The Evolution of the Goaltender

March 20, 2007

One of the easiest ways to visually explain the changes to hockey over the years, is to use goaltenders. Their styles, their size and most of all, their equipment has changed so drastically over the years. This post will give you a decade by decade look at just how much things have changed in the past 50 years.



(Pictured: Gump Worsley)




(Pictured: Tony Esposito)




(Pictured: Patrick Roy)




(Pictured: Bill Ranford)




(Pictured: Marc-Andre Fleury)

Wow, have things ever changed. The equiptment has become larger, colorful, more protective and simply much, much nicer looking. The fact that goalies didn’t start wearing helmets regularly until the 1960’s is almost incomprehensible to me. Granted, players didn’t shoot nearly as hard, but still. Just incredible.

Needless to say, am I ever glad I’m a goalie here in 2007, and not back in the 50’s or 60’s.


One comment

  1. It was somewhere in and around the 60’s that the players started using curved sticks as well. Its hard to raise a slapshot with no curve.

    In international hockey if the goalie gets hit in the helmet play is whistled dead. You look back and see all the scars of some of the great 50’s and earlier goalies and wonder “what were they thinking?”. It is incomprehensible. Its like how Nascar didn’t start using seatbelts until the 1960’s. The safest thing would be to get tossed as far as possible from the vehicle…yeah right.

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