The History of Hockey Helmets

  • The First Hockey Helmet

    The First Hockey Helmet
    In 1928, George Owen, a Boston Bruins defensemen, (who was also inducted into the College Football Hall Of Fame) was the first NHL player to wear a helmet, which was made of leather.
  • Clint Benedict

    Clint Benedict
    In Feburary of 1930, Clint Benedict became the first NHL Goalie to wear a "helmet" which was just a facemask made of leather.
  • The "Eddie Shore Incident"

    The "Eddie Shore Incident"
    SourceIn Boston on December 12, 1933, Shore ended the career of Toronto Maple Leafs star Ace Bailey when he hit Bailey from behind. Shore had checked Bailey causing him to rapidly convulse and become unconscious. In retailiation, Leafs enforcer Red Horner punched Shore so hard is head hit the ground leaving a pool of blood and requiring 7 stitches. Shore wore a helmet for the rest of his career.
  • 1936 Olympics

    1936 Olympics
    In the 1936 Olympics, Hockey Players were seen using leather helmets with brass wiring on the inside.
  • New NHL Rule

    New NHL Rule
    The NHL called a meeting in June of 1958, to discuss new rulings on equipment. They ruled that all equipment manufacturers must gain approval from the NHL rules commitee.
  • First Full Goaltender Mask

    First Full Goaltender Mask
    In 1959, Montreal Canadiens goal tender Jacques Plante invented, designed, and created the first full goalie mask. He wore this goalie mask against the New York Rangers on November 1, 1959.
    Plante was the first goaltender to wear the goalie mask on a regular basis. Plante created the goalie mask to protect his broken skull, cheekbones, nose, and jaw. This mask was made of fiberglass.
  • Gerry Cheevers, "Father of Goalie Mask Design"

    Gerry Cheevers, "Father of Goalie Mask Design"
    Gerry Cheevers is considered the father of goaltender mask design, because during the early 70's he took a puck to the face, which in turn, his trainer painted stitches on his mask. This mask became iconic and inspired the creative masks we see today
  • Vladislav Tretiak

    Vladislav Tretiak
    In the 1972 Summit Series, Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretiak used a helmet-cage hybrid mask. It featured a regular hockey helmet with a full bird cage covering the face, which soon after became quite popular.
  • First Visor

    First 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
  • Tony Esposito

    Tony Esposito
    SourceAnother significant advance in mask design came during the 1974-75 season, when goaltending great Tony Esposito, who had experienced puck and stick injuries to his eyes, fitted a steel cage over the eyeholes of his molded mask and crafted a fiberglass extension to protect the top of his head, thereby setting the groundwork for the next step in mask evolution, the modern goalie mask, commonly referred to as the "hybrid" mask. Today, most goalies utilize hybrid masks made of fiberglass and kevlar.
  • Helmets Become Mandatory

    [](Source )In August 1979, then president of the National Hockey League John Ziegler, announced that protective helmets would become mandatory in the NHL. The only exception to the rule are players—after signing a waiver form—who signed professional contracts prior to June 1, 1979.
  • Hockey Helmets Today

    SourceToday Hockey Helmets have been innovated and re-modeled to fit players needs. Things such as ventilation, aerodynamics, and material have all influenced todays helmets. while there is no specific info on when these innovations occured and by whom they were created. Hockey players are still grateful for them.