Born in London, Ontario on August 15, 1958, Craig MacTavish is unsurprisingly The last NHL player not to wear a helmet in NHL History. The notorious forward became the last NHL Player not to wear a helmet when he played for St. Louis Blues in the 1996-97 season.
Boston Bruins picked up Craig MacTavish as the 153rd overall in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft. However, he did not make good for Boston until 1982. During the unfortunate four years, he played in minor leagues. MacTavish even engaged in a very famous brawl that happened in 1979 between Boston players and New York Rangers fans. MacTavish admitted to the charges of vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated on the evening of January 25, 1984, in Peabody, Massachusetts. As a result of the crash, Kim Radley, a 26-year-old from West Newfield, Maine, succumbed to her injuries four days after the incident. For his actions, Court sentenced MacTavish to one year in prison. Obviously, Craig MacTavish missed the 1985-86 season no thanks to the charge. Also Read: Stanley Cup Winners by each year and opponents
Glen Sather, the Edmonton GM, saw potential in MacTavish despite his Boston struggles. In 1985-86, the Oilers signed him. MacTavish played eight seasons, winning three Stanley Cups, and became team captain from 1992 to 1994. In 1994, he was traded to the New York Rangers and contributed to their Stanley Cup victory along with other former Oilers.
In August 1979, NHL President John Ziegler mandated helmets for new players. He cited safety as the reason. However, players who joined before June 1, 1979, were exempt. They could opt to play without helmets throughout their careers if they signed a liability waiver. Craig MacTavish was the last player to play without a helmet in his final game for the St. Louis Blues in the 1996-97 season.
Funnily enough, Craig MacTavish wore helmets in his initial days of hockey. In the famed fight of 1979, MacTavish can be seen sporting a helmet. Also Read: Top 5 Best Basketball Shoes for Dunking in 2023
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