Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: gerry cheevers
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The original mask, the only mask Gerry Cheevers ever wore in games, hangs these days on a wall in his grandson’s bedroom. It’s the white mask with the telltale faux stitches, from an era when everything the Bruins did, everywhere they went, everything they said, was consumed by a Boston sporting public gone bonkers for hockey.
Cheevers, his career and times to be celebrated Dec. 2 as part of the Sports Museum’s annual “Tradition’’ lovefest at TD Garden, never wanted to wear a goalie mask. He was in his mid-20s, still trying to land steady NHL work, when he saw the game changing before his unprotected eyes.
“The way the game was going, with shots and speed and everything, you really had no choice,’’ mused Cheevers, 75, the other day from his home in Delray Beach, Fla. “I could see I wasn’t going to survive without it.’’
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For a while there, Gerry Cheevers felt a little badly about not being able to accept the invitation.
The Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, you see, had asked Cheevers to attend this Friday night’s opening game in the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup, at which his St. Mike’s jersey from the ’61 championship team was to be retired.
Cheevers had to beg off because he knew he had knee replacement surgery scheduled for mid-April in Florida, a procedure that had been moved up from August when his surgeon had a surprise opening.
But Cheevers, 70, had an even bigger surprise coming.
The stress test prior to his knee surgery revealed a 95 per cent blockage in his heart, and instead of fixing a joint, doctors put Cheevers under the knife the next day for open-heart surgery and a quadruple heart bypass.
from the Windsor Star,
So simple, so symbolic.
With all due respect to the loud gargoyles, skeletons, rock stars, cartoon characters and city skylines which now protect the faces of today’s National Hockey League’s netminders, it’s Gerry Cheevers’ “stitch” mask which takes the cake as the coolest ever.
Picture the scene when Cheevers made his um, mark, on history, with the Boston Bruins.
The NHL was still coming out of the Original Six era, with old-school general managers and coaches gradually conceding that protecting their netminders’ faces from Bobby Hull-type slapshots was a good idea.