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01-15-2013, 03:19 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
I dont think there was any single incident in 77-79 that really tipped the scales Phil. That had already occurred in 67-68 when Bill Masterton of Minnesota got hit by Larry Cahan & Ron Harris of Oakland, went flying, head cracks on the ice & died after something like 30+ hours of Emergency Surgery.

By the time Ziegler introduced that "new rule" with a Grandfather Clause (Craig MacTavish was the last guy to play without a lid in 97 I believe) in 79 over 70% of the leagues players were wearing them anyway as theyd been mandated in the early & mid 60's at almost every level so they grew up with it.

Most leagues also have rules as to the proper wearing of helmets, the IIHF etc, but not the NHL (though wasnt there something brought in about that a year or so ago; that the straps had to be done up properly or am I imagining it?). Just that the things be CSA & US Safety approved & stickered. You cant wear a metal face piece in the NHL either, a cage, not unless its to protect an injury. Goalie masks & helmets are of course an entirely different animal....
When the Masterton incident happened in 1968 it changed very little in the NHL. Players were helmetless for the most part anyway and continued to be. You are right about the grassroots level though since helmets were starting to become mandatory with kids. I guess the fact that most players were wearing helmets anyway that were entering the league by 1979 sort of made sense to grandfather the rule in.

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