Komets legend Reno Zanier has passed

Photo courtesy of Fort Wayne Komets.

The man who started the Fort Wayne Komets’ amazing goaltending tradition has died. Reno Zanier passed away in in his hometown of Trail, British Columbia on Saturday night at age 84.

From 1959 to 1962, Zanier was a stalwart in nets for the Komets, playing in 197 regular-season game and 13 playoff games, which is amazing considering the equipment of the time when there were no masks. In 1959-60, as the Komets went 50-16-2, Zanier played every game and allowed only 2.61 goals against. The next season, the Komets played six games in six nights, all on the road in January, and Zanier played every minute. He was also in net for the epic four-overtime playoff game against St. Paul in 1960s where the Komets lost despite Zanier making 52 saves.

Zanier posted 11 shutouts as a Komet, setting the franchise season record with seven in 1959-60. He’s tied for third with Doug Teskey and Nick Boucher with the 11 career shutouts and ranks fifth in all-time games played by a goaltender. He was named the International Hockey League’s best goaltender in 1959-60.

“He was really a very, very good goaltender and a very good guy,” all-time Komets scoring leader Len Thornson said. “We’ve had a ton of good goaltenders and was one of first really good ones we’ve had.”