The internet may brim with iconic images of goalies, but nothing gets to the soul of it like Ralph Morse’s photo of Terry Sawchuk in LIFE magazine.
Take a minute to let that image sink in. (It will become hard for you to walk down a dark alley without seeing Sawchuk’s face in the cracked asphalt.) The accompanying text informs readers:
This face belongs to Terry Sawchuk, a 36-year-old goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Re-created here, by a professional make-up artist and a doctor, are some of the more than 400 stitches he has earned during 16 years in the National Hockey League. Sawchuk has sustained other injuries not shown here: a slashed eyeball requiring three stitches, a 70% loss of function in his right arm because 60 bone chips were removed from his elbow, and a permanent “sway-back” caused by continual bent-over posture.
Last year there were only six NHL goalies, but games had to be interrupted so regularly for spot surgical repairs that a new rule was passed requiring every team to carry a spare. The bloody ordeal has bred a special kind of man — half commando and half human pincushion — and it is not surprising he has special problems. Continue reading