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Worsley, who made his National Hockey League debut in 1952, played 21 seasons, most of them when the N.H.L. had only six teams. He spent 10 years with the Rangers, six-plus years with the Canadiens and four-plus years with the Minnesota North Stars.
He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980 and played in four N.H.L. All-Star Games.
Worsley hated playing with a protective mask. “My face is my mask,” he said. “If goaltenders were afraid of being hurt, they wouldn’t be out there at all.”
He said any goalie who wore a mask was scared, to which the Canadiens’ Jacques Plante, another leading goalie of that era, replied, “If you jumped out of a plane without a parachute, would that make you brave?”
But when Plante was hit in the face by a shot and Worsley was knocked unconscious by a puck to his face, Worsley began experimenting with wearing a mask.
“It was too hot, and I couldn’t see the puck between my legs,” he said. “I wore one for the last six games of my career.”
Worsley, a 5-foot-7, 180-pounder, won the Calder Trophy as the N.H.L.’s rookie of the year with the Rangers in 1952-53 and went on to play nine more seasons with usually bad Ranger teams. When he was traded to the Canadiens in an eight-player deal that sent Plante to the Rangers, Worsley said: “I just got a break. I was liberated.”
In Montreal, he shared the Vezina Trophy in 1966 and 1968 as the N.H.L.’s best goalie.
But all was not well. In the seventh and deciding game of the 1965 playoffs, he had a knee injury so bad that he did not appear able to play. He was injected with a horse serum never before used on a human and went on to shut out the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that included Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita.
Finishing his career with Minnesota, Worsley turned 45 a week after the 1974 playoffs ended. He retired and spent the next 14 years as a scout for the team.
He was an NHL goalie, playing without a mask at the age of 44. I take off my hat in awe and admiration.
Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by lnfideI
NO. No, no, no, no, no. I didn't mean to imply you were stupid. I'm so sorry. I was referencing the stupidity displayed by Worsley. I was hoping to use THAT use of the word through my post. Sorry, sorry, sorry.
As far as the flowery language, that was not fueled by Guiness or any other beverage. I was simply swept away by the grand, inspiring, nature of the struggle of Man agaianst the Fates. (Sometimes, I even talk like that, much to the chagrin of those nearby.)