Wednesday, July 13, 2016

1978 Goalie Mask Book

Here's a great book I picked up for the Den. This large, thick-stock book published in 1978 is titled "Hockey Masks and The Great Goalies Who Wear Them". It's filled with paintings of goalie masks of the era by Michael M. Cutler. I recall going on a class trip in the late 1970s or early 1980s to the McMichael Art Gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario and there being an exhibition of actual goalie masks. I'm not sure if this book was published in conjunction with that or not, but it is certainly along the same lines. 
The cover of the book is of course the mask of Hall of Famer Ken Dryden. In 1978, Dryden was in the midst of his final NHL campaign. He would lead the Canadiens to his sixth and last Stanley Cup in the spring of 1979.
Above is Vancouver's Curt Ridley mask included in the book. 1977/78 saw Ridley play a career high 40 games for the Canucks posting a 4.06 GAA. He would actually spend the entire next season with Dallas in the Central League. After the book came out, he played only 16 more NHL games, finishing with Toronto in 1980/81.
Next is Dan Bouchard of Atlanta Flames who in 78/79 led the NHL with 32 wins while posting a 3.33 GAA. He represented Canada in the 1978 World Championships going 2-4 allowing 4.19 goals per game. This particular mask was made by Bouchard himself with the design done by his 13-year old neighbour
By the time this book was released, Gilles Gratton was pretty much out of hockey. He had played 41 games for New York Rangers in 76/77 after starring in the WHA for three seasons. He played one game in 77/78 with New Haven of the AHL, allowing six goals before retiring for good.
The above mask of Washington Capital, Ron Low was a nod to the 1976 American Bicentennial. By the time the book came out, he was a Detroit Red Wing. 
The iconic mask of Gerry Cheevers is next. In 1978, Cheevers was winding down his Hall of Fame career. His final NHL numbers were 230-102-74 and a 2.89 GAA with two Cups. His four WHA seasons produced a 99-78-9 record and 3.12 GAA.
Lastly is one of the greatest goaltenders of all-time, another Hall of Famer, Vladislav Tretiak.
Over his last three seasons of his career with Moscow Red Army, he went a ridiculous 81-7-4 with a 1.67 GAA. Oh yeah, he also won three Olympic Golds and helped the Soviets win ten World Championships.

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