Which NHL Goalies Have an Eye for Design?
You’ve heard it plenty of times before. NHL goaltenders—well, goalies at all skill levels—are a unique breed. The willingness to stand in front of 100 mph-plus slap shots requires a certain mindset that only a small collection of people have.
Another idiosyncracy of goalies is that some like to be stylish with their equipment. Sure, skaters have the tongues out/in and toe-to-heel versus heel-to-toe tape job tastes that they swear by. But goalies are different. Leg pads, blockers, gloves, sticks, and helmets are all completely customizable and do not adhere to NHL regulations with regard to design (though obviously bad choices are frowned upon).
Some goalies like to showcase their personality through their equipment color schemes. Chicago’s Scott Darling is letting fans decide what his pads will look like:
— Brians Custom Sports (@goaliesonly) February 13, 2016
In today’s NHL, most goalies put aside their creativity and choose all-white or mostly white pads. The thought is that white pads are percevied to be bigger than dark equipment. Some swear by it. Others, like the goalies below, could care less.
Let’s take a look at the Top 10 goalies with the best equipment flow. Since all helmets are personalized, only the pads, which you can clearly see from the stands or your couch, are taken into consideration. Who is the most creative? Who rocks the most obscure color scheme? Enjoy:
10. Cory Schneider
Though his pads are mostly white, Cory Schneider lands in the Top 10 after adding a little twang to his leg pads for the NHL All-Star Game. As a tribute to host Nashville, Schneider adorned guitars on his leg pads. You can certainly appreciate Schneider’s appreciation for being selected to represent the Metropolitan Division.
9. Thomas Greiss
Currently rocking the tiger stripes in Brooklyn, Thomas Greiss shows some creativity showcasing a minor color—orange—in his equipment color scheme. The Islander-blue outer roll and orange “Vaughn” logo on the side are great touches as well.
8. Eddie Lack
Now in Carolina, Eddie Lack has a history of showcasing his teams’ respective logos on the front of his pads. He reps Brian’s equipment, which was the first goalie equipment company to start putting team logos on the front of leg pads. Lack has certainly been creative with his equipment design over the course of his career.
7. Martin Jones
Another goalie with predominately white pads, San Jose’s Martin Jones made a little tweak to his equipment color scheme that deserves some attention. Often overlooked as a minor piece of the leg pads, Jones added sutble orange top bridges that look awesome out on the ice. He also sports a bit of orange on his glove as well. Again, subtle, but with great taste.
6. Ryan Miller
Now tending goal for the Vancouver Canucks with Lack in Carolina, Ryan Miller has been rocking some unique equipment this season, especially his throwback night pads. Though his regular gloves are mostly white, Miller’s leg pads create an almost zebra-scheme of blue and white, with a little bit of green mixed in. Blue is the dominant color and creates an image of ocean waves when Miller is in butterfly stance—a perfect compliment to the Canucks’ whale logo.
5. Cam Talbot
What’s creative about Cam Talbot’s equipment? He rocks Oilers’ colors with white covering most of his pads. What is creative is that Talbot rotates three sets of pads to best match the Oilers colors on any given night. Talbot’s leg pads have blue, orange, and white outer rolls and the gloves to match. Quite the fashionista!
4. Brian Elliott
It’s always #ThrowbackThursday with Brian Elliott. His all-blue pads not only look fantastic, but also pay tribute to a former Blues goaltender. Elliott’s all-blue scheme matches that of Curtis Joseph when he tended the Blues’ crease in the early 90s. If only the Blues could bring back their awesome late-90s jerseys for a few Thursday games.
3. Jonas Hiller
In his career, Jonas Hiller has been the king of obscure equipment color schemes. In his days with the Ducks, Hiller often sported unique colors on his pads and rarely included any white sections in the design. Now in Calgary, Hiller’s equipment certainly shows off some flare with the Flames.
2. Marc-Andre Fleury
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 11, 2016
Elliott may show off some #ThrowbackThursday style with his equipment, but Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury takes it to another level when the Penguins are wearing their third jerseys. Fleury pays tribute to two goalies: Pittsburgh legend Tom Barrasso and himself. Fleury’s all-yellow pads and vintage mask exhibit fantastic style between the pipes.
1. Corey Crawford
All-white equipment? Nope. Chicago’s Corey Crawford is the complete opposite. It’s said that black is a sleek color for clothes. It certainly is for goalie pads as well. Crawford breaks the trend with his all-black pads and proves that you don’t need all-white pads to succeed. He currently leads the NHL in shutouts and has won two Stanley Cups in his career. His Jeff Hackett-throwback helmet with the feathers is also stylish as well.
Is there anyone that should have been included? Comment below or tweet me: @PolakWolak
Tony Wolak is based in the Washington D.C. area and covers the Detroit Red Wings for THW. As a former junior and college hockey player, Tony has a unique perspective on Red Wings topics.