Goalie Masks Honoring Goalies
The Canucks wore retro Vancouver Millionaires jerseys on March 16, in honor of 100 years of professional hockey in Vancouver. Backup goalie Cory Schneider's mask had a tribute to Millionaire goalie legend Hugh Lehman on one side, and the whole Millionaire team on the other side. Here's a look at some other goalies who have chosen to honor their renowned predecessors.
Price donned a new mask for the Heritage Classic in Calgary and it creepily evoked serial killer Hannibal Lecter of The Silence of the Lambs while honoring legendary Habs netminder Jacques Plante. While the eyes and mouth are supposed to be Plante's, the ears and hair were reportedly designed to look like Price's. An odd tribute, but a tribute nonetheless.
Auld may be the backup to Carey Price, but his masks are second to no one's (at least on the Canadiens). One side honors Jacques Plante, seen famously putting on a mask of his own design after suffering a bloody, broken nose during a game against the Rangers (Nov. 1, 1959), and Patrick Roy, who appears making a save within the Canadiens' iconic logo. The other side is a replica of Ken Dryden's famous "target mask" with several illustrations of the Hall of Fame netminder embedded along the outer target.
This mask has Patrick Roy, giving his famous 1993 Stanley Cup wink, above the old Montreal Forum, with Ken Dryden and Jacques Plante displayed on the other side.
Jonathan is quick to give credit to the Kings' equipment manager for coming up with the idea of wearing a Rogie Vachon-inspired helmet for the team's retro jersey games during its 40th anniversary season. The ears and hair are supposed to be Vachon's, as is the mask.
It's too bad that Schneider sat on the bench behind Roberto Luongo most of the season, because his mask is worthy of a much bigger spotlight. It honors those worn during the past four decades by different Canucks' goalies -- (left to right) Curt Ridley, Dunc Wilson, John Garrett, Gary "Bones" Bromley and Kirk McLean -- in honor of the team's 40th anniversary.
Before being traded to Tampa Bay, Roloson entered his second season with the Islanders paying homage to the franchise's first mainstay goaltenders: Hall of Famer Billy Smith and Glenn "Chico" Resch. It was nice of Roli not to play favorites, seeing as Smith had a bit more prominent career, at least during the postseason.
After St. Louis traded for Halak and signed him to a four-year contract, the Slovakian netminder had a mask designed for home games that included a few Blues goalies of note -- (top to bottom) Jacques Plante, Mike Liut and Grant Fuhr. Was it too soon to add Curtis "Cujo" Joseph?
For the 2011 Winter Classic, Fleury donned a mask in tribute to Michel Dion, who was the only Penguins goalie to have played in an NHL All-Star Game (1982) until Fleury was selected just three days after the Classic.
In his second full season with the Thrashers, Pavelec chose to honor former Atlanta Flames goalie Phil Myre (seen just below the Atlanta Capitol building). It's possible that Myre would have been more prominent if the original Atlanta franchise hadn't moved to Calgary in 1980 after only eight seasons down south.
For games when the Oilers dress in their throwback jerseys, "The 'Bulin Wall" dons a mask similar to his usual headgear, with one exception. The eagles are clenching two different masks of Edmonton's former Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr in their talons instead of a scepter and the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch from Monty Python and the Holy Grail as seen here . Fuhr was integral in winning Edmonton's first four Stanley Cups in the 1980s.
With Nik Khabibulin already honoring Grant Fuhr, Dubnyk decided that his own alternate helmet should acknowledge Bill Ranford, Edmonton's last Stanley Cup netminder, with a replica of his mask design. Ranford also won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1990 as MVP of the playoffs.
Journeyman MacDonald, a backup for five teams in six seasons, went all-out with his latest club, donning a tribute to the masks of four Detroit net notables -- (left to right) Ed Giacomin, Terry Sawchuk, Jim Rutherford and Rogie Vachon.
MacDonald took his first historical approach towards the art on his mask while playing with Toronto when he chose to replicate the look of past Maple Leafs netminder Michel "Bunny" Larocque. Clearly an aesthetic choice since Larocque mustered only 16 wins in 74 games with the franchise.
In Biron's one season with the Isles, he chose to replicate a vintage design worn by Islander alumni Billy Smith, ironically a design that Smitty wore for only one season (1977-78) before eventually winning four Stanley Cups. After signing with the Rangers for 2010-11, Biron sported a replica mask (inset) of Gilles Gratton when the Blueshirts wore their alternate jerseys in honor of the franchise's 85th anniversary. Apart from his mask, Gratton was best known for claiming he'd been reincarnated, and feigning injury when he needed to take a breather during a game.
The Wild came into the NHL in 2000, so there was not a rich franchise history for Harding to work with. He went with a design depicting classic masks worn by hockey's greatest goalies, including Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden, Gerry Cheevers, Tony Esposito, Terry Sawchuk, Pelle Lindbergh and Ed Giacomin, among others. Most of the prominent masks are white with those in the background submerged in a sea of Wild green. Way to play it safe, Josh.
Shields made his one season with Boston a memorable one, not with stellar play between the pipes, but a reincarnation of Bruins legend Gerry Cheevers' iconic mask. Shields' shield was the first to take homage a step further with the replication of the goalie's ears and hair as well.