The Composite mask
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02-02-2014, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Village
Originally Posted by
Dave Dryden was the co-inventor of the composite mask (with the famed Greg Harrison).
Trivia: who was the last goaltender to wear the Plante-style mask in an NHL game?
Pelle Lindbergh?... It was the injury Parent received to his eye while wearing a Plante Custom model that really precipitated the Harrison/Dryden innovation & ultimately banning of the face-flush masks. By the late 70's, Harrison had almost cornered the market with about 80% of all NHL goaltenders wearing his masks, the leading custom manufacturer & designer. I had one myself made by him (over 40yrs ago mind you & early in his mask making career literally from his parents basement), similar style to the Ernie Higgins model. Harrison often borrowing from other earlier designers but with greater coverage, improved safety features. He had played goal himself up to the University level (University of Toronto) and as an Art Student blended his 2 main loves into a cottage industry. Believe he's still making custom masks, noted several discussions on the topic elsewhere....
Earlier in that decade (70's) of course Tretiak's outstanding play in the Summit Series & subsequent meetings against NHL & WHA clubs, International competitions, inspired many young North American goalies of the age who idolized him, trying to emulate his style & of course look. The helmet/cage combination readily available, inexpensive, off the shelf. It was however cumbersome and not entirely safe, some of the cage configurations with wide open cats eyes providing zero protection for the eyes, bridge of the nose. Yet if you went with the regular full cover cage, created blind spots. Esposito who wore contact lenses which were forever popping out in-game & lost forever against the ice was the first to add the bars to his mask mid-70's. Tony 'O' also responsible for the creation of the "cheater" to the catcher, adding an extra 2-3"'s to the pocket with an after-market stitched on leather & rawhyde grabber; creating the "Crotch Pocket", additional fabric & padding to his pants to close the upper 5 hole while in the Butterfly.
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