Jacques Plante played goal for 18 years in the NHL, starting in 1952-53 with the Montreal Canadiens. He played with Les Glorieux until moving to the New York Rangers for the 1963-64 and 1964-65 seasons. Injuries and contract issues briefly forced him from the league, but returned after the 1968 NHL expansion, joining the St. Louis Blues. He also played with the Toronto Maple Leafs and popped up briefly in beantown before retiring from the NHL at the end of the 1972-73 campaign. He then played briefly for the Edmonton Oilers in the World Hockey Association.
Plante compiled a career 2.34 GAA (goals-against average) with 82 shutouts, and was part of 6 Stanley Cup winning teams in Montreal. He won or shared 7 Vezina trophies and is a member of The Hockey Hall of Fame.
It should be noted that at that time NHL teams did not carry a backup goalie. If Plante had been injured and been unable to return, stitches and all, one of the other skaters would have had to lace on the pads.
Plante also innovated the goaltender's game by leaving the crease to play the puck, acting as a third defenceman. While this is common in today's NHL, it was unheard of before Plante.
Plante's jersey #1 was retired by the Montreal Canadiens in 1995.
"Stressful? Do you know a lot of jobs where every time you make a mistake, a red light goes off over your head and 15,000 people start booing?"
-- Jacques Plante