First NHL player to wear a helmet

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by tarheelhockey, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    Posting this mainly in hopes that it will be found on search engine results for this topic.

    According to hockey lore and the internet in general, George Owen was the first NHL player to wear a helmet during gameplay. I am fairly certain that this is correct in regard to regular use of a helmet, but Owen was NOT the first player to actually wear a helmet on the ice.

    The earliest instance I can find is that of Marty Barry, for the Canadiens. Barry was kicked in such a way that the skate blade caught the inside part of his ear, and needed several stitches to close the wound. In his next game, he wore a leather football helmet -- not for head protection, but for the ear flaps as protection of his stitches.

    Funny enough, the helmet didn't last long as he ditched it mid-game.

    The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search

    Feel free to post others... mainly I just want to have it on the record that George Owen is definitely not the correct answer to this question. He didn't come into the NHL until a month after the Barry incident.
     
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  2. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    That actually surprises me that there was a player wearing a helmet regularly in the 1930s. Although he didn't play very long. Even well into the 1950s I honestly can't think of a single player (off the top of my head) who wore a helmet. A couple come to mind in the 1960s, but even in 1972 the Canadian team for the Summit series had just three players wear helmets. Henderson, Berenson and Mikita if I can recall.
     
  3. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Marty Burke, not Barry.

    From the late 1930s, Ralph Bowman and Jack Crawford. Photos attached. 0000jackcrawford.jpg 0000Ralphbowman.jpg
     
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  4. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Eddie Shore picture but no confirmation that he wore one in a game.

    0000EddieShore.jpg
     
  5. cupcrazyman

    cupcrazyman Quijibo

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    My guess was also Eddie Shore
     
  6. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    He did wear one in game(s)...



    0:08 seconds of this video.
     
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  7. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge With the guards of Magog swarming around..

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    As most of us here know, during the 1932-33 season, Toronto's King Clancy tripped Boston's Eddie Shore during a game on December 12. To retaliate, Shore hit Totonto's Ace Bailey from behind. Bailey hit his head on the ice so hard a Priest at the game offered last rights. Bailey lived, but his playing career was over.

    In retaliation for Shore's decking Bailey, Toronto's Red Hoerner decked Shore with a vicious punch, dropping him to the ice, where he hit his head, and required a trip to the hospital, though he wasn't seriously injured, but did need some stitches.

    The next game The Bruins wore helmets. Most or almost all of them discarded them the next game, or according to some reports, ditched them during the game. Shore continued to wear one, and did for the remainder of his career.

    So Eddie Shore wore a helmet the second half of his NHL career.

    Ironic.

    Just a little too ironic, yeah I really do think..
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019

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