The 2015 NHL® Great Canadian Goalies set highlights some of the finest goalies to play in the NHL between 1952 and 2015: Lorne "Gump" Worsley (Montreal Canadiens), Johnny Bower (Toronto Maple Leafs), Tony Esposito (Chicago Blackhawks), Bernie Parent (Philadelphia Flyers), Ken Dryden (Montreal Canadiens) and Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils).
All won the most coveted of prizes -- the Stanley Cup® Championship -- and the Vezina Trophy, recognizing the NHL's best goalkeeper. All changed the way the game was played or perceived, making them larger-than-life figures.
"These six goalies will forever remain relevant and real in a country that embraces its stars," said Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. "They wore their hearts on their sleeves while they played, and captured ours in the process. Their on-ice brilliance left an indelible impression on a nation. They are an important part of our country's rich history, and we are proud to immortalize these players on our stamps."
"Many people dream of playing in the NHL, but only a distinguished number of players achieve it; and an even smaller, esteemed group leave a timeless impression," said Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner. "Having some of the greatest NHL goalies immortalized on these stamps is remarkable; a true testament to their impact on hockey fans around the world. We're proud to share this momentous occasion with the players, their loved ones, and the fans."
Four of the five living hockey legends attended the unveiling ceremony in the Esso Great Hall, home of the Stanley Cup® at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Martin Brodeur, St. Louis Blues Assistant General Manager, was represented by his nephew, Philippe Gendron. Doreen Worsley, Gump Worsley's widow, represented her husband at the event attended by hundreds of other dignitaries and fans.
Avi Dunkelman and Joe Gault of Mix Design in Toronto designed the six-stamp Canadian issue, which features head-and-shoulder images of the players in uniform. The players are portrayed the way fans remember them. Four of the six are in masks. Two -- Worsley and Bower -- are without.
Oversize rate souvenir sheets resembling hockey cards and featuring full images of the players in game action are also offered. The back of the souvenir sheets complete the hockey-card experience, offering career statistics that tell part of the players' professional story. They are available in packs of six, like hockey cards.
Bernie Parent: Boston Bruins® (1965-66 to 1966-67), Philadelphia Flyers® (1967-68 to 1970-71, 1973-74 to 1978-79), Toronto Maple Leafs® (1970-71 to 1971-72). Born April 3, 1945, Montréal, Que. Considered by many as the last great standup goalkeeper, Parent won the Stanley Cup, Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player to his team in the playoffs in 1974 and 1975. His white Fiberglass mask with Flyers logos at each temple became iconic, making the cover of Time magazine in 1975. His mask decorations preceded the grandiose works of art that are modern-day masks. He was wearing his mask a night in February 1979 when a stick accidentally poked through its right eye hole, causing permanent damage to Parent's vision and ending a magnificent career at age 34, while he was still in his athletic prime. Parent was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984.
Lorne "Gump" Worsley: New York Rangers® (1952-53, 1954-55 to 1962-63), Montreal Canadiens® (1963-64 to 1969-70), Minnesota North Stars® (1969-70 to 1973-74). Born May 14, 1929, Montréal, Que. Worsley's innovative style of lying on his side and making a wall of his pads became known as "Stacking the Gumpers." The jokester who once said his face was his mask won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year for the Rangers in 1953. With the Canadiens, he won the Stanley Cup® Championship four times and the Vezina Trophy twice as the NHL's best goalie between 1965 and 1969. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980.
Johnny Bower: New York Rangers® (1953-54, 1954-55, 1956-57), Toronto Maple Leafs® (1958-59 to 1969-70). Born November 8, 1924, Prince Albert, Sask. Bower was a pioneer of the goalie poke check -- diving headfirst into an attacking player to dislodge the puck from his stick. This he did without the protection of a mask. A member of Toronto's last Stanley Cup® championship team, Bower captured four Cup Championships in his career (1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967). He also won the Vezina Trophy twice (1961 and 1965). He retired at age 45 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976.
Tony Esposito: Montreal Canadiens® (1968-69), Chicago Blackhawks® (1969-70 to 1983-84). Born April 23, 1943, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The man fans called "Tony O" was a pioneer of the now-popular butterfly style. He started his NHL career making 13 regular season appearances for the Montreal Canadiens in 1968-69. A year later, he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year as a member of the Blackhawks. He would win the Vezina Trophy as best goalkeeper in 1970, 1972 and 1974 and play in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.
Ken Dryden: Montreal Canadiens® (1970-71 to 1972-73, 1974-75 to 1978-79). Born August 8, 1947, Hamilton, Ont. Dryden not only shone on the ice, but influenced the way we perceived our national winter sport through his writing and teaching. The Game, one of several books authored by Dryden, was published in 1983 and described by one journalist as an intriguing "meditation on hockey's special place in Canadian culture." Dryden won the Stanley Cup® Championship six times, his first before playing a full season in the NHL. He remains the only NHL player to ever win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP before winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year. In just more than seven full seasons, Dryden won the Vezina Trophy an amazing five times. He also played for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet national team. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, his first year of eligibility.
Martin Brodeur: New Jersey Devils® (1991-92 to 2013-14), St. Louis Blues® (2014-15). Born May 6, 1972, Montréal, Que. Brodeur made hockey history with puck-handling prowess so remarkable that lead to "The Brodeur Rule" in 2005-'06, limiting where goalkeepers can handle the puck outside the crease. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1993-94, his first full year as the Devils' starter, and the Stanley Cup® Championship three times over his career. He is a four-time Vezina Trophy winner, and five-time winner of the William M. Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals against. Brodeur also won two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada in the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and is the only goalie in NHL history with eight 40-win seasons. He is also one of only two goalies to have scored a goal in both the regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The 2015 NHL® Great Canadian Goalies set is the third of a five-year collection of NHL stamps leading up to the NHL's 100th anniversary in 2017. The issue builds on the NHL Team jerseys stamps released in 2013 and the Original Six™ defensemen issue released last year. Canada Post has produced more than 50 NHL-themed stamps since 1992.
The NHL goalkeepers' stamps and all related products are available online at canadapost.ca/NHL.