Jacques Plante: Behind the Mask (Quest Biography)
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Translated by Darcy Dunton.
Jacque Plante, the first National Hockey League goalie to regularly wear protective facemask, was known for roving out of his net. "The Masked Marvel" won the Vezina trophy seven times and became a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Blake, who coached the Valleyfield Braves at this time, also took note of his astonishing performances. Whether it was in Quebec City, Chicoutimi, Shawinigan, Sherbooke, or Ottawa, Jacques Plante drew large crowds. He shared the spotlight in the Senior League circuit with another exceptional talent: Jean Béliveau, who played centre for the Quebec City Aces. The more Jacques’ prowess carne to the fore, the more press reports were dedicated to him, particularly in the Montreal dailies. In La
to the Red Wings, giving them 2 points in the League standings – 2 important points, as it turned out. At the end of the regular season a few days later, the Wings were at the top of the standings, exactly 2 points ahead of the Canadiens. The hysterical crowd surged onto St. Catherine Street, bellowing and roaring, shattering store Windows, overturning cars, and setting fire to anything that would burn. March 17, 1955, is etched in the collective memory as the date of the biggest riot in
However, it earned him a reputation as a loner and a skinflint. But where sports were concerned, Jacques was never stingy with his time. He volunteered for a variety of charitable causes. In the summer, he promoted Little League baseball by acting as umpire for Pee-wee games in the Laval neighbourhood where he lived with his family. Jacques excelled at golf and soccer. He was also an excellent bowler and was often the guest of honour when new lanes were inaugurated. But baseball remained his
into shape, to find out if my reflexes are still good.” Another motive for sending Jacques to the Royals was that his presence would boost attendance for Floyd Curry’s team, which was only attracting an average of 2,000 fans per game, due to its poor showing. The Royals’ general manager, Frank Carlin, counted on Jacques to bring that number up to 5000. Even if Jacques might not be able to take the team to the finals, at least he would save it from a heavy financial loss. It turned out that
the kingdom of hockey. Toe Blake was optimistic. He reminded himself (and other people) that Jacques was always at his best when the going got tough. And although several of the veterans were gone, the Habs were rejuvenated with Jean-Guy Tremblay, Jean Gauthier, Lou Fontinato at the blue-line, and the speedy winger, Gilles Tremblay, out in front. Soon, Jacques was back in Frank Selke s office. He knew it like the back of his hand by now: it had been the scene of all his contract negotiations.