Top 30 Goalie Masks in the NHL

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2011

Top 30 Goalie Masks in the NHL

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    As a kid, one of the coolest things about hockey for me was the designs on the helmets of the goalies.

    From the time goalies started to wear masks, designing them in unique ways was a way for them to separate themselves from other netminders.

    Gerry Cheevers’ old-school goalie mask with all of the scar marks on it was one of the first masks that had a different quality, and there have been many since.

    This list is of the top 30 masks in the NHL today. Enjoy!

30. Roberto Luongo

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Roberto Luongo has a simple, clean design on his helmet.

    He has two helmets that he will wear, with the other of the two being way more colorful and with a design of a lumberjack on it.

    I like this one better because it has a clean, retro look that is very appealing to the eye.

    

29. Martin Brodeur

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    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Martin Brodeur gets credit for having his own design with the MB30 intertwined with the Devils logo.

    Other than the change on the top of the helmet, Brodeur has had the same general design on his helmet for a long time.

    The design is super simple, but there is a classy subtlety to the helmet.

28. James Reimer

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    James Reimer has one of the cooler helmets in the NHL.

    In an ice blue motif, Reimer’s helmet depicts typical Toronto life: Pond hockey and Hockey Night in Canada.

    Ron MacLean and the legendary Don Cherry adorn his helmet, and the people of Toronto have to be just thrilled.

    

27. Marc-Andre Fleury

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Marc-Andre Fleury has a few helmets in his arsenal, but this has become the most common.

    It looks like an igloo, with his face and the skating penguin busting through the ice block.

    It’s definitely a solid design and it fits the team’s logo and scheme.

26. Antti Niemi

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    While Antti Niemi lost a few points for having a similar design to the one he had in Chicago last season, you can’t go wrong with turquoise.

    The design on his helmet has cool colors and the sharks are great as well.

    He could’ve gone a lot crazier with the design, but he kept it fairly conservative.

25. Ilya Bryzgalov

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov gets points for being a great dad.

    Look at the side of his helmet and you will see artwork done by Bryzgalov’s young daughter.

    That’s a class act.

24. Jaroslav Halak

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Jaroslav Halak has a very unique helmet.

    While the side shown in the slide is a cartoonish cowboy, the other side is of some great heroes in St. Louis Blues history.

    It’s a great testament to the players who came before, but I want to know more about the cowboy and what ever happened to the Halak-Net Monster.

    Read comments for explanation of what the cowboy is.

23. Tomas Vokoun

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Tomas Vokoun could have gone crazy with his design, but he kept it simple.

    He uses the Panthers logo on both sides, and the Panthers name as a baseball-style logo.

    While it isn’t flashy, it’s a cool-looking helmet.

22. Henrik Lundqvist

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL and his helmets are just as unique as he is talented.

    Lundqvist has several different helmets, but they all have the Statue of Liberty and NY on them somewhere.

    His helmets are always trendy, stylish and unique.

21. Corey Crawford

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    Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

    I am a big fan of subtle, classy helmets, and Corey Crawford’s Blackhawks helmet is just that.

    He has feathers and the actual silhouette of the Native American logo.

    Crawford has a great color scheme on the helmet and it matches well with Chicago’s white jersey.

20. Rick DiPietro

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    If he could stay healthy, you could see more of Rick DiPietro’s helmet on the ice.

    DiPietro always has marvelous American designs on his helmet and he takes a lot of pride in being an American-born player.

    His helmets are always some of the most patriotic in the NHL.

    

19. Steve Mason

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    This is a beautifully painted helmet that depicts the Northern soldiers in the Civil War.

    It represents the team’s logo well, but showing a dead soldier on the helmet is a choice I wouldn’t have been bold enough to make.

    Other than that, it’s one of the best paint jobs in the NHL.

    

18. Jean-Sebastien Giguere

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Jean-Sebastien Giguere has a cool white and ice-blue color scheme working here, and I think that’s perfect for depicting the cold day in Toronto painted on the helmet.

    It says Maple Leafs on the top and it appears there is ice forming around the face opening.

    While it’s a little too cartoon-ish for me, the style is nice and it’s a subtly-styled helmet.

17. Niklas Backstrom

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    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    To go along with one of the coolest jerseys in the NHL today, Niklas Backstrom has a classic helmet to match.

    Backstrom has an ultra-conservative, simple design with just the team colors and logo, and the helmet in the slide has a beautiful Minnesota scene.

    Whichever one he wears embodies the team and goes well with whatever uniform the Wild are wearing.

16. Dwayne Roloson

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    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Dwayne Roloson has been solid for the Lightning since coming over from the Islanders earlier this season.

    The design on his helmet is very unique and it has an amazing paint job.

    The detail in the wings is great and the color scheme fits the team's silver great.

    

15. Michal Neuvirth

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    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    The Washington Capitals have been blessed this year with great rookie goaltending, and Michal Neuvirth has been a big part of that.

    His helmet design is simple, but there is something to be said for simplicity.

    The team logo is great across the top of the helmet and the red is definitely eye-catching.

    

14. Jimmy Howard

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Jimmy Howard pays true homage to the town that he represents in the NHL.

    With Detroit being the motor city, he has a Ford Mustang and a tachometer.

    The tachometer has all of the retired numbers in Detroit history. A truly interesting way to infuse team history into the paint job.

13. Ondrej Pavelec

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Ondrej Pavelec has an awesome helmet in Atlanta.

    On one of his helmets, he has the old-school Atlanta Flames "A" and a cool color scheme based on the teams colors.

    The thing that made me laugh was the fact that on the back of the head piece, he has a picture of Lil’ Jon.

12. Sergei Bobrovsky

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    While he may not have been in America for very long, Sergei Bobrovsky already has a really great helmet.

    It’s both homage to his homeland and a tribute to Philadelphia.

    There are jets from both the USA and Russia, and also depicted are buildings from both countries.

    The paint scheme is very colorful and the idea is original.

    

11. Tim Thomas

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Tim Thomas and any goaltender who wears a different style of helmet gets a lot of credit in my eyes.

    Thomas has a very original-looking mask with a unique cage.

    The paint scheme is a light silver and white and it has some really interesting ornamentations with great shading.

10. Craig Anderson

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    Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

    This is where the helmets get really glorious.

    This design that Anderson got when he moved to Ottawa is interesting.

    It’s a wild-eyed cartoon driving a Corvette, and that’s the kind of unique design you look for in a cool mask.

    

9. Cam Ward

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    If you appreciate detailed artwork on a helmet, than Cam Ward has a helmet for you.

    He has a buccaneer-type person with an amazing amount of detail, as well as some great silver-and-red coloring.

    There is a lot going on on the mask, but you’re not overwhelmed. It’s a subtle busy-ness.

    

8. Ryan Miller

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres has a very cool Buffalo-head paint job that features eyes on both sides.

    On the back of the head protector he has his nickname "Miller Time" and a bulldog. Both are fun and add a personal touch to the helmet.

    It’s worth noting that his helmet at the Olympics, with Uncle Sam pulling up his sleeves, was a great paint job.

7. Antero Niittymaki

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    When Antero Niittymaki was with the Philadelphia Flyers, he had mobsters shooting tommy guns on his helmet.

    Now that he is playing with San Jose, he has Sharks mobsters shooting tommy guns.

    Along with the very unique paint job, the chrome cage really makes it.

6. Carey Price

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    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    It doesn’t matter if you love or hate Carey Price, he has some of the coolest paint jobs on goalie helmets—and expect a lot more in the future.

    He has had everything from singers on his helmet to retired numbers to cowboys on horseback.

    I hope Price continues to change helmets often and that he gives us more solid artwork with a uniquely personal skew.

5. Miikka Kiprusoff

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    I don’t know what a perfect helmet looks like, but I know if I was a Calgary Flames goaltender, I’d want Miikka Kiprusoff’s flaming skull idea.

    He has had a few variations on the flaming skull helmet, but they are always some of the coolest designs in the NHL.

    I always thought the Devils had the perfect name for a sinister helmet, but Kiprusoff beat them to the punch with an evil Flames helmet.

    

4. Tuukka Rask

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    He may not play as much as he’d like, but that doesn’t make Tuukka Rask’s helmet any less cool.

    It looks like his face is in a bear's mouth, and there are bear claws holding Bruins symbols on the side of the helmet.

    The shiny, gold cage is just the icing on the fantastic airbrush job on Rask’s helmet.

3. Kari Lehtonen

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    Do I even have to explain the awesomeness of this helmet?

    Did you know they found the cure to all the diseases in the world?

    The problem is that the cure is in Kari Lehtonen’s tears, but he never cries.

    One more: When Kari Lehtonen goes swimming in the ocean, he doesn’t get wet. The ocean gets Kari Lehtonen.

2. Jonathan Quick

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    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Whether it’s because I’m a history nerd or that I like the Kings organization, I love this helmet.

    It is painted as a knight’s helmet and the paint job is excellent. There is a ton of detail in the metal for the suit of armor, and the design is unique.

    I am a big fan of a players' heads being included in the paintjob, and his ear holes are molded into the paint scheme.

    Even Quick’s nickname on the chin is in Old English font.

1. Pekka Rinne

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Like Carey Price's mask earlier this season that depicted a mask on a human's face, Pekka Rinne's mask depicts a mask on a mammal as well.

    It just so happens that Rinne's mask is of what looks to be a sabertooth wearing an old-school goalie mask.

    The eyes above the cage are great and all of the detail, in both the mask and the sabertooth's face, is amazing.

    This helmet is super unique, the paint job is one of the best in the NHL, and as wild as it is, it still has team relevance.