Bob Johnson
Clevland Barons, Pittsburgh Penguins, St
Louis, Ottawa, Denver - 1972 to 1977
Born - November 12th, 1948
While researching the goalie masks for the Penguins mask project I was surprised how little exists in our own photo archives. When it came time for the 1974-1975
Bob Johnson mask there were no images in the Penguins files. In the process, I remembered a photo of a Penguin goalie playing against Montreal. The photo was
tagged as Gary Inness. That never seemed right to me.  I had never seen Inness in a mask like that. (We have a lot of photos of Inness throughout his time in
Pittsburgh and I had never seen that version on him).  On a road trip to Flordia I met with Denis Herron to talk about his Penguin masks (got a lot of great
information and stories)  I then showed Denis the photo of my mystery goalie  and he confirmed  it wasn't him.  I then pulled the game sheets from the games in
Montreal  and sure enough  things were getting interesting. I did what I should have done from the beginning. I reached out to my friend and former Penguins
goalie Brent Johnson. Bob happens to be Brent's father. I had met Bob - when he would visit Brent in Pittsburgh- he is a great guy. I sent Brent some images to
show his father.  Much to my surprise Brent emailed me some photos of his dad's mask.  I thought it would be the mask he wore with St.Louis ( which we have a
great close up of) but what an amazing surprise when I saw the photos! There it was the mystery goalie solved, not Gary Inness as tagged but it was in fact  Bob
Johnson.  Bob's masks were made by his father. His first mask the eyes were larger and had a small square mouth hole.  Here is the message I received from
Brent with the photos:  (He told me that the bottom right mask he had for a long time and while down in Hershey his dad made the second one. Supposedly
because he was getting cut around the eyes of the bottom right mask. The second one was tougher to breath but protected much better. The Hershey Bears paid
his dad $100 to do the mask and it took them half the season to get him the $100 check. What a great story and how great it was to have images of Bob's mask.
When the authentic replica is finished and is hanging with all the other Penguin masks, I will look up at that mask with a smile knowing the wonderful story and
journey I went through to have that mask made.       Bob Johnson #1 -1974/1975  

Dana Heinze /EQ MGR. Penguins