Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween - NHL Style

I could go the route of posting some of the greatest, bloodiest fights. But that's been done. (not that I didn't enjoy the fours hours on YouTube watching them... again...)
But instead, I'll go the educational route.
Go back. Go waaay back... to Halloween 1972. The place, Philadelphia. The Flyers wanted to play a joke on their rather portly starting goalie, Doug Favell. They took his plain, white mask, that was like the mask worn by every other goalie in all of hockey, and painted it bright orange. Like, you guessed it, a pumpkin.
You can imagine the joking and the remarks by his teammates.
This was the very first time that a goalie had a painted mask other than plain white. Doug, the good natured fella that he is, decided to stick with it... with a minor modification. No more pumpkin.
After that, other goalies followed suit. Doug was later traded along with a 1st round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Bernie Parent and Larry Goodenough.
The mask needed modifying for his new team colours. And new country.

To end his career, Doug finished out with the Colorado Rockies, and a season with the brand new expansion Edmonton Oilers.

With all of the mask art we see today, a cultural icon of sports, all of it started with a Halloween prank in 1972.
Thanks for being a sport Doug!


Hackenbush said...

Always love your posts of masks.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Other vintage Flyers' goalie trivia:

1) Bernie Parent and Doug Favell were Flyers teammates from the team's inception in 1967 until about 1970 or 1971. Parent jumped to the WHA, then to the Maple Leafs, and it took Favell to get him back.

2) Favell also played pro lacrosse near the end of his NHL career.

(Visit my '60s, '66, '67, and '68 blogs!)

RicPhlare said...

Actually Favell first played with the painted mask on October 29th, 1970. He used it in a game against the LA Kings and the Flyers won 3-1. With Favell(like most goalies)being superstitious, the mask stayed orange until the end of the 1971-72 season when he gave up a goal late in the final game of that season. The Flyers missed the playoffs because of that goal, so the superstitious Favell went to the starburst the next season.

DPJ said...

Thanks - I thought that red mask was older than 1973. One other note on this, Parent was traded to Toronto first, he then jumped to WHA from there after a year or two, and was then brought back to Philly in a deal that involved the Flyers having to give up Favell. As a kid, I was brokenhearted - I really enjoyed Favell's flamboyance, and his style of play - he was what's known as a "flopper". Not as sound as a "standup" goalie, but exciting to watch. He was either really good, or really bad! In any event, things worked out good for the Flyers - Bernie had really come into his own by that time and the rest is history!

DPJ said...

RE: the goal he gave up on last game of 71-72: That was one of the most exciting regular season endings,ever. By the last game, there were a number of different possible combinations, all involving the Flyers making the playoffs in either 3rd or 4th place in what was then the Western division(made up of mostly expansion teams with the exception of Chicago). The only way they would miss is if all the other teams won and they lost. They would have made it even if everybody else won and all they did was tie. As it turned out, everybody else won, and they lost in Buffalo with just a couple of seconds left in the game. Clarke was so pissed he broke his stick in half over the crossbar! Good times...