Few things symbolize the unique culture of hockey like goalie masks. Even the most casual of casual observers know at least two things about the sport:
- Players are allowed to fight.
- Goalies are allowed to have cool and personalized masks.
It's a unique touch in a sports world where uniformity is stressed and sticking out as an individual is frowned upon. Forwards aren't allowed to slap stickers or paint on their helmets. They aren't even allowed to wear tinted visors. Defenders can't stencil flames on their hockey socks if they want to.
Goalies though? The league says, "Have at it." We suppose that's the least the NHL could do considering that these masked men stop vulcanized, frozen rubber pucks for a living.
The process of selecting the top 10 masks was meticulous. We viewed every single mask for every single NHL goaltender for the 2013-14 season and made an initial list of the top 20. We then walked away from that first set of masks and let the forgettable ones fade while the truly outstanding stood out.
We returned to the paper and selected the masks that we could recall because of how unique or cool they were. Not the most scientific of methods, but this is a pretty arbitrary list to begin with. If you think we missed one, sound off the in the comments.
Tell us the story of why you think that a particular mask should or shouldn't be here.