Bernie Parent just launched an authorized version of his famous mask and took time to talk to TendersLounge about masks, Ray Emery and Pearl Jam.
You can't get more authentic than a mask made from the original mold. Click on the photo for more details or to order one for your favorite goalie.
Parent’s mask is iconic for its simplicity and he is now offering an exact replica of the mask he wore for the Flyers’ first Stanley Cup to his fans. Why now and why is he doing it himself? “Some of the replica masks I’ve seen are very poorly designed and don’t really look like my mask. I want fans to have the real McCoy. We’re coming up on the 50th anniversary of Jacques Plante wearing a mask for the first time so it seemed like a good time to do this.” Parent’s mask was actually designed by Plante, with technical advancements provided by NASA to help absorb and dissipate impact. Continue reading
Bernie Parent ruled the goalie world in '74 and '75
Bernie Parent was one of the best goalies in the NHL during the 1970’s. In ’74 and ’75 he was quite simpley the best goalie in the world, leading the Philadelphia Flyers to consecutive Stanley Cups and winning consecutive Conn Smythe trophies in the process. As they said in Philly at the time, “only the Lord saves more than Bernie Parent”. Parent took the time to talk with TendersLounge about the changing world of pro hockey during the era of expansion and the WHA, playing alongside his childhood hero, Jacques Plante, and how he’s keeping busy today. What struck me most about the conversation was Parent’s incredibly positive attitude towards life and everything it has to offer. Here’s a guy whose career was ended by an errant stick hitting his eye, who nobody would question for harboring bitterness toward how his hockey career ended, but Parent genuinely seems to be happy with all the experiences in his life.
Parent veered from his conservative style when he joined the upstart WHA
TendersLounge: Welcome to the TendersLounge Bernie! The first question comes from my dad who used to love watching you play and has shared his stories with me. After wearing such a colorful mask in the WHA, how did you end up in a plain white mask with the Flyers?
Bernie Parent: Good question. Next question! Just kidding. Someone suggested I wear the flaming mask for the Blazers in the World league, so I thought that was appropriate because it was a new league. When I got back to the NHL I went back to the original Parent look which is a conservative look with just the Flyers logo.
We’re all in favor of the Goalies Union, but come on, covering up the flying P doesn’t hide the fact this guy is selling vintage t-shirts off Parent’s likeness.
Pete Peeters came within a game (and a missed offside call) of doing it in 1980. Five years later Pelle Lindbergh won one game in the finals but ultimately lost to the Oilers. Ron Hextall almost did it in 1987 after being down three games to one against the Oilers and then fell short against the Red Wings ten years later. And this year Martin Biron has led an unexpected run by the Flyers to the Conference Final. But in the 40 years of franchise history, Bernie Parent remains the only Flyers goalie to win the Stanley Cup.
Parent still lives in the Philadelphia area and has embraced his role at the Godfather of Flyers goalies. He proudly watches each successive generation of goalies try to duplicate his success and likes what he sees this year. “Biron is playing well… he is seeing the puck in slow motion”. What Parent likes most about Biron is his ability to bounce back. “Just because he has a bad game or a bad stretch, he doesn’t question himself as a goalie”.
Parent certainly know of what he speaks. After returning from the WHA Philadelphia Blazers back to the NHL’s Flyers he led the Broad Street Bullies to back-to-back Cups in 1974 and ’75. Parent was such a dominant force for the Flyers that he also won the Vezina and the Conn Smythe trophies both those years as well (Mario Lemieux is the only other player to win the Conn Smythe back-to-back). I was only five years old when the Flyers won their first Cup so I don’t remember seeing Parent play but my dad has told me a number of times that Parent meant more to the Flyers than Ken Dryden ever meant to the Canadiens’ run of four Cups.
Will Biron reach the pinnacle that eluded so many other great Flyer goalies? He seems to have the demeanor for it. Click here to read a good article in Philly.com about the history of Philadelphia goalies. There are some interesting comments from Hextall about the amount of credit he received for the Flyers run in ’87 as well as some observations from current San Jose Shark Brian Boucher that prove the Flyers goalies are all part of the same brotherhood.
I just found this Time magazine cover from 1975 with a fantastic photo of Bernie Parent, the last (and only) goalie to win the Stanley Cup for the Flyers. I keep reading about this year’s “battle of Pennsylvania” between the Flyers and Penguins but the mid-70’s Flyers fought a war every time they stepped on the ice, regardless of opponent.
Today’s goalies masks are truly ‘art’ but I can’t think of a single modern-day mask as beautiful and intimidating as Parent’s. Imagine being an NHL forward in 1975, lifting your head to take a look and seeing this? The only way the Cup returns to Broad Street in 2008 is if Marty Biron plays well enough to get his mug on the cover of Time. Well, maybe just Sports Illustrated.