Team-by-Team Look at NHL Goalie Masks (1980-2015)
They weren't always worn—unbelievable as that now seems—but once they were introduced, they not only provided a means of protection but became a veritable art form.
From full-face fiberglass Halloween-style versions to the modern combination incorporating a cage, goalie masks do for the NHL much like what helmets do for the NFL.
One of the most recognizable and unique pieces of equipment in the game, they represent an airbrushed expression of each netminder as well as providing a canvas with which to celebrate his team.
As this year's Stanley Cup playoffs get underway, here's a look at one of them for each current NHL club over the last 40 years. There's no rhyme or reason to their selection, necessarily; it's just a collection of helmets that are/were colorful, intriguing or downright peculiar.
Anaheim Ducks: Jean-Sebastien Giguere (2003)
This feathery look took the Ducks to within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2003. Giguere, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP that spring, played nine seasons in Anaheim before retiring last year with Colorado and 262 career NHL wins, and brought the Ducks to their first Cup in 2007.
Arizona Coyotes: Nikolai Khabibulin (1997)
It was "shoot the moon" in this look back from when the Coyotes first moved to Phoenix. Khabibulin played three seasons in Arizona, won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004 and has 333 career NHL victories through 2014.
Boston Bruins: Bill Ranford (1996)
How can you not like that golden bruin clawing its way out of Ranford's forehead? Ranford, the 1990 Conn Smythe Trophy recipient for Edmonton when the Oilers beat Boston in the Cup Final, began his NHL career with the Bruins from 1985 to 1987, returned to Beantown from 1995 to 1997, and retired in 2000 with 240 career wins with Boston, Edmonton, Washington, Tampa Bay and Detroit.
Buffalo Sabres: Ryan Miller (2014)
An angry, red-eyed bison was featured in this look from Miller's final months in Buffalo. A former Michigan State All-America selection and 2001 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner as college hockey's best player, Miller recorded all but 39 of his 323 NHL wins to date with the Sabres, and has also notched 35 career shutouts. After a short stint with St. Louis last season, he's now in the Stanley Cup Playoffs again with Vancouver.
Calgary Flames: Roman Turek (2003)
Eddie of Iron Maiden fame graced this fiery lid. Turek played for Calgary from 2001 to 2004, recording 63 wins and 12 shutouts, and finished his NHL career with 159 victories and 27 shutouts with the Stars, Blues and Flames.
Carolina Hurricanes: Cam Ward (2008)
"Wardo" adopted this battleship look in several games against Boston. He led the 'Canes to their first Cup in 2006, and is still manning the net for Carolina, with whom he has fashioned a 246-191-58 record with 22 shutouts in 10 NHL seasons.
Chicago Blackhawks: Murray Bannerman (1980)
The Blackhawk logo came to life in abstract form on Bannerman's old-style mask in the early 1980s. The Ontario native played for Chicago from 1980 to 1987, after spending one game with Vancouver, and finished his NHL career with a 116-125-33 mark and eight shutouts in 288 regular-season appearances with the Blackhawks.
Colorado Avalanche: Patrick Roy (1996)
This was the version Roy wore when he backstopped Colorado to its first Cup, after being traded from Montreal. He guided the Avalanche to their second NHL crown five years later. He posted 551 wins and 66 shutouts in 1,029 NHL games with Montreal and Colorado, won four Cups and three Conn Smythe trophies, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame before taking over as Colorado's head coach in 2013 and winning the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Steve Mason (2013)
Stars and stripes adorned this mask worn by Mason before he left for Philadelphia in 2013, after four full seasons and 91 wins with the Bluejackets. A four-time 20-game winner, Mason has recorded 151 wins and 26 shutouts in 351 career NHL contests.
Dallas Stars: Ed Belfour (2002)
Eddie the Eagle's look came in various shades during his career, including this gold version that succeeded an all-green image he wore when the Stars won their first Stanley Cup in 1999. A 1987 NCAA champion with North Dakota, Belfour also played with the Blackhawks, Sharks, Maple Leafs and Panthers before retiring in 2007, and finished his NHL tenure with 484 victories and 76 shutouts.
Detroit Red Wings: Mike Vernon (1997)
This modified Red Wing logo featured wings on both sides of the wheel. It's also the mask Mike Vernon wore when Detroit won its first NHL title in 42 years. In three season in Motown, Vernon registered 53 wins and four shutouts, and went 385-273-92 with 27 shutouts in in 781 career NHL games. He also won a Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989, before ultimately finishing his career with the Flames in 2002.
Edmonton Oilers: Ben Scrivens (2014)
The Cornell graduate's mask incorporated the classic Oilers' orange logo, complete with blue oil drop, from Edmonton's WHA days. Scrivens, who started his career with the Maple Leafs in 2011 and also played with the Kings before heading back home to Alberta, has 42 wins and seven shutouts so far as an NHL goaltender.
Florida Panthers: John Vanbiesbrouck (1996)
It may have looked like it was devouring the Detroit native's head, but this iconic gold mask got Florida through 22 playoff games and to the 1996 Stanley Cup Final, where the Panthers were swept by Colorado. Vanbiesbrouck, who also played with the Rangers, Flyers, Islanders and Devils, won 374 NHL games and notched 40 shutouts in 882 games from 1981 to 2002.
Los Angeles Kings: Jonathan Quick (2010)
Quick's knight-helmet look, or a variant of it, hoisted the Cup in two of the last three NHL seasons. The former UMass netminder also won the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy as NHL playoff MVP, and to date has won 212 of 407 career NHL regular-season outings, while also collecting 37 shutouts.
Minnesota Wild: Dwayne Roloson (2002)
This all-red look stood out against Minnesota's original green road jersey in the franchise's early years, which resulted in their first playoff berth in 2003. Roloson himself also played for the Flames, Sabres, Blues, Oilers, Islanders and Lightning, and backstopped Edmonton to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final before concluding his career in 2012 with 227 wins and 29 shutouts.
Montreal Canadiens: Ken Dryden (1979)
The Habs logo "target" look was part of the Cornell graduate's ensemble as the Canadiens made four straight Stanley Cups to close out his NHL career in 1979. He went 258-57-74 in 297 career NHL games, all with Montreal, and won six Cups to go with the Calder, Vezina and Conn Smythe trophies as best rookie, best goaltender and playoff MVP, respectively.
Nashville Predators: Mike Dunham (2001)
Talk about fangs. Dunham sported a few of them on this lid from his tenure in Tennessee. The University of Maine alumnus won 81 games with the Predators after being acquired from New Jersey, and went on to record 141 career NHL wins and 19 shutouts with five different clubs, before skating off for the final time in 2007.
New Jersey Devils: Martin Brodeur (2010)
The MB-30 version didn't last very long before Brodeur went back to his original logo. The Montreal native, who completed his NHL career with seven games with the Blues in 2014-15, is the league's all-time winningest goaltender with 691 victories and 125 shutouts, and also recorded 113 playoff victories while helping the Devils to three Cups (1995, 2000, 2003).
New York Islanders: Rick DiPietro (2010)
The former Boston University netminder had a heck of a mask, even if he didn't have a heck of an NHL career, with 130 victories spaced out over 13 years on Long Island along with 16 shutouts in 318 appearances between 2000 and 2013.
New York Rangers: Mike Richter (2002)
The Lady Liberty look also appeared in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, when Richter backstopped the U.S. to a silver medal, its first Olympic men's hockey medal since Lake Placid. The Wisconsin alumnus played his entire NHL career with the Rangers, winning 301 games in all plus the Stanley Cup in 1994, before retiring in 2003 with 24 shutouts all time.
Ottawa Senators: Patrick Lalime (2003)
Lalime got Ottawa to within one game of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final with this look, which sported Marvin Martian on the front. He played with the Senators from 2001 to 2004, and backstopped five NHL clubs in all before retiring in 2011 with 200 wins and 35 shutouts to his credit.
Philadelphia Flyers: Ron Hextall (1998)
The word "Philadelphia" circles underneath the Flyers logo on this dome from Hextall's second stint with the club in the late 1990s. Now the Flyers' general manager, he had five 30-win seasons with Philadelphia, and retired in 1999 with 296 career NHL wins and 23 shutouts in regular-season play.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (2014)
Fleury conjured up this Pittsburgh Steelers homage for the 2014 Stadium Series. The Quebec native carried the Pens to the Stanley Cup in 2009, and had posted 322 career NHL victories to go with 38 shutouts through the end of the 2014-15 regular season.
St. Louis Blues: Grant Fuhr (1995)
Fuhr's mask, complete with piano keys, complemented the '90s Blues jersey that incorporated red trim at the time. He skated in St. Louis from 1995 to 1999, recording 108 wins and 11 shutouts, and retired in 2000 with 403 career wins and five Stanley Cup rings.
San Jose Sharks: Evgeni Nabokov (2010)
Got to like those skeletal ghouls on a teal-colored background. Nabokov, who played this year with Tampa Bay, spent his first 10 NHL seasons in San Jose, and has 353 career NHL wins to date.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Ben Bishop (2015)
Fluorescent lines stand out on the former University of Maine netminder's mask. The Denver native, who grew up in the St. Louis area, has recorded 77 NHL wins over the past two seasons with Tampa Bay, including a career-high 40 victories in 2014-15.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Curtis Joseph (2002)
Who could ever forget Cujo? The former University of Wisconsin backstop sported a ferocious canine on his mask with no less than six NHL franchises, and notched 545 NHL wins and 51 shutouts before hanging up his pads in 2009.
Vancouver Canucks: Roberto Luongo (2011)
Johnny Canuck resurfaced during Vancouver's last Cup run, which ended up one game short against Boston in 2011. Luongo has since returned to his original NHL franchise in Florida, and had posted 401 NHL wins and 68 shutouts with the Canucks and Panthers through the end of the 2014-15 regular season.
Washington Capitals: Olie Kolzig (1998)
Godzilla—enough said. As for Kolzig himself, the South Africa spent all but one of his NHL campaigns in Washington, collecting 301 regular-season wins and backstopping the Caps to the 1998 Stanley Cup Final before closing out his career with Tampa Bay in 2009.
Winnipeg Jets: Al Montoya (2014)
Fighter-plane nose art and a prominent maple leaf were utilized in tandem in this scheme by the former University of Michigan goalie. Montoya won 16 games in two years with the second NHL incarnation of the Jets before joining the Panthers this season, and has 43 wins in 111 career NHL outings with Winnipeg, Phoenix, the Islanders and Florida.
Stats from NHL.com.