Blackhawks News

On This Date In NHL History

By Keith Schultz

April 14, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detail view of the mask of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the third period against the Phoenix Coyotes in game two of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

On this date in NHL history,

On November 1, 1959 well before the Halloween series of movies, goalie Jacques Plante revolutionized the game of hockey by being the first goalie to ever wear a goalie mask in an  NHL game.

Plante of the Montreal Canadians spent a lot of time researching his new protective gear and the game and safety changed forever.  Most people say football players are the toughest around, but before this date in 1959 goalies if not the toughest had to be the craziest not to be wearing any type of protective gear on their heads.

Masks like anything have evolved through the years from the Jason type masks that they wore throughout the 50,60,70,and 80’s until the goalies switched in the 90’s to what most hockey goalies wear today with colorful decorations on the gear.  When Eddie Belfour played for the Hawks his new masks were always a topic of discussion. As I stated in my Murray Bannerman post, no matter what they come up with today his mask and style of mask will always be my favorite.

The evolution of the mask has also helped other sports as most baseball catchers now wear pretty much use hockey masks as they protect the plate similar to the one Corey Crawford uses when between the pipes when not out of work during a lockout.

I’m sure someone would have eventually thought it was a good idea to wear something to stop hockey pucks from connecting with their head , but on today’s date Jacque Plante revolutionized hockey and Halloween gear forever!

End The Lockout!!

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