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Panthers’ Tim Thomas shows off a pair of odd helmets in game vs. Boston

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When his first mask (right) broke, Tim Thomas swapped to his second mask, though it wasn't much of a style upgrade. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

When his first mask (right) broke, Tim Thomas’s second wasn’t much of a style upgrade. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

By Nick Stoico

Tim Thomas has always been a bit quirky.  Consider his unorthodox style of play, his choice of representation, and his way of leaving Boston. His most recent return to the city as a member of the Florida Panthers did nothing to change that perception.

The 39-year-old netminder took to the ice sporting a blue helmet-and-cage combo that looked similar to what a youth skater in a house league might wear. It also had a classic dangling white neck guard that brought some nostalgia with it. For fans in Boston, Thomas’ choice of headwear was reminiscent of some of his more interesting facial protection through the years.

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  • Published On Mar 04, 2014
  • Penguins’ Fleury honors Pittsburgh Steelers with Stadium Series mask

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    Marc-Andre Fleury will don this Steelers-inspired mask for a Stadium Series clash with the Blackhawks.

    Marc-Andre Fleury will don a Steelers-inspired mask for a Stadium Series game. (Photo courtesy Stephane Bergeron)

    By Allan Muir

    Marc-Andre Fleury sure knows how to play up to Pittsburgh sports fans. The Penguins netminder drove them crazy by donning a Steelers helmet for some post-game shenanigans during that team’s most recent Super Bowl run. But now he’s prepared to take his support for the club to a whole new level.

    When the Penguins visit Soldier Field this Saturday for a Stadium Series clash with the Blackhawks, Fleury will debut a one-off mask designed to mimic a Steelers helmet.

    The mask was painted by Fleury’s long-time collaborator, Stephane Bergeron of Griff Airbrush.

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  • Published On Feb 25, 2014
  • Zombie Wayne Simmonds on Flyers goalie Steve Mason’s new mask

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    Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason's new zombie mask

    With his game back from the dead, Steve Mason is sporting a scary new lid. (Flyers Nation via Twitter)

    By Allan Muir

    Steve Mason's new goalie mask has Zombie Wayne Simmonds on it.

    (Adam Kimelman via Twitter)

    Steve Mason’s apparent zombie obsession makes perfect sense.

    More than simply a reflection of the current zeitgeist, the undead serve as the perfect metaphor for the career of the Flyers puckstopper — lifeless in Columbus, only to be revived unexpectedly this season in Philadelphia (although his game is starting to show signs of decay lately).

    But also: Zombies are awesome, which makes them an ideal theme for Mason’s new mask. His freshly painted bucket not only offers a parade of shambling walkers, it features a Zombie Wayne Simmonds.

    Let that sink in for a minute: Zombie Wayne Simmonds …

    And here’s a look at one of his new sticks, also painted with images of flesh-eating ghouls.

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  • Published On Jan 24, 2014
  • IOC forces U.S. goalie to remove Constitution from mask for Sochi

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    Part of goalie mask IOC forced Team USA goalie Jessie Vetter to remove.

    The offending part of goaltender Jessie Vetter’s helmet. (Courtesy of InGoal Magazine)

    By Allan Muir

    A goalie for the U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team was forced to repaint her new mask this week to remove a representation of the U.S. Constitution from the back plate.

    According to InGoal Magazine, the changes were forced on Jessie Vetter by the International Olympic Committee.

    “No writing of any kind to promote the country is allowed,” artist Ron Slater told InGoal. “[The IOC frowns upon] any sort of ‘our country is better than your country’ kind of thing. Our original idea was ‘land of the free, home of the brave,’ and that would have had to have been removed as well.”

    Vetter also had to remove the Olympic rings from the chin and her last name from the back plate because the IOC saw it as “self promotion,” Slater said. “They want everything to be team based.”

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  • Published On Jan 16, 2014
  • Sneak peek: Jonas Gustavsson’s stunning 2014 Winter Classic mask

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    Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson's 2014 Winter Classic mas.

    The Monster’s mask for the big game in the Big House looks pretty classic. (Detroit Red Wings via Twitter)

    By Allan Muir

    With Jimmy Howard’s sprained knee putting his availability for the Winter Classic in jeopardy, all eyes have turned to his backups to see what special equipment they might wear for Detroit’s New Year’s Day date with the Maple Leafs at the Big House.

    Petr Mrazek generated a lot of buzz when revealed his snowman pillows earlier this week. And now we get our first look at the mask that Jonas Gustavsson commissioned for the event.

    It’s a beauty, adorned by the Winter Classic logo, an old-timey Red Wings wordmark, some snowflakes and his jersey number. Not sure it’ll pop for the folks in the cheap seats, but it’ll look great in the TV close-ups.

    His new pads, though? We’ve seen this vintage look done better. Maybe he can talk Mrazek into a trade …

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  • Published On Dec 18, 2013