June 07, 2012
Bernie Parent Reunited With Lost Mask
One of the more bizarre moments in hockey history occurred on April 8th, 1971. During a full scale brawl between Toronto and New York, Rangers forward Vic Hadfield threw Leafs goalie Bernie Parent's mask into the crowd. Despite police intervention, Parent would not get his mask back.
Parent has been reunited with his mask 41 years after the fact. The mask actually resurfaced in a sports memorabilia auction in 2006. It recently went back sale. The new collector contacted Parent to authenticate the mask.
Once the blows were traded and the knuckles bruised, Parent tried to gather his equipment to finish off just his third career playoff win. Except there was only one problem: He couldn't find his mask.
Halfway through the fracas, Rangers captain Vic Hadfield threw Parent's coveted mask into the frenzied Garden crowd. Parent pleaded for its return. New York City police officers scanned the crowd, searching the seats for any sign of the custom-molded mask.
Parent had no backup mask, it was a one-of-a-kind. In 1971, goaltenders were just beginning to understand a pseudo-helmet's value.
Maple Leafs coach John McLellan begged Parent to finish the game.
"I said, 'What are you, crazy?' " Parent recalled on Monday. "I'm not going back in there without my mask."
Here's the full story
Here's the YouTube video: