Kamis, 19 Maret 2009

Wayne Gretzky's Helmet

I’m blogging later than usual because I was out all morning with an apartment move. I personally wasn’t doing any of the moving; I was in the supervisory role making sure that the two gentlemen from this moving company didn’t damage my limited edition Eddie Van Halen painting. Long story short: one of the guys was carrying out my street hockey stick to the truck and asked if I played pro hockey. Obviously this guy wasn’t a big fan of the NHL but I didn’t lie (though I really wanted to) and told him that we play old man hockey over at Chelsea Piers. Then, out of nowhere, this guy goes:

“Wayne Gretzky used to play on the Rangers. He wore such a small helmet”.

Wait what? I mean, yeah, he did wear that ridiculous Jofa that was so weak that I wouldn’t prevent a concussion from a cumshot but where did that comment come from? The subject of hockey comes up and he brings up Gretzky’s helmet?? This guy spouted out the first random hockey thought that popped in his head. I felt like I was hanging out with Scotty. It was fantastic.

But this got me thinking about that helmet. I mean that Jofa worn by Gretzky, Kurri and McSoreley among others was a complete joke. The doo-rag under Kelly Hrudy’s goalie cage offered as much protection as this thing. My father has one that he wears when he coaches house league. I tried it on one time and I gotta tell you I would feel safer wearing a yarmulke and some Dep. (I had to wiki ‘yarmulke’ for that one. Hope it was worth it.) McSoreley had to have some set of balls to get into fights knowing that he had only a thin layer of plastic between his head and some guy’s fist.

The sickest helmets are the old Coopers that Kelly Buchberger and Messier used to wear. They had those hard plastic wings on the side that would probably break your arm if you punched them.
Osgood still wears one when he’s in the net trying to sabotage the Wings’ season. The geniuses who made Tron featured these guys prominently. The difference between Messier and Gretzky’s brain protection was like the difference between Mark Messier and Joby Messier. Didn’t any of the Oilers say to Wayne, “Hey man, can you wear something a little more durable? You’re our best player and that Jofa scares the shit out of me”.

On the next level of helmet sickness are the lids that are tricked out to have the durable chin straps. Kris King, Jim Mackenzie and Tony Twist used to rock these back in the day.

These were regular helmets but instead of the weaker plastic loops near the ears they had thick –ass cloth ear and chin straps made out of the same material as the straps that weight lifters use. I have no idea where to get one of these but I imagine they are only for the toughest of guys who hate having their straps ripped off during a scrap. Do they have a name? Scrap straps? I just made that up.
Finally the most badass level of helmet sickness was the lid that Jim Cummins wore that was the Tron-style Copper joint with the leather straps. He drove the Humvee on his head and then got it up-armored for his style of play. If anyone remembers how Jim Cummins fought it’s not surprise that he needed this level of protection. He ate more punches than he gave out.

This picture is tits.

Randomness: Is David Volek’s helmet in the Hall yet? The retarded things that Mike Foligno and Lanny McDonald wore were in style back in the day but Volek’s lid was never cool. Volek stands alone and if his helmet doesn’t have its own wing in Toronto then we need to make some calls immediately.
Let’s go UConn. Get well, Calhoun.


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