Sabres and Amerks Goalie Gear Breakdown

It’s a good year to be a gear nerd in Buffalo as the Sabres goaltenders have extra masks and pads on display thanks to the 50th anniversary celebration.

The annual 2ITB Sabres goaltending fashion update is running a little later than usual in order to capture the recent Hockey Fights Cancer masks and to account for all of the equipment being worn from Buffalo down to Cincinnati.

As always, this post captures the mask art and gear being worn by any goalies on an NHL contract in the pipeline with special dispensation made for 2019 draft pick Erik Portillo because of his crazy Bauer True Design pads.

Carter Hutton

Pads & Gloves: CCM EFlex 4
Mask: Vaughn Pro’s Choice
Artist: Jesse’s Custom Design

Hutton made a terrific decision in switching to the CCM EFlex pad this year. It features one of the best graphics I’ve seen in a long time and it works wonderfully on both his home/away set and his alternate uniform setup.

His standard mask hearkens back to Ryan Miller’s previous designs with a full face bison design. I’m partial to the white side of his mask as the flake in the gold horn and red eye really pops against the white of the bison’s fur. Hutton’s alternate mask for the 50th anniversary jerseys really capitalizes on how well the navy blue and Vegas gold combine. The highly detailed bison on the right side of the mask is a nice complement to the large alternate crest on the left. It’s a simple design that really pops, especially with the gold cage topping it off.

Jesse’s Custom Design did a terrific job with his Hockey Fights Cancer mask as well. It’s a touching tribute to patients at Roswell and a different take on the usual mask art for Hockey Fights Cancer night.

For a guy who didn’t boast about being a gear guy on Beyond Blue and Gold last year, he certainly looks the part as he’s capitalized on CCM’s excellent graphic design and allowed his painter to do some truly wonderful work.

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Linus Ullmark 

Pads & Gloves: Bauer Vapor 2X Pro
Mask: Bauer Profile
Artist: DaveArt

The Sabres’ resident gear nerd went big again this year, rolling out a two sets of gear with custom graphics through Bauer’s True Design program. For those who aren’t familiar with the process, Bauer has developed a product that allows them to print directly on to the face of their equipment. As opposed to hand stitching custom graphics, the True Design system allows for an incredible level of detail as you can basically print a picture directly on to a set of pads.

Ullmark’s first run with Bauer’s custom program last season featured a cool, blue based design. I’m not quite as impressed with the designs he went with this year. Though I’ve been more partial to the custom Bauer pads where goalies create unique pad graphic as opposed to printing logos or other images onto the pads. His pads this year are kind of scattershot in terms of the graphics, although they do look great with the away jerseys.

His alternate set is the one that’s less impressive as it looks like something you’d see on a video game with the random placement of the team marks. The split logo is especially odd since you never see the pads together in the manner where the logo could be viewed completely. They also lack blue which would’ve been helpful with a jersey that’s so heavily white.

Ullmark’s masks both look great, though. His primary mask has a cool rune stone treatment and it’s use of the Sabres uniform striping as accents is a nice touch. Replacing Buffalo’s blue and gold with purple and black for Hockey Fights Cancer night was a nice touch as well. The Hockey Fights Cancer lid was bright and really sharp. Daveart swapped out a lot of the Sabres marks for the Hockey Fights Cancer logos which was a nice touch.

While his alternate mask is kind of low key, with a basic tie-in to the jersey stripes and a gold bison on the forehead. There was a little hubbub over the omission of Pat LaFontaine among the franchise greats on either side of the mask. It’s certainly ironic but I’m not sure it was worth reading into beyond that. Overall I think Ullmark’s anniversary setup is a little underwhelming considering the options he had at his disposal and when compared to Carter Hutton’s setup.

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Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Pads: CCM EFlex
Gloves: Bauer Supreme 2S Pro
Mask: Bauer Profile
Artist: DaveArt

If UPL’s pair of Amerks masks are any indication, he might have some gear nerdiness in him, which is a terrific development.

His pads and gloves are pretty basic blue and white as to not clash with Buffalo or Rochester’s uniforms. They look alright in Cincinnati’s jerseys too since the navy blue is dark enough that it blends okay with black in the right lighting.

UPL’s masks are both terrific as Rochester’s logo and color scheme really lends itself well to some very cool designs. The blue mask is definitely the better of the two and I’m betting we’ll probably get at least one more design before the year is out.

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Andrew Hammond 

Pads & Gloves: Bauer Vapor 2X Pro
Mask: Bauer Profile
Artist: Sylabrush

The Hamburglar features prominently on both of Andrew Hammond’s masks this year. Sylvie Marsolais is one of my favorite mask artists and she did a very nice job with both of Hammond’s masks. The Sabres version has a little bit of the Gerry Desjardins look to it with the crossed swords and laying In Niagara Falls inside the charging buffalo is a cool touch. Sylabrush carried over the red and white stripes from the logo onto his Amerks mask, which gives it a unique look for when he’s in Rochester.

Like UPL, his pads are just basic blue and white and there’s not much more to them than that. The mix of the matte and gloss digiprint material is cool, but otherwise they’re just blue and white pads.

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Jonas Johnasson 

Pads & Gloves: Bauer Supreme 2S Pro
Mask: Vaughn Pro’s Choice
Artist: DaveArt

Like the other minor league goalies, Johansson’s pads are pretty bland. Blue and white matches both the parent club and the farm club and that ensures you look the part if ever called up. Fun fact, JJ has a 2S graphic on his blocker but it’s actually a Bauer Vapor 1X, which is a few years old now. Johansson had a terrific Amerks mask he rotated in over the past year or so and I included that in the mix as I’m not sure if he’s completely abandoned it yet. But his primary mask is a dark based design that doesn’t’ really match his gear or either team’s jersey. I’m not a big fan of it and I wish he’d used the brighter red, white and blue design from a year or two back.

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Erik Portillo

Pads & Gloves: Bauer Supreme 2S
Mask: Bauer Profile
Artist: HelmetHead Design

I wouldn’t have included Portillo in this grouping had he not gone with a pad design that’s completely out of left field. His custom Bauer graphic is designed to look like a suit of armor and the way Bauer played with the shading, it has a metallic look to it. It’s really out of the box but it works well with Dubuque’s jerseys, so no complaints on that end.

His mask is a little too busy for my taste and it’s interesting to see that he moved to a new painter since he’d used DaveArt in the past. I suspect it has something to do with DaveArt not doing work for guys in junior or heading the NCAA route, but that’s just a guess on my part.

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