Evolution of Hockey Helmet

Timeline created by mklinga
  • First Player to Wear Hockey Helmet

    First Player to Wear Hockey Helmet
    George Owen, who played for the Boston Bruins and also was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, was the first NHL player to wear a helmet.
  • First Goalie to Wear Helmet

    First Goalie to Wear Helmet
    Clint Benedict became the first goaltender to wear a mask in an NHL game on February 20, 1930.
  • Thoughts of Safety

    Thoughts of Safety
    No other player thought about a helmet until Toronto's King Clancy tripped Boston's Eddie Shore. To retaliate, Shore hit Bailey from behind. Bailey hit his head on the ice so hard that a priest at the game offered last rites. Bailey lived, but his playing career was over.
  • Leather Helmets

    Leather Helmets
    In the 1936 Olympics, leather helmets with wire caging to protect the face were first seen.
  • Protection must be Passed

    Protection must be Passed
    A meeting was called with all equipment manufacturers and announced that equipment must gain approval from the NHL’s Rules Committee. The League had concerns that equipment manufacturers were designing equipment that, while intended to protect players,
    was also inflicting injury to opposing players.
  • The Act that got People Worried

    The Act that got People Worried
    On January 13, 1968 in a game between the Minnesota North Stars and Oakland Seals, two players hit and one fell hard to the ice. With blood running from his nose and ears, he was rushed to the hospital. Four doctors worked for 30 hours to try to save him, but were unsuccessful as he died.
  • Helmet with Visor

    Helmet with Visor
    The first player to wear a shield was Greg Neeld in 1973, after he had lost his left eye due to an opponent's high stick.
  • Players used their head to keep it safe

    70% of players were already wearing helmets by this time.
  • Helmet Become Mandatory

    Helmet Become Mandatory
    In August 1979, then president of the National Hockey League announced that protective helmets would become mandatory in the NHL
  • Last PLayer to not Wear a Helmet

    Last PLayer to not Wear a Helmet
    The last player to play without a helmet in the NHL was Craig MacTavish of the St. Louis Blues during the 1996 to 1997 season.
  • Mandatory Visors in Minor League

    Mandatory Visors in Minor League
    The American Hockey League, the top minor league in North America required all players to wear shields prior to the start of the 2006–07 season. The NHL "strongly recommends" them, and most players do wear them.