The 50 Best Goalie Mask Designs in NHL History

December 20th, 2010 by Jon Neely Leave a reply »
It began in 1959. 

After experimenting with designs off the ice for months, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante felt he had found the right kind of goalie mask to use for protection in a game, but there was just one problem. 

He wasn't allowed to use one.

It wasn't just that no goalie before him had ever worn a mask during a game in the NHL, but that his coaches, including head coach Toe Blake, thought it would hinder his vision, and therefore told Plante he would not be able to wear the mask.

Talk about tough love, and especially for a goalie who was on his way to winning his fifth straight Vezina Trophy as the best in the league. 

Everything changed on Nov. 1, 1959, in a game against the New York Rangers. Andy Bathgate, a powerful forward for the Rangers, came steaming in on net and ripped a shot off the face of Plante, sending him into the dressing room for repairs. 

Plante came back out on to the ice stitched up, but with a mask covering his face. He had found his excuse to wear a mask during a game, and never looked back. 

Across the NHL, players, fans and media all f ...

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