Friday, February 09, 2007

Goalie Masks From The Past

Anyone interested in checking out vintage goalie masks has to see the Masks From the Past site.

Scan through the available masks for purchase and you will see the evolution of the creation before your eyes. I wonder what Jacques Plante ( pictured above ) would think of today's creations. I remember goalies back in the day, changing masks almost annually, often in mod season. Today's air brushed creations just don't measure up in character.

They build world-class fiberglass hockey goalie mask replica's. Their vintage goalie masks are hand-crafted using only high-quality materials and precision techniques. You can see the quality is reflected in their accuracy, form, strength, and integrity of their goalie masks and they offer a 100%, money back guarantee.

Gerry Cheevers mask from the early 1970's. One of the very first masks to display personality via graphics. The stitches indicated were Cheevers was struck with the puck and would have been cut had he not been wearing protection. During one game, Cheevers collided with a player, and the mask was knocked off, and flung into the MSG crowd. Cheevers had to pay a ransom to get his prized possession returned.

This hand painted beauty belongs to Gilles Gratton of the New York Rangers. It was one of the first fully painted creations. Gratton was a nutcase who once streaked on the ice in the WHA, wearing nothing but skates and a jock. He believed he was reincarnated from the stone age and wouldn't tend goal if he felt the stars were not aligned.

Bernie Parent's Philadelphia Blazers WHA mask. Bernie would later win back to back Conn Smythe's with the Flyers in 1974 and 1975. He was a bit odd himself in that he once stated that allergies made it difficult for him to play for Toronto during a stint there in 1971-72. He once described goaltending as "minutes of hell."

The first "fearsome" depiction I can recall came courtesy of Gary Bromley, then with the defunct Cleveland Barons. Bromley didn't last long in the league, but still might be able to claim inspiration for a dozen Iron Maiden album covers.

This USA themed mask spawned hundreds of copies. It belonged to Bernie Wolfe of the dreadful mid-seventies Capitals.

This antique was the protection worn by Jaques Caron of the St. Louis Blues. It resembled the more famous Dryden mask of the day. Rumours that it was created with a tube of Crest and silicone spray were never founded. How'd you like to take a Sheldon Souray blast in the chops wearing this veil?

This bowl shaped design belonged to Curt Ridley of the Vancouver Canucks. Any shot ripping off this mask would surely fly to upper deck.

He looked just like this underneath it! I saw this recently in a replay of a 1980's All-Star Game and its owner was the Hawks Murray Bannerman. It reminds of a twisted Friday the 13th movie in which Jason Voorhees would only hack up Mohawks.

A cobra adorned the mask of Gary Simmons.

One of my all - time favorite goalies, Rogie Vachon wore this eye-socket as target contraptions for years. Think he could see the puck enough?

Billy Smith, a gnarly character if there ever was one, wore this totem pole face only briefly with the Islanders before switching to a cage. Battling Billy had a cottage located near Cornwall, where he played his junior hockey. He was tight with his money something ridiculous. I worked at a grocery store at 17 and he once made a cashier put an entire $300 order through the checkout twice because he believed he'd been jipped a quarter. This was after his 2nd Stanley Cup and a huge contract. My manager, knowing full well who he was, pulled some loose change from his pocket and handed it to him saying, "He're you go Mr. need this more than I do". Nobody bothered asking for an autograph.

Just for the sake of comparison, I thought I'd add Cristobal Huet's mask to this collection. It is not at the site but I get many searches here looking for it.
When I was younger and played goal, I had painted KISS' Gene Simmons bat-winged eyes onto my mask. It looked damn fierce and everybody loved it. Each time I played, it needed to be repainted. I touched it up with plastic model paint.
The good old days!

No comments: