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Jacques Plante Biography

Played Professional Hockey, Chronology, Began Wearing Goalie Mask, Traded To The Rangers, Career Statistics


Canadian hockey player

Apioneer hockey goaltender on several fronts, Jacques Plante changed the position forever when he became the first wear a goalie mask in games on a regular basis after a serious injury to his face. Though Plante took much grief for wearing the mask, it became standard gear for goaltenders within a decade. He also became the first goalie to regularly leave his crease to play the puck to a teammate, and was a pioneer of the butterfly style of goalie technique. Plante is considered one of the best goalies to ever play the game. He played the majority of his career with the Montreal Canadiens, winning five Vezina Trophies as best goalie in the NHL, and one Hart Trophy as league's most valuable player, an award rarely given to goalies. Though Plante was a recognized winner, he was also known as eccentric, arrogant, and difficult.

Plante was born on January 17, 1929, in Shawinigan Falls, Quebec, Canada, the oldest of eleven children born to Xavier and Palma Plante. His father was a machinist, while his mother did knitting piecework. Plante learned to knit from her and would later use the skill to relax him as a player.

Plante began skating at the age of three, and played hockey on outdoor rinks as a youngster. Originally Plante was a defenseman, but asthma prevented him

Jacques Plante

from being an effective skater. He then concentrated on learning the goalie position.

By the 1944-45 season, Plante was talented enough as a goaltender to play goal for a factory team for money. He also played junior hockey for Quebec City and the Montreal Junior Canadiens until 1949. From 1949-53, Planted was playing in the Quebec Senior League for the Montreal Royals and he was seen as a leading young goaltender. Though this was an amateur league, Plante was paid for his play.

Sketch by A. Petruso

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Famous Sports StarsHockey