I’m completely obsessed with goalie equipment. It is a problem. At one point I had three mask prepared to be sent away and painted. Unfortunately fortunes change and only one of those got a paint job.
Aside from the even itself, the best part of the Winter Classic each season is the different gear the goalies sport. It hasn’t become a yearly tradition – some goalies don’t bother making changes to their gear – but a majority of the goaltenders to participate in the Winter Classic have made some change to their appearance to reflect the event.
The easiest and most common change is to simply get a special paint job done for the day. Only six goalies have decided against any change, including their helmets. Although, Brian Boucher did wear a touque, despite keeping his normal paint job.
Gear changes have been more rare, but seem to be trending towards the norm in recent years. Dany Sabourin was the only goalie to wear different gear than his usual until last season in Pittsburgh.
There have been 21 goalies involved in the five Classics (three in 2008 due to MAF’s injury). Only Jocelyn Thibault, Ty Conklin (09), Chris Osgood (09), Nikolai Khabibulin (09) and Sergei Bobrovsky (12) have chosen not to add anything to their look whatsoever. The remaining 16 chose to make some change, whether it be a helmet or pads.
Since ranking each individual’s look based on gear would offer an unfair advantage to some, this Winter Classic history lesson will be based on the helmet designs while offering bonus points for gear. Continue reading