Emile "the Cat" Francis is credited with the creation of the goaltender’s gloves. Originally, goaltenders wore the same gloves as the forwards’ gauntlets. However, when Francis skated to the New York Rangers net in the 1943-44 season, using a first baseman’s baseball glove, he changed the game. Although the new equipment was immediately protested, NHL President Clarence Campbell gave official approval and the "catcher" or "trapper" was born. The glove would morph over the years, but the design today is very similar to the original glove. Francis can also take credit for introducing the "blocker." He taped an outer layer of sponge rubber to his stick hand gauntlet. This quickly evolved into a full leather glove padded with felt, sponge and eventually shatterproof plexiglass.

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