43949RE: [hockhist] Lasts goaltenders to wear a masks
- Mar 1, 2004Simple, 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
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.
From: John Matthew IV [mailto:john.matthew@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 29, 2004 10:12 PM
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 NHLwithout
> mask on April 7, 1974, but who were the other last goaltenders toadopt
> 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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