against average of 3.27.

Maniago learned to play hockey while growing up in Trail, BC, and was a member of numerous teams in the BC Minor Hockey Association. At the age of sixteen, he was offered a scholarship to attend Toronto’s St. Michael’s College, which was sponsored by the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. Maniago refined his skills there, along with fellow schoolmates Dave Keon and Frank Mahovlich.

At the start of the 1959-60 season, Maniago began playing senior amateur hockey for the Chatham (Ontario) Maroons. He was instrumental in the team’s win of the coveted Allan Cup, ironically over his hometown team, the Trail Smoke Eaters. The next season, Maniago turned pro, playing seven games for the Maple Leafs, and 32 for the Spokane Comets. He was drafted by Montreal in June of 1961, and played fourteen games in the Canadiens’ jersey during the 1962-63 season. After playing for a variety of minor league teams, a multi-player trade sent him to the New York Rangers in 1965.

Maniago’s golden opportunity came in 1967 when he became the first player chosen by the expansion Minnesota North Stars. During his first season, he recorded three consecutive shutouts, and during his nine seasons with the team, was named the North Stars’ MVP three times.

In 1976, Cesare came back to British Columbia when he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks. His final two NHL seasons were spent with Vancouver, where he backstopped the Canucks for 93 games and earned two shutouts.