Hockey is certainly one of the roughest sports on the planet, but there’s more to it than allowed fights, body checks and serious injuries from the violence. With every hockey game, fans cheer for goals, fights referees don’t break up immediately and hard checks into the boards. However, one of the things many fans enjoy about the game is the artful touch found in the masks worn by the goalies.
The goalie masks may represent just the team or the player, but they can also show an artful depiction of a scene going along with the team, player or city they represent. From the “Pirate Summoning a Hurricane” worn by Cam Ward to the “Two-Faced Lightning Bold” mask worn by Anders Lindback, these masks are skillfully done to represent something the goalie chooses themselves. It’s not as simple as just a team logo or mascot.
This creative trend dates all the way back to the 1968-1969 season when Gerry Cheevers of the Boston Bruins decided to decorate his white fiberglass mask with black stitches. His decoration was to commemorate every time a puck had hit his face. The trend caught on very quickly and since, goalies have been personalizing their masks with many different designs.
Scariest NHL Goalie Masks in History
You might not find these specific goalie masks at your local retailer and they don’t come from the top goalies of all time, but they’re certainly creative and scary. Here’s a short list of the six scariest NHL goaltender masks of all time.
1. Curtis Sanford’s Mask
Even though most fans don’t know Sanford well because of his short career as a backup, they might know his mask. The mask looks like a vampire mixed with a white wizard and is well known as one of the scariest of all time. See it here
2. Mike Dunham
Playing backup to Martin Brodeur, Dunham didn’t see much time on the ice. However, he did manage to wear one of the creepiest goalie masks every with a depiction of a satanic devil complete with green eyes and white fangs. See it here
3. Gilles Gratton
Only appearing in 47 games over 2 seasons, it’s likely that most fans don’t remember Gratton, but he helped give the goalies the “eccentric” title with his fearsome lion mask.
4. Gerry Cheevers
The man that started it all is certainly deserving of a mention when it comes to scary goalie masks. He started it with a white mask complete with black stitches, looking like a creepier version of the popular horror movie character “Jason”.
5. Murray Bannerman
An average goalie, at best, Bannerman played 7 seasons with the Blackhawks back in the days of the creepy white goalie mask. However, when he decided to add Native American war paint to the mask, it went from horror movie creepy to simply unnerving.
6. Gary Bromley
Perhaps the creepiest goalie mask ever worn was the skull depiction worn by the backup goalie for the Canucks from 1978 – 1981. This mask, paired with the ugly “V” sweaters made Bromley look more like a villain in a horror movie than a goalie. See it here
If you happen to be interested in hockey and have a flair for art then you should find some finding finding cheap goalie equipment and get out there! Playing goalie is one of the most fast paced and pressure filled sports positions out there so be ready to carry the team with your moves between the pipes!