Sad Loss in the Tenders’ World

Brian Heaton, more so than any other person on this planet, revolutionized modern goalie equipment.  He passed away this week after suffering a heart attack at the age of 58.

In my opionion Heaton’s greatest innovation was the introduction of man-made materials to the manufacturing process.  Remember Cooper’s Durasoft line of goalie gear? (see photo of Mike Vernon in previous post)  That was all Heaton.  Today we can’t imagine a goalie wearing anything but equipment in his or her team colors but that’s only because Heaton thought of using colored materials on a wide-scale basis.  He was more than a friend to goalies though as he also revolutionized skaters’ protection with the invention of the Cooperall.  Yes, the long shell was ultimately booed out of the hockey world but today’s player pants bear a strong resemblance to the original girdle designed by Heaton. Continue reading

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