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NHL Goalie Masks

Roberto Luongo and Martin Biron
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

NHL hockey goalie masks are probably the coolest piece of sporting equipment on the planet and it’s not just because they are always on ice.

When goalies started wearing masks in the NHL in 1959 they were more about saving players from breaking their skulls and getting stitches than about making them look good.

Jacques Plante, the hall-of-fame goalie from the Montreal Canadians put on the first-ever fiberglass mask after he was whacked in the face by a puck. His coach said he was a wimp for wearing it but he didn’t care and soon everybody else was wearing them too.


The last time a player in the NHL went without a mask it was way back in 1974 when Andy Brown of the Pittsburg Penguins preferred to do his job dangerously.


As the years have gone by masks have started to look less like space helmets and more like works or art. From skulls to wolves to Johnny Canuck, airbrushed goalie masks not only save noggins, they let you know a lot about the player behind them.


Here are some of Kidzworld’s favorite goalies masks in the NHL today:

  • Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks has a picture of an angry character called Johnny Canuck on his mask. It has also got the Vancouver skyline and all of the Canucks' logos from the past on it.
  • Vesa Toskala of the Toronto Maple Leafs has a mask made to look like a pretty wicked skull with some seriously sharp teeth. Should be enough to scare at least a few NHL shooters.
  • Martin Biron of the Philadelphia Flyers has switched the painting on his mask up a few times but we like the current mix of an angry lumberjack on ice and the fleur de lis off the flag of his home in Quebec, Canada.
  • Manny Fernandez continues the magnificent mask tradition of the Boston Bruins with a blue-eyed bear with with monster teeth.
  • Nikolai Khabibulin of the Chicago Blackhawks pays tribute to his team, country and nickname (the Bulin wall) with a mix of a black hawk, a Russian flag and a brick wall.

  • Maybe you like another NHL goalie’s mask more than the ones we picked? Let us know http://www.kidzworld.com/forums/hockey/topics!


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