The inventor of the Marsh Flexible Goal Peg system, Fred Marsh passed away on Wednesday at 81 years old, following a three-and-a-half-year bout with lung cancer.
Marsh, who had spent many of his later year years in Kamloops, British Columbia, lived a long time in my neck of the woods in Kitimat, BC.
Prior to Marsh's invention, hockey nets in every rink were secured by inflexible metal posts. Players crashing into the net were vulnerable to serious injury.
The Marsh Pegs revolutionized player safety in hockey when Marsh looked improve safety at the two hockey rinks he managed in Kitimat. The pegs were stiff enough to hold nets in place when bumped or pushed on, but flexible enough to allow nets to come loose when players collided with them at high enough speeds, thus saving players from injury.
Marsh was able to get his product into Western Hockey League rinks in the 1980s, starting in his hometown of Moose Jaw. By 1991 the National Hockey League signed on, and by 1998 the pegs debuted at the Olympics.