Gretzky, Orr, Howe or Lemieux- Who revolutionized the game the most?
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01-14-2014, 01:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
Honestly, Plante may have changed the game as much as any of these guys since he was the first goaltender to really start leaving the net to play the puck. He also popularized the mask.
Ya, see, the problem I have here in crediting Patrick Roy with being the "innovator" is that he was merely the product of the real innovator, and that would be Goalie Coach Francois Allaire and the Quebec School of Goaltending. He was hired by the Canadiens in the early 80's to work with Roy, and who is largely responsible for the popularization of the Butterfly that is today the mandatory style of play. He also worked with Felix Potvin & J.S. Giguere amongst others, along with equipment manufacturers in re-designing & re-developing the pads using synthetics rather than the heavier leather & horsehide styles that had been in use for decades, the master of that craft old Pop Kenesky out of Hamilton and through the 60's & 70's Cooper.
Patrick Roys success then engendered a rush to copy, so rather than stating "Roy was the innovator" I prefer to look at it as "Roy popularized the innovations & designs of Francois Allaire". Give credit where credit is due. Plante on the other hand worked in a vacuum. There were no Goalie Coaches back then to guide him. So ya, he truly was an "innovator" as was Glenn Hall with the early version of the Butterfly, it too copied by many, most notably a young Roger Crozier who until being traded to Detroit had been Blackhawks property & down on the depth charts from Hall in the minors. Later you had Tony Esposito who's game came together under Halls tutorials but for Hall, Plante, Bower and the rest of them playing pre-tandem they were on their own. Innovation the name of the game.
As for the mask, thats an interesting one alright. A new and potentially deadly weapon had been re-introduced by Geoffrion & Bathgate, the Slap Shot. Those guys didnt create the Slap Shot, it had been around since at least 1903 and been deployed at various times at all levels but wasnt considered terribly efficient due to its lack of accuracy, stick technology fairly basic. By the 50's however with fiberglass wrappings of the blade, you could put extra pressure on the stick and it wouldnt disintegrate with a serious windup. It was a Bathgate Slap Shot that cut Plantes face up so badly that he refused to return to play without his mask and the rest as we know is history.
Still though, the mask didnt catch on. That accidental Bathgate shot was followed by the accidental curving of the blade when in practice one day an upset Stan Mikita started breaking sticks & bending blades. Having a Canary over God only knows.... picks up one of his bent toothpicks, winds up and Mother Mary, would you just look at that! Wicked! Thereafter refines the process, and Hull wants some a that action as well please. Next thing you know, everyones doing it & if your playing without a mask, your certifiable. So there mandated. Innovation sure, but accidental innovations.
Last edited by Killion: 01-14-2014 at
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