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Warren Godfrey: the Gordie Howe helmet (continued)

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that when I first saw the photo of Gordie Howe wearing a helmet that we included in my story, I thought it might be teammate Warren Godfrey.

Godfrey was a veteran NHL defenseman who I remember with the Wings when I was a kid. He split his long NHL career between two stops each in Detroit and Boston.

I wanted to locate a picture of Godfrey to show that the helmet Howe wore looked a lot like the one I recall Godfrey wearing in the early ‘60s with the Wings. I found a shot of Godfrey in action against Dave Keon and the Leafs.

The style of helmet is of course very different from what players utilize nowadays. Players like Charlie Burns (who had a metal plate in his head) wore a similar style of head protection we see in these photos. From what we can tell from the pictures, the old-style helmets protected players around, but not so much on the top of their heads.

That changed in later years. Red Kelly went from the Howe/Godfrey headgear he sometimes wore in the very early '60s to a different style in later years, as he and Red Berenson along with some others used helmets that also protected the top of a player’s head, too.

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