… straight bladed hockey sticks?
Two inspirations for this post. The first, was the same inspiration from Peter Cameron for last week’s post about street hockey and the second from picking my wife up at the Windsor train station where you’ll see this display.
It’s part of the reason I never complain when asked to pick up or deliver there. I look at the display and just wonder.
Just for giggles, I went to the local Canadian Tire to see what kind of hockey sticks were for sale. They were all curved. Left and Right.
That takes me back.
All we had when playing pee-wee hockey were sticks with straight blades. Even though our heros like Bobby Hull were setting the NHL on fire with curved sticks, we weren’t allowed to use them. Our coach wanted to make us equally as proficient on the forehand as we were on the backhand. He wanted us to be able to pass accurately and stick handle with proficiency. So curved blades were definitely out.
All we wanted to do was to shoot high and hard like Bobby Hull, or Stan Mikita.
Long time NHL fans know that the greats – Gump Worsley, Johnny Bower, Terry Sawchuk – didn’t use masks. At least in the beginning. But the advent of the curved blade changed all that. Players were able to shoot higher and harder. It became dangerous or more dangerous to be a goalie.
On this trip to Canadian Tire, the only straight blade to be found was a plastic stick used for floor hockey, I guess. But, you just know that you could put it in hot water and curve it yourself.
So, for a Sunday, how’s your memory?
- Did you ever play hockey with a straight blade?
- What goalie was attributed with being the first one to use a mask in an NHL game?
- Gerry Cheever’s mask was white with black marks on it. What are the significance of the black marks?
- Can you identify the goalie that used each of the masks in the picture above? (Real fans won’t have to zoom in on the picture)
- Did you ever take a hockey game with the metal players and bend the blades to make your own curve?
How about taking a walk back through memory lane and answering one or more of those questions? You know you want to!
If you have an idea for a “Whatever happened to …” post, please leave it in the Padlet.
All of the articles in this series can be found here.