Jacques Plante, hockey goaltender (b near Mont Carmel, Qué 17 Jan 1929; d at Geneva, Switz 26 Feb 1986). He began playing goal for a factory team in Shawinigan and played junior for Québec Citadels before turning professional with Montreal Royals at age 22. He played several games with MONTREAL CANADIENS
during the 1953 playoffs and the final 17 games of the regular 1953-54 season, becoming Montréal's regular goalie 1954-55. He was the first goalie to win the VÉZINA TROPHY
5 straight seasons (1955-56 to 1959-60), and after an off-year in which he was injured, he won the Vezina again in 1961-62, as well as the HART TROPHY
(most valuable player). He was traded to New York Rangers in 1963 after bouts of asthma had gained him a reputation for being undependable, but retired after less than 2 seasons. He returned to the NHL with St Louis 1968-70, sharing the Vezina with Glenn HALL in 1968-69 and, playing perhaps his best hockey ever, with Toronto 1970-73 and briefly with Boston in 1973. He finished his playing career with Edmonton Oilers (WHA) 1974-75 and coached Québec Nordiques 1973-74.
Plante played goal with superb technical ability and with drama and flair. He was famous in the sport for roving beyond his net, and after being struck in the face with a puck 1 November 1959 he was the first goalie to wear a protective mask regularly. In 17 NHL seasons, Plante played 837 regular season and 112 playoff games and compiled a 2.37 regular season and 2.16 playoff goals-against average, with 82 regular season and 14 playoff shutouts. He lived in Switzerland from 1975 to the time of his death.
Plante was one of the outstanding goalies of his time and was the first to wear a mask regularly in a game (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-29951).
Links to Other Sites
Watch the Heritage Minute about hockey great Jacques Plante from the Historica-Dominion Institute. See also related online learning resources.