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Goalie Masks of the NHL
November 4, 2007 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Goalie Masks of the NHL - A series of photos showing an amazing amount of personal self-expression and art on these professional athletes.
posted by Argyle (61 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
OM NOM NOM NOM
posted by rouftop at 4:34 PM on November 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hulkamania is runnin' wild!
posted by mathowie at 4:39 PM on November 4, 2007


whoa, Those were awesome scary. But they didn't do the artwork. So I wondered if there were helmet painters. Yup...
posted by nickyskye at 4:52 PM on November 4, 2007


Lame. Give me the old Gerry Cheevers stich mask.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:02 PM on November 4, 2007


Exactly. They're not exactly "self-expression" of the goalie; they are all professionally airbrushed these days.

I prefer Old School: Gerry Cheevers sported this mask while playing with the Boston Bruins in the 1970's.

Cheevers always started with fresh unpainted mask which was covered in scars by seasons end. Cheevers' trainer (John Forristall) started the stitches trend by putting them on his mask wherever he was struck by a puck or stick.

posted by Doohickie at 5:05 PM on November 4, 2007


Darn you to heck, R. Mutt.
posted by Doohickie at 5:05 PM on November 4, 2007


Cheevers' unusual stitch-pattern goaltender mask came after he had been a puck flipped up and hit him in the face during practice. Cheevers, never one to miss an opportunity to skip out of practice, went to the dressing room. Bruins coach Harry Sinden followed him to the dressing room, where he found Cheevers enjoying a beer and smoking a cigarette. Sinden told Cheevers, who wasn't injured, to get back on the ice. In jest, John Forestall, the team trainer, painted a stitch mark on his mask...
posted by R. Mutt at 5:12 PM on November 4, 2007


Thank god people don't design that much of their own stuff anymore.
posted by 517 at 5:15 PM on November 4, 2007


Hmm. While the goalies don't do the actual artwork, many (most? all?) do decide what gets artworked onto their masks. If we allow some flexibility in our understanding of the meaning of "self-expression," Argyle's description is an appropriate one. Think of them as art directors whose vision is ultimately realized by art department staff.
posted by notyou at 5:18 PM on November 4, 2007


It's funny how many are cartoon characters and bared fangs. I like to see Roberto Luongo's with the trees and Vancouver skyline or Wayne D's with Bob Nystrom holding the Cup, where it's a nod to the city.

I still like Rogie Vachon's, though.
posted by philfromhavelock at 5:19 PM on November 4, 2007


Thanks for this. I swear I saw a helmet in the playoffs last Spring that had the Virgin Mary on one side and Elvis on the other, but can't find it.

Now we need an online gallery of Don Cherry's suits.
posted by ardgedee at 5:20 PM on November 4, 2007


Being hit by flying pucks couldn't make those helmets any uglier, at least.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:30 PM on November 4, 2007


Thank god people don't design that much of their own stuff anymore.

I couldn't disagree more. Cheever's homemade image is much more inventive and intimidating than a generic, airbrush fang laden disney type cartoon.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:32 PM on November 4, 2007


It's interesting that the goalies even have the chance to decide what's on their helmet. You'd figure that their head would have been sold for advertising space long, long ago. "This hockey puck to the face proudly brought to you by great taste of Pespi Blue!"
posted by ssmith at 5:48 PM on November 4, 2007


A Scream goalie mask would be cool.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:48 PM on November 4, 2007


I can't believe they left out this guy.
posted by puckupdate at 6:02 PM on November 4, 2007


Those helmets are all really, really lame. The hockey equivalent of what my creepy neighbor painted on his van in 1979.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:06 PM on November 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Most of these look like something a high school kid would love to paint on his locker.
posted by davebush at 6:06 PM on November 4, 2007


Now we need an online gallery of Don Cherry's suits.

In the name of all that is good and pure in this world, no. Please, no.

Unless they're all 3D-modeled and rotating, with the hamster dance song on continuous loop. That might be worth it, just to say that I've seen the world's biggest eyesore.
posted by CKmtl at 6:14 PM on November 4, 2007


They're not exactly "self-expression" of the goalie;

Yes and no, I guess it depends on what "self-expression" is permitted. An example is
Ray Emery, of the Ottawa Senators, whose mask sports a pic of George Chuvalo, since Ray's had a reputation as a bit of a scrapper. So it's kind of a "don't mess with me" message for all who knock at his door.

But the story goes further back, when he wore a picture of Mike Tyson. Now THAT really sent a message, but the franchise asked him not to wear that one anymore.

Not sure I'd say "lame" if I were around him.
posted by placebo_addict at 6:16 PM on November 4, 2007


A series of photos showing an amazing amount of personal self-expression product placement and art licensing on these professional athletes.
posted by odinsdream at 6:20 PM on November 4, 2007


The funny thing about the one with Nystrom holding the cup is that it also shows the Flyer's Mel Bridgman (from the losing team) watching.

But yeah, it's like lousy van art, for sure. I'd like to see some of these guys turn their mask over to a seriously talented artist. I mean, can you imagine this painting with one of those masks substituted?
posted by Rumple at 6:26 PM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


WTF. Dude has Yoda on his head.

YODA.
ON.
HIS.
HEAD.

"Hmm. Have shoved puck here, talk like this you will."
posted by eriko at 6:38 PM on November 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wear the right mask and perhaps the part can play itself.
posted by cenoxo at 6:41 PM on November 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


A series of photos showing an amazing amount of product placement and licensing on these professional athletes.

Other than the brand of helmet, I didn't see much that would fit that critique. And while I agree "lousy van art" sums up 99% of them aesthetically speaking, the beauty here (as ssmith noted) is that this is even possible in today's hyper-regimented pro sports environment, where in most cases you'll be sent back to the locker room for anything beyond a number or a set of initials sharpie-d on a cleat or the inside of a cap.

So for that I say "bravo!" Ninth grade airbrush experiments and glowing fangs away!
posted by jalexei at 7:09 PM on November 4, 2007


Wow, NHL goalies have no taste.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:10 PM on November 4, 2007


But the story goes further back, when he wore a picture of Mike Tyson. Now THAT really sent a message, but the franchise asked him not to wear that one anymore.

Phhht.. This dude has a mobster fresh off St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
Mobster > Tyson.

And a dragon, yo! Tyson eats ears. Dragons eat Tyson. And babies.


posted by jmd82 at 7:10 PM on November 4, 2007


You want some cool masks?

Grant Fuhr circa 1983-5

Jacques Plante circa 1959

Jim Rutherford circa 1976

Gary Broomly circa 1980

Yves Belanger circa 1978-9

Wayne Stephenson circa 1976-78

I miss the stylised masks of yore.
posted by furtive at 7:19 PM on November 4, 2007 [4 favorites]


Over 30 pages of gear photos from goalie bulletin board members or scrolll down to List of Mask Painters.

The art work is commissioned by the goalie and there's no accounting for taste. Many colour coordinate their gear colours to their team colours. As a goalie myself, mine has no artwork. I guess after dropping $400.00—$600.00 on the mask, I didn't want to shell out another $300.00 or so for artwork, the gear is expensive, especially if you're playing.

miss lynster, the object of the goalie's position is to catch or deflect the puck, not get hit by it per se. The shape of the mask is important that the puck deflects, rather than smacks your helmet.

Mask maker and goalie Tony Priolo of Sportmask, used himself as a test dummy. See "Mask Testing" video clip, top LHS of page. A Boni Puck Shooting Machine was used. Scary, I wouldn't want to test the damn things that way myself.

Rumple, please, calling Ken Danby a serious artist is a joke. It's photorepresentational art, well done, but is it art¿ Not in my books. BTW, technically, that is poor positioning.

As for those masks of yore, I wouldn't play in one like that today. Aside from the curves of the sticks and the composite material, one piece, which add 10mph to a shot, the players are better trained and are larger and taller than days of yore. No more having a smoke on the bench during a game, you know¿
posted by alicesshoe at 7:30 PM on November 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wow furtive, those masks are awesome. Especially Plante and Rutherford. That crap they roll out these days can't hold a candle to any of those.
posted by puke & cry at 7:32 PM on November 4, 2007


But yeah I wouldn't want to take a puck to the face wearing those old ones. You'd need major reconstructive surgery.
posted by puke & cry at 7:38 PM on November 4, 2007


What's the coat of arms on Martin Biron (no. 7)'s mask?
posted by jamesonandwater at 7:58 PM on November 4, 2007


Quebec coat of arms.
posted by CKmtl at 8:09 PM on November 4, 2007


You can almost imagine the conversation between this guy and the painter.

"I play on the Anaheim Ducks, right? So I want, like, a duck!"

"A duck?"

"Yeah!"

"On your hockey mask?"

"Well... yeah!"

"Don't you think that's going to be a little... I mean... don't you think that's not going to be very intimidating?"

"Well, I don't mean just a duck, I mean like a kickass macho duck!"

"A kickass macho duck."

"Yeah! And maybe it's like a robot duck!"

"A kickass macho robot duck."

"Yeah! Like Terminator Duck! You know, it's duck on the outside - "

"Kickass macho duck on the outside."

"Right, it's kickass macho duck on the outside, and it's like, kickass macho robot Terminator Duck on the inside!"

"OK... So you want it, maybe, with some of its skin blown off, so you can see it's a kickass macho robot Terminator Duck on the inside?"

"No, man, this duck doesn't get its skin blown off! It kicks ass, it doesn't get its ass kicked!"

"So... umm... how about one half kickass macho duck, and the other half kickass macho robot Terminator Duck?"

"That would be awesome!"
posted by Flunkie at 8:14 PM on November 4, 2007 [6 favorites]


Thanks, CK
posted by jamesonandwater at 8:34 PM on November 4, 2007


Terry Sawchuk
Tony effin' Esposito
posted by Kinbote at 8:38 PM on November 4, 2007


Airbrushed on the side of the ideal goalie mask would be a hot chick in a fur bikini holding aloft a big sword. This mask would also have an orange shag interior.
posted by Reggie Digest at 8:42 PM on November 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Johnny Canuck brings a tear to my eye. Yes these goalie mask are often tasteless, but I've seen so many symbols of Canadian identity disappear over my lifetime - we seem to make an effort to wipe out anything that might make us distinct or a non-hyphenated nationality. I hope we can bring some more of it back.

Godspeed Johnny Canuck., and thank you Roberto Luongo
posted by Deep Dish at 8:43 PM on November 4, 2007


It's a moose. In a toque. With a knife. An' a shotgun. An' he's a pirate.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:05 PM on November 4, 2007


Thanks for the others who have posted about the masks of times past, although this FPP showed me a few new ones I hadn't seen. Thanks for posting!

Some of my old/mid/newish school favorite masks:
-John "Beezer" Vanbiesbrouck (NY Rangers)
-Mike Richter (NY Rangers)
-Ken Wregget (PA Penguins)
-Mike Liut (St. Louis Blues), classic white (Hartford Whalers)
-Andy Moog [2] (Boston Bruins)
-Curtis "Cujo" Joseph (Toronto Maple Leafs)
-Mike Dunham (NJ Devils)
-(And of course) Jim "The Net Detective" Carey (Washington Capitals). I can't find a pic of his best mask, and he was short lived in the NHL, but what better "mask" story is there?
posted by rollbiz at 9:24 PM on November 4, 2007


(I LOVES me a Metafilter hockey post!)
posted by rollbiz at 9:25 PM on November 4, 2007


I think that's a flintlock actually.
posted by puke & cry at 9:26 PM on November 4, 2007


that was to Foam Pants, btw.
posted by puke & cry at 9:26 PM on November 4, 2007


Someone needs to wear a chrome mask.
posted by captaincrouton at 9:56 PM on November 4, 2007


Foam Pants writes "It's a moose. In a toque. With a knife. An' a shotgun. An' he's a pirate."

Sadly, I thought that was Joe Camel at first.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:24 PM on November 4, 2007


Some of those artists need to have their airbrush licenses revoked.
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:46 PM on November 4, 2007


What, no rainbows, unicorns and moonlight?
posted by moonbiter at 11:04 PM on November 4, 2007


Really lame. The hockey equivalent of what my creepy neighbor painted on his van in 1979.

I was thinking more like 'high-school binder art'.

These guys all listen to metal, right? And beat up nerds?
posted by rokusan at 11:24 PM on November 4, 2007


The hockey equivalent of what my creepy neighbor painted on his van in 1979.

If this mask's a rockin', don't come a knockin'?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:27 AM on November 5, 2007


I have a sudden urge to crank up some Triumph, or perhaps Saga.
posted by The Straightener at 4:30 AM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, NHL goalies have no taste.

Brine overnight, then roast at high heat. Taste galore.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:54 AM on November 5, 2007


The one that started it all: Doug Favell salutes Hallowe'en of '71 - appropriate for a team dressed in orange and black (and sporting Bobby Clarke on its roster).
posted by hangashore at 4:54 AM on November 5, 2007


While some of these modern masks are astonishingly cheesy, Martin Brodeur's mask looks pretty cool to me. Perhaps because he has nothing to prove anymore? My current fave is Martin "Darth" Gerber's from Ottawa. Straight-up all black mask, no markings. Intimidating as hell.
posted by Hutch at 4:59 AM on November 5, 2007


If you have a chance, go to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. All of their goalie masks are in a display right at the entrance, no need to pay to see them - and many of them are way more stylish than those of today.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:50 AM on November 5, 2007


And never mind the airbrushed fang-creatures and death's-heads - this and this (along with the original Plante, as mentioned by furtive above) are hardcore.
posted by hangashore at 7:17 AM on November 5, 2007


I was struck by the contrast between the comically garish masks and the stark intensity of the faces of these young men. Unlike people in most photos, these guys aren't playing to the camera trying to look their best, their attention is utterly focused elsewhere and the resulting portraits are more compelling for me than posed studio shots.

Doesn't hurt that some of these guys are handsome devils either. Be still, my heart!
posted by Quietgal at 7:45 AM on November 5, 2007


jalexei writes "And while I agree 'lousy van art' sums up 99% of them aesthetically speaking, the beauty here (as ssmith noted) is that this is even possible in today's hyper-regimented pro sports environment, where in most cases you'll be sent back to the locker room for anything beyond a number or a set of initials sharpie-d on a cleat or the inside of a cap."

Pretty amazing really. Does any other top level professional sport give their players this kind of latitude? Besides wrestling?
posted by Mitheral at 10:06 AM on November 5, 2007


hideous.
posted by MythMaker at 11:46 AM on November 5, 2007


You know who else liked to stop pucks?
posted by CKmtl at 1:22 PM on November 5, 2007


You know who else liked to stop pucks?

Surely you mean the goalie on this team?
posted by Rumple at 2:13 PM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, that old Terry Sawchuk mask was haunting, he looked ghostly.

I think we should give a nod to Andy Brown and Gump Worsley who were the last to play without a mask.
posted by philfromhavelock at 3:20 PM on November 5, 2007


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