I never met Frank Prazak, but suspect I was not alone in eagerly awaiting the arrival of his handiwork on my doorstep every Saturday once hockey season arrived. Penny Prazak’s Lives Lived tribute to her late husband brought back to mind my weekly excitement to see which NHL player would be profiled in the iconic fullpage photos Frank shot for the Weekend Magazine insert of many Canadian newspapers.
Shot in common format, Frank’s stylized images of the 1960s captured the NHL’s Original Six team closing era. In an age before oversaturated media sports coverage, too, those close-up photos fostered a special bond between fans and their hockey heroes.
Prazak’s photo format creatively personalized each player. Forsaking the more typical headshot or hockey-card image of player hunched over puck with stick, he captured each player erect, in full uniform, stick (often awkwardly) at their side, gazing straight into the lens against a glorious coloured background.
Each player revealed something of himself in how they looked back at Frank Prazak’s camera. Thank you, Frank, for all you showed us.