Hockey fans know that Jacques Plante became, famously, the first NHL goaltender in the modern era to wear the goalie mask. Earlier this week, in a special trivia post, one of the questions I asked was: who was first the goalie after Plante (who started using the mask in games in the fall of 1959) to begin wearing a face mark on a regular basis? (The photo above shows Plante in action for Montreal in his pre-mask days. Old Hab fans will recognize Bob Turner and Donnie Marshall as the other Canadiens in the picture.)
Now, if memory serves, I believe that the answer to the question is Terry Sawchuk, then with the Red Wings. But I’m now wondering if I was wrong. Don Simmons wore a mask with the Leafs when he played for them during the 1961-’62 season, including when he was in goal for Game 6 in the finals in Chicago. I believe he wore a mask with the Bruins before hand, so was he actually the first after Plante (shown, upper right, with maybe his earliest version of the mask) to do it?
I should know this, but I’d look forward to hearing from readers who know, for sure, who was the last NHL goalie to play without a mask!