How Marty Turco Changed The Game for Goalies
Dec. 4, 2012
This feature article was first made available to subscribers to the InGoal Magazine Newsletter.
Ron Hextall was a trailblazer when it comes to goalies handling the puck, inspiring a young Martin Brodeur to play it as often as he stops it.
Hextall has also been widely celebrated as the first goalie to actually shoot a puck into an opponent's net. But it was a pen - not a stick - that the former Philadelphia great used to inspire another of today's puck-moving legends. And Marty Turco used that inspiration to completely change how the next generation of goaltenders handles the puck.
"We had a class project to write to someone famous, and Ron was on top of his game - went to the finals, scored goals, won a Vezina - so for me he was just the guy," Turco once told InGoal Magazine. "So I wrote and he wrote back. It was a pretty cool deal. I wish I still had that 3×5 card with the signature and the little note he wrote. It was pretty cool and now it's more something that I don't forget with my fan mail. I realize that we were all young once."
Except today's young goalies don't just look up to Turco and hope to be like him in the general sense. When it comes to puck handling, they are copying him exactly, taught from a young age to turn over their glove hand as they grip the lower part of the stick, a change in philosophy that started with Turco tinkering in college and led to him revolutionizing the way goaltenders everywhere play the puck.
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