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.