|Andy Brown 29
Pittsburgh Penguins Practice Mask
|Pittsburgh Penguins, Red Wings and
|Born - Feb 15th, 1944
Last goal tender to play an NHL game without a mask
April 7th, 1974
|When the last Pittsburgh Penguins vintage mask was completed - I stood in awe of the collection. It was hard to believe the collection was complete - or
was it? I am always researching Penguins goalies from 1967-1995 (Michel Dion was the last Penguin to wear a Fiberglass vintage mask) I knew we had
two goaltenders - Joe Daley and Andy Brown - who hadn’t worn a mask in a game. (Joe Daley story next)
I started with Andy Brown, who never wore a mask in an NHL game. He holds the honor of being the last NHL goalie NOT TO WEAR A MASK IN
AN NHL GAME (April 7, 1974 in Atlanta). He did, however, start to wear a mask in practice - and still didn’t like the idea of wearing it. My research
took me to the former Penguins trainers at the time - Ken Carson and Bob DeMarco. Ken recalled it being a simple, plain mask. Talking with Bob, he
actually recalled Greg Harrison molding his face for the mask. I contacted Greg and, over a lunch while we were in Buffalo, he filled me in on Andy’s mask
the best he could recall. The conversation with Greg was very informative about some of the other Penguins goalies as well. Greg’s first NHL mask was Jim
Rutherford (who happens to be our current General Manager in Pittsburgh) and he remembered Andy’s mask - it was a made in the style Jim wore, minus
the blue. Andy also had a lucky rabbit’s foot attached to the back plate. He received the lucky rabbit’s foot in 1972-73 from a fan who use to watch Andy
play with the Long Island Ducks of the Eastern Hockey League.
Andy never liked wearing the mask and it made him uncomfortable, but he did in practice. Finding images of Andy wearing the mask has not an easy task.
The game was different than it is today: practice is now attended and covered by the TV media - beat writes and cameramen – as well as the team’s media
personnel. In today's game there are images of Penguins practices every day. In the 1970’s, hardly anyone filmed or photographed practice. I reached out
to longtime NHL veteran photographer Bruce Bennett, who told me back then he never shot practice. I contacted former Penguins players from the teams
Andy played on in Pittsburgh and no one had any images - just memories.
I know there is an image out there somewhere, but for now with all the research, I believe this is as close as you’re going to get for Andy Brown’s
Pittsburgh Penguins practice mask made by Greg Harrison. The story doesn’t end here. Joe Daley actually wore a mask in 1969 (October 18, 1969
vs. the Boston Bruins in Pittsburgh 3-3 Tie and Eddie Johnson was in net for Boston) and we have the video. Looks like the collection is
getting another mask! The Joe Daley mask story next.
Head Equipment Manager