Wednesday

Michel Plasse

Michel Plasse is most famous for being the first professional goalie in modern times to score a goal.

The feat happened with one minute left to play in a February 21, 1971 Central Hockey League game between Plasse's Kansas City Blues and Oklahoma City.

"We were ahead 2-1," recalls Plasse, a native of Montreal. "And we got a penalty. Oklahoma City pulled out its goalie and put on an extra forward. They were really putting it to us, believe me."

Michel had had enough and decided to solve the problem himself.

"They threw the puck into our end from center, and when it came right to me, I skated out a bit - maybe ten feet - and flipped it down the ice. It went up over the Oklahoma City players and straight into the enemy net - not slow, either, but quick. It was a hell of a shot!"

So the question begs - did he intend to do that?

"No! I was just trying to clear the puck out of there!"

That season was also memorable to Plasse as he got his first NHL game under his belt - a win with just 3 goals against. Despite being drafted 1st overall in 1968 by Montreal, his first game came with St. Louis, who acquired his rights in exchange for cash earlier in the year. By the beginning of next season he was reacquired by the Habs, again for an undisclosed amount of cash.

Plasse came in handy in Montreal. After a second season in the minors he played two years in Montreal, including 1973-74 when Ken Dryden sat out the year. But when Dryden returned for 74-75, Plasse was exposed in the expansion draft and was selected by the Kansas City Scouts.

It was a short homecoming for the Plasse. He played quite well with the poor expansion team in the first half of the year before being traded with Jean-Guy Lagace to Pittsburgh in exchange for Denis Herron.

Plasse played well in Pittsburgh again, this time posting an above .500 record of 33-24-4 in his 1 1/2 seasons in Steeltown.

A weird turn of events happened in the summer of 1976. The Pens, looking to find a goalie of a higher level to improve their fortunes, signed a restricted free agent. That goalie was Dennis Herron, the same Herron who was traded for Plasse a couple of years earlier.

Since Herron was a restricted free agent, it was necessary to compensate the Colorado Rockies, who Herron played for after the franchise's move from KC. Plasse and Simon Nolet were give to the Rockies as compensation.

Plasse played most of the next four years in Colorado. In 1980-81 he signed as a free agent in Quebec. He was traded to Hartford in 1982 but never played for the Whalers and was sent to the minors. That's where he finished his career, as he retired at the end of the year.

Unfortunately Michel Plasse died on December 30th, 2006 after suffering a heart attack. He was 56 years old.

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