While there are many days remembered over the years for major trades or signings, today represents a landmark day in the NHL for an entirely different reason. As John Kreiser of NHL.com recalls, November 1st, 1959 was the first time that a goaltender wore a mask as Montreal’s Jacques Plante put one on following getting hit in the face after a hard shot from Andy Bathgate of the New York Rangers.
At the time, Plante was highly criticized and ridiculed but held firm in using one, telling coach Toe Blake that he would no longer play without one. It took 15 years (until 1973-74) before all goaltenders were wearing them. Today, the thought of a goalie not wearing a mask is largely incomprehensible with play being whistled down practically immediately if a netminder’s mask comes off during the course of the action.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Brian Campbell’s next game (which, barring any last second surprises, will be tonight against Calgary, will be a very profitable one for him. Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune notes (Twitter link) that Campbell’s contract calls for a $750K bonus to be paid out after Campbell plays in his 10th game of the season. The 37 year old is off to a nice start this season with a goal and five assists through his first nine games. The Blackhawks can use the bonus cushion to help defer the cap charge for that amount until next season which is likely their intention given how easy it was made for Campbell to hit that particular incentive.
- Still with Chicago, they are hoping to get center Andrew Desjardins back in the lineup on Sunday, writes Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times. The 30 year old has not yet played this season after suffering a foot injury at the end of the preseason. Last year, he had just 13 points in 77 games but logged the most shorthanded ice time of any Chicago forward. Given that their penalty kill ranks dead last at just 53.1%, Desjardins’ return would be a significant boost for the team in that particular area.
- Unrestricted free agent center Chris Porter has signed a tryout deal with the Providence Bruins, affiliate of Boston, reports Mark Divver of the Providence Journal (Twitter link). Porter spent last season with Minnesota, playing in a career high 61 games, collecting four goals and three assists in a fourth line role while averaging 9:38 of ice time per night. He attended training camp St. Louis, where he spent parts of six seasons, but was unable to secure a contract. PTO contracts in the AHL can last up to 25 games and can be extended for an additional 25 contests.