Monday, 21 September 2009

More Paint

I've been trying my best to keep everyone updated on the new looks for goaltenders this season. Paint jobs on masks is a huge part of the game as it truly is the only part of the uniform that can be customized specifically by a player and used in a game without penalty. Now, there are traditionalists that prefer the old-school white masks like the one to the left, but there have been some exceptional designs over the years since Glenn "Chico" Resch first had his mask painted by an art student. Of course, the mask has also changed considerably since the 1970s, so there are a lot more ways to customize a mask now as well: the different colour of cages, the back plate, and signatures of certain players as examples. Today, we have a few more new masks to help you identify goalies this season.

  • Goaltender Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets will have a new look and a memorial on his mask this upcoming season. Light The Lamp has images of the new mask along with the old mask for comparison. The memorial is on the back plate of the mask. Mason is honouring his grandfather with the tribute on the back of his helmet.
  • Vesa Toskala of the Toronto Maple Leafs has changed the maker of his mask. Last season, Toskala wore an Itech mask. This season, as seen above, he's gone to a Bauer mask. I assume there must be some sort of sponsorship involved because goaltenders are creatures of habit, and changing equipment is not something they usually do.
  • The other goaltending Mason - Chris Mason of the St. Louis Blues - is also sporting a new coat of paint. Prominently featuring the St. Louis Arch on the front of his mask along with the Blues logo, the back plate has a ton of Mason's personal touch. His daughter, Avery, has her name on the back. The Canadian and American flags are featured. And Mason is an avid video game player, so I assume the axe has something to do with being a warrior. I like this new mask.
From there, I also want to bring about a fabulous video with a very odd player number. Neil Sheehy, the man who routinely made Gretzky's life a living hell when he skated for Calgary, was found in a video from his days with the Hartford Whalers. In this video, he is fighting Chicago's Bob Probert. Check out Sheehy's jersey number.

Sheehy is wearing #0.

From what I can find, Sheehy is the last NHL player to wear #0, much in the same way that goaltender Martin Biron was the last player to don #00.

NHL rule 9.2 states that "[s]weater numbers such as 00, ½ (fractions), .05 (decimals), 101 (three digit) are not permitted. In addition, each player and goalkeeper shall wear his surname in full, in block letters three inches (3") high, across the back of his sweater at shoulder height".

While I can't find the exact date of when this rule took effect, it appears that it started in either 1998-99 or 1999-00. Sheehy spent just a short time time with the Whalers in 1987-88, totaling a mere 26 games, after he was dealt to Hartford, along with Carey Wilson and Lane MacDonald, for Shane Churla and Dana Murzyn on January 3, 1988. After his time in Hartford, Sheehy signed with Washington in the off-season, and wore #15 for the rest of his NHL days. A pretty cool number cameo, if you ask me.

Ok, that's all for today, folks. Tomorrow might be an early or late post. I'm back in the air as I make my way back to the Great White North, so if I don't get something posted by noon, check back after 10PM EST. And yes, it's nice to be heading home despite the incredible weather we've received here in Portland over the last two weeks. I'll have a full synopsis on my trip later this week.

Until then, keep your sticks on the ice!


Anonymous said...

Bauer bought out Mission-Itech last year, so it may be the same mask with updated branding

Teebz said...

Good call, Anon! I totally forgot about that. Well done, and thanks!