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Dave Dryden wasn’t just a great goalie, he was an equipment innovator

Dave Dryden wasn’t just a great goalie, he was an equipment innovator

The hockey planet mourns the reduction of previous NHL and WHA goaltender Dave Dryden, who passed absent Oct. 4 at the age of 81.

He was an great goaltender, but people today may well not know that Dryden was a real innovator. He pioneered the very first cage mix goalie mask and was an instrumental determine in tools structure.

Legendary mask maker Greg Harrison had a good deal to share on what Dryden contributed to the situation.

“Dryden would exhibit up at Cooper (the hockey enterprise now recognised as Bauer) when I was functioning there,” Harrison said. “He’d arrive into the design section and request, ‘Why do we need to have all this leather-based on the glove and blocker? We can use nylon and make it lighter.’ ”

It was demo and error back then. The nylon labored very well in parts of the gear that didn’t occur in get hold of with the ice very typically. So Dryden, alongside with the gear designers at Cooper, tinkered till they discovered the magic blend of excess weight and sturdiness.

In accordance to Harrison, lots of of Dryden’s suggestions would conclusion up in Cooper’s product line the upcoming 12 months. Retail potential buyers right benefited from Dryden’s curiosity.

“He was such a humble person,” Harrison said of his good friend. “He in no way received any credit score. Not that I consider he needed it in any case.”

Dryden, who retired soon after the 1979-80 time with the Edmonton Oilers, was the to start with to use a padded follow jersey that he sewed with each other on his very own. Additional than a 10 years handed ahead of the initially padded apply jerseys were being readily available in merchants.

Although difficult to confirm, Harrison thinks that Dryden was the first to connect arm pads to his upper body protector. Goaltenders had often worn them separately prior to Dryden made a decision to bust out the needle and get creative.

I began playing goalie in the late 1980s with two-piece higher-human body gear. Nevertheless Dryden experienced currently laid the groundwork for today’s chest and arm protectors years right before. By the early ’90s, two-piece security was no for a longer period obtainable.

Dryden also still left his mark on leg pad layout.

“We designed him a pair of pads, and on the inside edges we put about a ⅝-inch piece of wooden,” Harrison remembered from his time working at Cooper. “But we located it broke. So we utilized a rounded PVC plastic extrusion in its place. You can see it when he performed with Edmonton. The pads had a sharp edge to them on the inside of. It held the puck from sliding as a result of.”

Most of the improvements Dryden arrived up with weren’t that obvious, but it was unattainable not to recognize when, in 1979 as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, he took the ice donning a mask design and style that experienced under no circumstances been found.