ⓘ Jacques Plante. Joseph Jacques Omer Jake the Snake Plante was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. He grew up in Shawinigan Falls, Quebec, and began t ..

Jacques Plante

ⓘ Jacques Plante

Joseph Jacques Omer "Jake the Snake" Plante was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. He grew up in Shawinigan Falls, Quebec, and began to play hockey in 1932. Plante started to play organized hockey at age 12, and his first professional game was at age 18. He played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1953 to 1963; during this time, the team won the Stanley Cup six times, including five wins in a row.

Plante first retired in 1965, but he was asked to come back to the NHL to play for a new team, the St. Louis Blues, in 1968. Plante was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1970, and then to the Boston Bruins in 1973. He joined the World Hockey Association, first as coach and general manager for the Quebec Nordiques in 1973–74. After his time with Quebec was not successful, Plante played goal for the Edmonton Oilers in 1974–75. Plante retired for the last time during training camp in the 1975-76 season.

Plante is considered one of the most important inventors in ice hockey. Most importantly, Plante was the first NHL goaltender to always wear mask when playing. With the help of other experts, he made and tested many versions of the goalie mask, including a version of todays mask/helmet combination. Plante was the first goaltender to regularly play the puck outside his crease in support of his teams defencemen, and often instructed his teammates from behind the play, as the goaltender usually has the best view of the game.

Plante was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978. He was chosen as the goaltender of the Canadiens "dream team" in 1985. He was inducted into the Quebec Sports Pantheon in 1994. Lastly, the Montreal Canadiens retired Plantes sweater, #1, in 1995.

Plante was the eldest of 11 children. In 1949, he married Jacqueline Gagne; they had two sons, Michel and Richard. In 1970, Plante met his second wife, Raymonde Udrisard, with whom he eventually moved to Switzerland. He died in Geneva, on February 27, 1986, shortly after he had been diagnosed with untreatable stomach cancer. He was buried in Sierre.


1. Bibliography

  • OBrien, Andy with Plante, Jacques 1973 The Jacques Plante Story. Toronto: McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-07-092991-2.
  • Plante, Jacques 1972. On goaltending: Fundamentals of hockey netminding by the master of the game. Toronto: Collier MacMillan Canada. ISBN 0-02081-120-9.
  • Published 1972 in French as Devant le filet. Toronto: Collier MacMillan Canada. ISBN 0-02973-410-X.
  • Both editions reprinted 1997. Montreal: Multimedia Robert Davies. ISBN 1-55207-003-4 English and ISBN 2-89462-026-8 French.

2. Other websites

  • Jacques Plante career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
  • History by the Minute - re-enactment of the game where Plante first wore a goaltender mask in regulation play
  • NHL Network Online video article on Plante, including footage from November 1, 1959
  • Jacques Plante biography at Legends of Hockey