Intimidating hockey masks

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An oldie but a goodie from The Hockey Writers Archives, put together by Editor-in-Chief Bruce Hollingdrake and published Aug. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and enjoy some of the best goaltending facial wear in the history of the National Hockey League.

And if you can’t guess the number one mask already then you need to take some time and watch some vintage NHL games from the ’70s.

One of the most definitively eccentric figures to grace an NHL crease (and there is great competition for that title), Gratton was a fellow pioneer of Cheevers in the decoration department.

In the two decades since, only a select few Sharks stoppers have rivaled or bested Hayward, fashion-wise.From Wade Flaherty to Jeff Hackett to Arturs Irbe to Jarmo Myllys to Jimmy Waite, San Jose could not catch much of a break from monochrome white or black helmets on their goalies in the franchise’s early years.Hayward, who saw action in merely 25 games during the team’s first two seasons of existence, was not merely an exception in that regard.After all, this is occupational for NHL netminders, not occasional.In fact, decorating one's face mask is treated as just shy of an obligation.

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