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43949RE: [hockhist] Lasts goaltenders to wear a masks

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  • William Underwood
    Mar 1, 2004
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      Simple, most found the early masks uncomfortable and limited their

      As far as cages go...oddly enough I find that when you give the guys the
      chance to not wear them they don't. Lat year, USA Hockey sent out a memo
      telling us that we can no longer tell players to wear full facial
      protection or not to past age 18. The logic is that you are legally
      VULNERABLE either way. Say a visor shattered into an eye (unlikely) or a
      cage is pushed back causing a bad cut or a nose injury which is VERY
      possible you are just as liable as if you told a kid NOT to wear
      protection and he lost an eye or broke his nose or something. For my
      summer league I have always brought the special waiver form for my
      seniors as I never forced guys to wear full protection at that age,
      after all I have the odd minor pro playing! It always was surprising how
      many guys would sign it, even college players.
      Now I have to do it at the junior level too. And let's put it this
      way...I have to ask my registrar for more forms!

      A HUGE percentage of guys want to ditch facial protection as soon as
      they are 18! For most of them it is macho stuff. For others, well they
      just don't like the cage. Honestly, I always HATED the cage! It bothered
      my vision, it was able to be grabbed or knocked and frankly I always
      valued my face less then my neck...no Hollywood folks were exactly all
      that concerned about my looks so...on the other hand the thought of a
      neck injury from a cage getting grabbed always bugged me! Now I did wear
      a VISOR. My biggest complaint was that they fogged up BADLY in those
      days. It isn't as bad now.
      But I think the cage will never be that popular among players, the visor
      may get more popular. Then again, ECHL guys HATE IT! In fact the league
      is thinking about bagging them for next year! And most of these guys
      have played with the visor and/or cage for most if not all of their
      amateur careers!

      These things don't go over very well with players!

      Now the goalie mask is another matter. I think it is largely the product
      of the banana blade. The curved stick changed the dynamics of things.
      Guys were suddenly blasting away these knuckle balls especially off the
      point through screens that they started to feel unprotected. Remember
      the goalie HAS to stand in front of a shot and try to block it, no one
      else does...in fact sometimes it is wise to not even try it as the odds
      of a screen of deflection are more than a clean block, plus you catch
      the shot early on in the trajectory when it is more predictable and
      generally low to the ice. Goalies lack that luxury! You are allowed to
      shoot as high as you want, there are rules against elbows or sticks
      getting high so there is a de limiter to that. There is none for head
      hunting goalies! So there really is a limit to the analogy.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: John Matthew IV [mailto:john.matthew@...]
      Sent: Sunday, February 29, 2004 10:12 PM
      To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hockhist] Lasts goaltenders to wear a masks

      Martin Poitras wrote:

      > I know that Andy Brown was the last goaltender to play in the NHL
      > mask on April 7, 1974, but who were the other last goaltenders to
      > masks or retire without ever wearing one prior to Andy ?

      This topic fascinates me. Has anyone asked Andy, "WHAT THE HELL WERE

      I cannot imagine playing hockey without a full visor and cage. Being a
      goaltender with nothing to protect your face is inconceivable. I would
      to read (or perhaps write) what the goaltenders of the era were

      Where is Andy these days?

      John Matthew IV

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