|Joe Daley 1
|Pittsburgh, Detroit, Buffalo & Winnipeg
Jets - 1969 to 1979
|Born - Feb 20th, 1943
|With the addition of Andy Brown’s mask to the Penguins collection it was time to move on to the last Penguins goalie not to wear a mask - Joe
Daley. It turns out, though, Joe did wear a mask and in a game at least once (October 18, 1969 vs. the Boston Bruins) and it’s possible
he wore the mask up to four games. Joe can't recall the number.
The Back Story starts when;
the Penguins were in Calgary on February 6, 2015, I just finished sharpening skates and had some down time - I started to look up Joe Daley photos
to see if there was possibility that he wore a mask? I knew he owned and ran a sports card and memorabilia shop in Winnipeg. I googled the shop
and got the number. I called not knowing if Joe would be there - he was and he answered the phone. I told him who I was and the mask project I
was working on. He was such a nice man we had a great conversation. At that time, Joe was pretty adamant he never wore a mask in Pittsburgh.
Still, the conversation was very helpful and it was great to hear his stories. The call ended and I was disappointed that he said he didn't wear a mask
in Pittsburgh. So, I closed the book on that chapter that day.
Fast forward about two months later and Joe called me with the news he did wear a mask in Pittsburgh. Joe said he never wanted to wear mask and,
like Andy Brown, he never felt comfortable wearing the mask. The story he told me was that General Manager Jack Riley and Head Coach Red
Kelly wanted Joe to wear a mask. He fought the notion and pleaded his case, but, in the end, management won.
Joe started the 1969-70 season with a mask. Again, he wasn't sure how many games he wore the mask, but he was sure it wasn't many. Then, he
was sent to the Baltimore Clippers, where he refused to wear a mask. Joe did not wear a mask in a pro game again until he was with the Winnipeg
Jets of the WHA (he told me a story that he and Ernie Wakely, the Jets’ other goalie, played every other game and Ernie told him that on his nights
off - they were off and he better start wearing a mask.) It also was encouraged from his Head Coach Bobby Hull, who had the hardest shot in the
While talking with Les Binkley one day, he recalled Joe's dislike of wearing a mask. It’s believed the mask he wore was a stock mask made by Ernie
Higgins and sent to Pittsburgh as per Jack and Red. Joe talked about how he was upset about wearing a mask - he felt so much safer without the
mask on. Les then mentioned to me that later that season on a trip to Boston, Ernie Higgins molded his face and made two different masks. Les did
not like the feel of the Higgins mask tight to his face. Ernie worked to fix the problems, but Les just stayed with his mask (Les told me he had no idea
what ever happened to his two Higgins masks).
Another breakthrough came to us on May 22, 2015, when Joe’s son, Travis, contacted me with a video of the Penguins and Bruins from October
16, 1969, with Joe playing while wearing his mask. At one point, the Bruins were up 3-0, but the Penguins fought back to score three on former
Penguins coach and General Manager Eddie Johnston to tie the game at 3. Joe closed the door on the Bruins who swarmed the Penguins’ net in the
last minute of the game. Joe was the difference and the game ended in a tie. It was a fond memory for Joe, but he made a comment again how he
hated wearing a mask and that's probably why he didn't recall he actually did. In the end, Joe and his son, along with the video, came through for us.
Another Pittsburgh Penguins mask is in the books. At this point, we now have a mask - and sometime multiple masks - for every Pittsburgh Penguins
goalie from 1967-1985. It's been a heck of a ride - but with that being said, "You never know what we might just discover down the road." For now,
it’s TRULY A ONE OF A KIND MASK COLLECTION. My friend Thomas Connauton has been quite the artist and magician to make them all
come to life - for that I thank him - not only for a great collection and also for being a great friend.
Head Equipment Manager
Joe Daley Video Penguins vs Boston October 18th, 1969