15 Best Goalie Masks in the NHL

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe
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Ever since Montreal’s Jacques Plante had his nose broken by the New York Rangers’ Andy Bathgate during a game in the 1959-60 season, the goalie mask has become ‘de rigueur’ for netminders in all leagues. Not only that, but the war paint that goaltenders have applied to their face protectors has become a real art form. They have been painted to tell stories, show the goalie’s personality and depict cartoon characters, other famous athletes, comic book heroes and cool interpretations of a team’s logo. Let’s just say masks have come a long way since Gerry Cheevers’ famous “Stitches” mask.

15. Cam Ward, Carolina

Argh! There be pirates on that mask! Ward, a landlubber from Saskatoon, chose to depict a scary looking Blackbeard on his mask. A Conn Smythe winner in 2006 and Carolina’s number one netminder since 2005, also adorns his mask with his nickname, Wardo and the word Hurricanes in a slick font above the metal grate. His number ’30′ is featured on top of the mask, in a swirling and artsy rendering of the Carolina Hurricane logo. On the back plate, Ward has chosen to personalize his with a cross and the initials of his late grandfather. Like a fighter pilot, he has a Stanley Cup there too, as well as a green clover for good luck.¬† To further show his personality, he has ‘Have Fun’ written on it and a picture of a stork with a bundle to show fatherhood. Shiver me Timbers!

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Next: 14. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
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