A Brief But Interesting History Of The Hockey Mask
The hockey mask is one of the most immediately recognisable pieces of sporting hardware in the world, and this is generally because of a few reasons. Obviously, its use as a protective barrier in an often-violent game is one of the reasons for its well-known status, but perhaps an even bigger impact on its popularity sits with film. Horror films, in particular, have made use of the hockey mast for a number of decades, and its ability to hide the face of the killer is part of why it saw such success in the horror industry.
Today, horror movies have moved on to other tropes, and the hockey mask has once again been delegated to just the world of hockey, which is by no means a bad thing. It has proven in numerous games to be a saviour for many players, keeping their faces intact and often saving their lives. It’s a necessity in the world of hockey, which can sometimes quickly turn violent, and hockey pucks can cause a lot of damage without the right protective gear. But where did the mask come from, and how has become so iconic? Take a break from your eSports betting Australia to find out more.
How It Began
It was the year of 1959, and for many sports, protective playing equipment wasn’t really a reality. Many of the players at the time frowned upon adding different forms of protection, no matter how badly damaged they became after a particularly vicious game.
Jacques Plante was the inventor of the first mask, and for a long time, many viewed him as a weakling. It was his game against the New York Rangers on November 1st 1959 that caused him to think up the idea of the mask – not long after a puck hit him square in the face. During the break, he returned to the field with a crudely designed mask made out of fibreglass that he wore as protection to avoid any high flying pucks in the future. The success of the game thanks to the mask and his lessened aversion to the puck meant that the team changed their mind about the new piece of equipment, and it was then that the hockey mask was truly born.
Skip a few decades to today, and we can see just how far the hockey mask has come. New designs and materials are being used, including carbon fibre and Kevlar to give goalies that extra layer of protection. There are now entire companies devoted to creating high-quality masks, each coming in their own design and with different themes, often to match the team or the goalie wearing it.
Plante’s simple idea turned into a large, international industry that has saved the front teeth, noses, and eyes of countless goalies, and as the future unwinds, these companies will continue layering new and innovative materials to make the hockey mask ever more safe in a dangerous game.