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A Close Look at Hockey Goalie Facemask Cages

[Today we have a sensational guest entry from Sean Egelhardt, who’s written a superb analysis of a little-noted uniform element. You’re gonna like this one. ”” PL]

By Sean Engelhardt

Henrik Lundqvist, like most NHL goaltenders, has a new mask this year. The design resembles the one he’s used in years past, but this year the cage — by which I mean the bars in the center of the mask — is blue rather than the white he’s previously used. More interestingly, the inside of the cage is white, creating a two-toned effect he uses on his secondary mask (which he wears when the Rangers wear their third jerseys) and which he used in the Sochi Olympics (click to enlarge):

I believe this marks a performance/style intersection for Hank. I think he likes the way the blue looks from the outside but believes white bars work best for his vision, which plays such an important part of goaltending.

Having grown up playing goalie myself, I can recall the topic of preferred cage colors coming up now and again, but I’ve never heard it discussed on TV or elsewhere. I always preferred a white cage, because I thought the white blended in with the ice and was less distracting. I felt that white bars let your brain do what it does when you watch a choppy animation ”” fill in missing information with what should be there. I felt that this allowed me to track the puck a bit truer, rather than having a dark puck blend into a dark cage and possibly introduce milliseconds of uncertainty about which side of the bar the puck was on. That might sound questionable, but hockey moves very quickly, and any advantage, even if it’s imagined, can help.

So how does Lundqvist’s cage stack up with those of his fellow NHL goalies? About half of the league’s netminders currently use a white cage, half go with chrome/stainless steel, and a few others go with team colors. Only Lundqvist’s cage has a different color inside than out (click to enlarge):

As long as we’re taking about cages, let’s turn to the issue of bar configuration. Most professional goaltenders prefer the cat-eye style, which has two large curved openings in front of the eyes. The cat-eye cage is illegal in junior hockey, because it lacks certification from the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) ”” not, as many people mistakenly think, because the puck can fit through the openings (it can’t), but because the butt-end of a stick can. As a result, young goaltenders always start their careers with a grid (much like a normal skater’s cage) or “Certified Cat Eye” (a hideous-looking design meant to entice goalies who want the pro look but require a HECC-certified mask). You can see the three primary styles here (click to enlarge):

The added bars on the certified cat-eye make the cage legal but defeat the point of the high-visibility cat-eye, so most goalies graduate to the professional cat-eye as soon they can.

In the modern goalie-mask era, a few notables have strayed from the cat-eye cage. Tim Thomas and Don Beaupre opted for custom, high-visibility, non-HECC-certified grids, while John Vanbiesbrouck went with a tight grid in what I believe had to provide the worst visibility of any mask in the modern era. You can barely see Beezer in there! But what do I know? He has 374 more wins than me.

The Overanalyzed Hockey Equipment Details Hall of Fame also includes such staples as which direction to tape your stick so that the puck rolls off smoothest; whether black tape makes it harder for a goalie to pick up the puck coming off a stick blade; if shin pads should sit above or below the tongue of the skate; whether to tape shin pads; and how many notches to tighten your leg pads. Any of these — or all of them! — would make good topics for future Uni Watch entries.

———

Paul here. Please join me in thanking Sean for his spectacular work here. First-rate! And as for those other topics he brought up at the end: Sean, if you want to tackle any of those, please consider yourself invited to do so.

•  •  •  •  •

michelson

Membership update: Another eight designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Harry Michelson’s Steelers bumblebee throwback treatment, shown at right). These cards haven’t yet been printed or laminated, but that should take place over the next few days, and the finished cards will mail out early next week.

As always, you can order your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see the process by which we produce the cards here.

• • • • •

’Skins Watch: With the ’Skins on the road against the 49ers this Sunday, a Bay Area coalition is planning a rally and protest at Levi’s Stadium (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Someone has developed a browser extension that will replace the ’Skins name in your browser. … The Prince Albert Raiders — a junior hockey team in Saskatchewan — have a new mascot that’s being criticized for playing on Middle Eastern stereotypes.

Baseball News: All of the Mets’ Saturday home games next season are night games. Disappointing. … New uniforms and logos for the double-A San Antonio Missions. … What’s worse than an advertising patch on a uniform? A purple advertising patch on a uniform! That’s what MLBers were wearing during their recent tour of Japan (from Nick Hanson).

NFL News: I think we’ve covered this before, but people keep asking me, so here it is again: The Lions will not be wearing throwbacks on Thanksgiving. … Small uni-related moment in yesterday’s installment of Sarah Koenig’s excellent Serial podcast, which is about the 1999 murder of a Baltimore teen-ager named Hae Min Lee. Koenig was listing a few things people remembered about Lee, including this: “The Dallas Cowboys were her favorite team — not because she cared about football, but because she liked the colors blue and silver.” Insert obligatory comment about the Cowboys’ multiple shades of blue and silver here. … Why Stadium Sponsorships Suck, Part 739: Some poor soul who works at the Oakland Coliseum had to cover up the old sponsorship logos on the sideline benches. Douchebags (screen shot by Andy Bartsch).

College Football News: Here’s a look at Dartmouth football uniforms through the years. … Is Maryland on its way to becoming “the Oregon of the East”? One observer says nuh-uh. … Small note toward the end of this piece on Nebraska football: “In practice on Tuesday, seven top-unit defenders voluntarily relinquished their traditional Blackshirt jerseys” — apparently as penance for giving up 59 points to Wisconsin last Saturday. … Arizona State will go mono-maroon with a white helmet tomorrow, and Vanderbilt is going black-white-gold. … Love the throwback helmet that West Virginia wore last night. … Army will be wearing gray this weekend. … UNC debuted a new chrome helmet last night. … Blackout costume tomorrow for Washington.

Hockey News: Which Tampa Bay Lightning jersey should you own? Take this quiz and find out. … Years ago I did an entry about the wonderful children’s book The Hockey Sweater. Here’s an interview with the book’s author. … Key passage in this article about T.J. Oshie of the Blues: “When [Oshie’s father] was a child, he moved to Anoka, Minnesota. … [He] was the organizer of the street, gathering kids and assigning them to baseball or football teams that would play against other kids from other streets. They’d fashion uniforms out of T-shirts with logos and names written on them with marker.” … Batman- and Riddler-themed uniforms upcoming for the Toledo Walleye and Evansville IceMen. … The Flyers have inducted Eric Lindros and John LeClair into their Hall of Fame and marked the occasion last night by wearing both of their numbers on a patch. “For some reason, I’m craving a black-and-white cookie,” says Mike Engle.

NBA News: Corporate Bullshit Dept.: Nike was planning on a sneaker that was sort of a wink-wink tribute to (or exploitation of) Allen Iverson, but they’ve now scrapped the idea because Iverson, who has an endorsement deal with Reebok, objected (from Douglas Ford). … More corporate nonsense: Clippers G Chris Paul taped over the Jumpman logo on his socks last night. One might ask why he was wearing Jumpman-logo socks to begin with, or why any socks need to be logo-emblazoned, but those queries would clearly make the Earth spin off its axis.

College Hoops News: Here are some thoughts on UMass’s sleeved alternate jerseys. … Here’s a weird one: UAB players are wear mismatched shoe colors this season. “A lot of variety with it, too,” says Justin Semore. “Most have green on the left foot and white on the right. Others have a grey right foot. Some have shine on the shoes, others don’t; some have green laces, some have white, some alternate. As far as I can tell, they are all Nike. It’s to raise awareness of childhood cancer (Birmingham Children’s Hospital is a part of campus).” Can’t say I understand what mismatched footwear has to do with cancer awareness, but whatever — it’s certainly an interesting look.

Soccer News: The La Liga team Valencia is being sued by DC Comics because the team’s logo is similar to the Batman logo. … This movie review of the new documentary about the UK rock band Pulp includes the following: “The band’s longtime drummer, Nick Banks, coaches a Sheffield girls’ soccer team, of which Pulp is a partial sponsor — the band’s name is emblazoned on the jerseys. Banks’ daughter is on the team, and her father says that when some of her teammates asked her what, exactly, this ‘Pulp’ might be, she referred to it as her ‘dad’s crap band.'” … Argentina’s and Colombia’s Copa America kits have leaked.

Grab Bag: “This U.S. map illustration is from a Thai airline’s in-flight magazine,” says Gordon Blau. “It accompanied a story about a cross-country road trip. I found it interesting that they made no effort to regionalize the iconography. A cowboy resides along the Great Lakes, for example; the Empire State Building bisects Texas; the White House is in the heartland; the Capitol is in the Pacific Northwest (wrong Washington). No American art director would approve this graphic. But whereas we consider ourselves a collection of distinct regions, each with its own iconography, I guess other parts of the world view us as one big jumble of interchangeable symbols.” … Everything Must Be Branded: The city of Bluefield, West Virginia, is asking residents to vote on a new city logo. Meanwhile, the upstate New York town of Massena is paying a designer $5000 to create a new logo. … “Top secret” new uni in the works for the UK rugby team Barrow Raiders. … F1 driver Fernando Alonso will wear a specially designed helmet in his final race for Ferrari in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. … Here’s one designer’s proposal for new license plate designs for all 50 states (thanks, Brinke). … I love this: a short video about a Cleveland man who makes very cool hand-painted signs (big thanks to Jeremy Baker). … New lacrosse uniforms for the NLL team the New England Black Wolves. … Professional motorcyclist Jorge Lorenzo has renewed his endorsement deal with HJC Helmets. … Not an Onion story, honest: A town in Poland will not allow Winnie the Pooh to be part of a playground logo because he is of “dubious sexuality” and isn’t fully clothed. … Ever wonder which school in the California Collegiate Athletic Association has the coolest logo? Me neither, but here’s a page where you can vote on your choice. … Employees at a British ice cream factory must now wear uniforms without pockets after a product-tampering scandal.

•  •  •  •  •

By the time most of you read this, I’ll be on my way to deal with a personal matter that’s going to keep me off the grid for most of the day. Play nice while I’m away. Phil will handle the weekend, as usual, and I’ll be back on Monday. See you then.

104 comments to A Close Look at Hockey Goalie Facemask Cages

  • Aaron | November 21, 2014 at 7:22 am |

    Might be too late if Paul is already gone, but I think there’s a missing “s” in the Maryland college football entry.

    • Paul Lukas | November 21, 2014 at 7:32 am |

      Not gone yet! Leaving in 20 mins. Now fixed.

  • Rich | November 21, 2014 at 7:39 am |

    “UNC debuted a new chrome helmet”

    Which was dumb considering it was a night game. North Carolina and Duke looked like two sets of clowns. You couldn’t see helmet decals for either team. If I need the scorebug to tell me who’s playing, you’re doing it wrong. You’re defeating the purpose of publicizing your school. And if you think you might attract a player based on a uniform, then you don’t want that player.

    • Padday | November 21, 2014 at 8:02 am |

      Isn’t most of what you’re criticising them for actually the point? I mean, if you’re somebody flicking around looking for a game to watch and you come across one where it’s necessary to spend even a couple of extra seconds focusing on the teams’ identities isn’t that a success for marketing? If anything, you demonstrate that in an environment where it’s getting more and more difficult to draw attention out of the mire of madness, this newest attempt to bamboozle is actually having an effect.

      • Kek | November 21, 2014 at 9:23 am |

        Also, the “I can’t even tell who is playing” theme is getting old and played. Not only is there a scorebug, but most people have some kind of receiver box that you can simply hit info to see what the two teams are.

        It’s as tired as the “I don’t even know where that channel” is? Scroll through your guide for like 30 seconds and you’ll find it. Make a mental note.

        Now, do I think far too many teams are doing to many one-offs and alts? Absolutely. I hate Duke having any black in their uniforms period. I dont like teams with nicknames like “Cardinals”, “Cardinal”, “Red Raiders” ,etc in kits that are mostly black or gray. I’m also not a fan of schools that really have problems with their identity has far as colors (looking at you Bowling Green).

    • terriblehuman | November 21, 2014 at 9:51 am |

      And if you think you might attract a player based on a uniform, then you don’t want that player.

      The argument I’ve always made is that fancy new uniforms are akin to corporate perks like happy hours and foosball tables and comfy chairs. At the end of the day, an engineer might choose his workplace based on the wages and the long-term prospects of the company and the type of projects they’d work on, but the small perks do make a difference because they signal how an employer views its employees.

      Now, since college football doesn’t pay its labor competitive wages, the perks are all they can offer to differentiate. And if a potential employee chooses an employer partly based on these perks, what’s the problem?

      • arrScott | November 21, 2014 at 11:00 am |

        Well, Google-like workplace perks tend to be associated with companies that offer decent pay and meaningful benefits, and they also often (though less reliably) signal a corporate culture friendly to appropriate work/life balance. It’s not so much that any engineer is so into foosball that he’ll choose the job at the place with the foosball table in the lounge as that the foosball table tends to signal other qualities that can be difficult for a newcomer to verify otherwise.

        Are gaudy, teenager-pleasing costume changes similarly associated with other positive qualities that an athlete ought to be concerned with when choosing schools? Possibly, but that’s the case that would need to be made to demonstrate the rationality of players valuing uniforms in their decisionmaking.

  • Kek | November 21, 2014 at 7:51 am |

    Not sure why Nike would want to tribute AI, he was a Reebok guy his entire pro career! He only wore Nikes at Georgetown. That is so strange.

    • Dumb Guy | November 21, 2014 at 9:14 am |

      “Tribute” is a verb?

      • Kek | November 21, 2014 at 9:54 am |

        OK, I forgot the word “pay” in front of “tribute”. Wow, I can see when we all help Paul out with typos in the entry, but we nitpick the comments now?

        • Dumb Guy | November 21, 2014 at 11:04 am |

          Nitpicking comments is “dope”!

          ;^)

      • Chance Michaels | November 21, 2014 at 10:20 am |

        It was part of the trade that saw “fail” become a noun.

  • Eddie | November 21, 2014 at 8:14 am |

    A browser that censors the word redskins? Yea that’s what the world needs, hey I’m fine with wanting them to change the name, but going to that extreme is silly, sounds like some an uptight council group would do.

    Also I fail to see how the current company that has the deal with oakland coliseum wanting to cover up the old name are douchebags, they are paying money to have their name on it, so why wouldn’t they get rid of the old name? Thats just business 101.

    • Padday | November 21, 2014 at 8:42 am |

      When I was young I would pick on my brother by calling him names. That wasn’t me being a douchebag though, that’s just “showing him who’s boss 101”.

  • arrScott | November 21, 2014 at 8:14 am |

    The Redskins-replacing browser extension sounds like another one I came across recently. Whenever a Hebrew or Greek plural second-person is rendered as “you” in any of the biblical translations on biblegateway.com, it turns it into “y’all.” It’s both legitimately helpful to distinguish between singular and plural yous and also kind of hilarious to read scripture that way.

  • Ryan L | November 21, 2014 at 8:18 am |

    4:10pm are night games in New York?

    • Terence M.K. | November 21, 2014 at 8:30 am |

      “All of the Mets’ Saturday home games next season are night games. Disappointing”

      Not true as Ryan L pointed out. As per http://www.metspolice.com headline:
      “Mets scheduled ZERO Saturday 1:10 games”

      Please read the article before linking it. I love to call the Mets on their shit, but c’mon…

      T. Matthew K.

    • Lee | November 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm |

      4:10pm local time?

      I don’t know if that is a “night game”, but is sure as heck is a a day game.

      Seems like a strange time though. Has that been a common first pitch in the past for the Mets?

      Lee

      • Lee | November 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm |

        *- isn’t a day game.

        Bah.

        Lee

      • Ferdinand Cesarano | November 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm |

        In the summer the sun stays out until past 8pm. So a 4:10pm start certainly does qualify as a day game.

    • Attila Szendrodi | November 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm |

      More important- why schedule the few 4:10 starts IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING SUMMER?!?!

      • Terence M.K. | November 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm |

        FOX games are 4:10…

        • Attila Szendrodi | November 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm |

          Yes. My point is more about who the hell wants to sit in the blazing afternoon sun.

  • jon | November 21, 2014 at 8:21 am |

    Another interesting (at least to me) Dartmouth connection is that when Ohio University hired a new football coach in 1896, as a Dartmouth Alum, he brought the green and white colors with him. Prior to that Ohio was blue and white.

  • arrScott | November 21, 2014 at 8:22 am |

    New San Antonio Missions: bleh new logos, mediocre new caps, but excellent new jerseys. Ignore the cap logos, and overall fine-looking on-field uniforms. A step up for the ugliest team in MiLB.

    • Padday | November 21, 2014 at 11:23 am |

      Meh, it was boring when the Rays and Padres did it, why should it be any better that the Missions are? Actually, that’s a little harsh because at least the Missions have retained a little bit of brown to accent their new *yaaawn* navy blue colour scheme.

      And the beat goes on: another team guts it’s character and originality to look “classy”.

    • BvK1126 | November 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm |

      How refreshing to see the Missions add navy blue and red to their graphic identity! It’s such an underutilized color combination in sports.

  • Ed Hughes | November 21, 2014 at 8:45 am |

    On cage design, I started out with a pro cat eye but when I switched mask brands I changed to a certified cat eye, at the recommendation of the mask maker, a goalie himself. I wasn’t sure about it but gave it a try. The result was–literally–an eye opener. From the first shot in warm ups, I was shocked. Having the cage just a little more visible–so that I knew subconsciously that it was there–made me keep my eyes open throughout the save much more easily. I’d never realized just how much I was blinking as the puck hit me until I WASN’T DOING IT ANYMORE. I have found that the legal cage doesn’t impair my vision one bit, and now I see the puck hit my glove, pad, etc. much more easily. So put me down as a lover of that “hideous” legal cat eye cage. For what it’s worth, I’m talking about the Pro-Masque legal cat eye design, which might vary from the design Sean dislikes. But it looks pretty similar to me. Anyway, I’m just one more data point.

    • Sean Engelhardt | November 21, 2014 at 10:11 am |

      Oh that’s an interesting perspective, trusting the cage more! Hmm.

      Are you referring to this cage?
      http://promasque.com/construction/images/acmc-side.jpg

      If so, I’d agree, that ones a lot less hideous than the Bauer one. There’s just something so aesthetically pleasing about the pro cat-eye to me.

    • Eric Romain | November 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm |

      I’m with Sean the pro cats eye just looks so good.

      I do miss those early days when the modern hybrid mask started appearing and everyone had a unique cage configuration. Between the pro mask homogenization and paint schemes becoming so over designed, goalie appearance doesn’t catch my eye like the 80s/early 90s.

  • Dumb Guy | November 21, 2014 at 8:47 am |

    I can never read the words “Oakland Coliseum” without hearing Howard Cosell in my head saying, “… Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.”

    • mild bill | November 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm |

      During the 70’s I only tuned into Monday Night Football to watch halftime highlights because I got a kick out of Cosell’s narration.

      Loved the way he said “Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota.”

  • Dumb Guy | November 21, 2014 at 8:50 am |

    Speaking of license plates…..

    It seems like more and more states are going for the flat, printed type rather than the stamped/embossed type.

    No sir. I don’t like it.

    • teenchy | November 21, 2014 at 10:35 am |

      +1. It’s the cheap way out and sort of to be expected. As for the State Plates Project examples:

      thumbs up: MT (simple yet striking), SC (way to work in their seldom heard state motto), NJ (clever annual renewal decals), LA, UT.

      thumbs down: MD (illegible), RI (already perfect), NY (it’s not just NYC), CA (is that Nacho Bear?)

      The creator clearly has it in for TX.

      • Phil Hecken | November 21, 2014 at 10:52 am |

        Anyone notice the apostrophe catastrophe on Mass? or RI?

        • teenchy | November 21, 2014 at 11:04 am |

          Yes, sorry I didn’t make note of it.

    • Scott | November 21, 2014 at 11:57 am |

      He had me at 1980’s light blue on the NJ tags. Nice work.

    • Will S | November 22, 2014 at 12:14 am |

      A guy on the Chris Creamer Forum has done some U.S. and other license plates:

      http://boards.sportslogos.net/topic/97821-world-license-plate-redesign-yucatan-and-sinaloa/?hl=%20license%20%20plates

  • BeardedFool | November 21, 2014 at 8:53 am |

    Lots of dollar signs on that wonky US map.

    • Dumb Guy | November 21, 2014 at 11:12 am |

      But not enough hamburgers!

      • Chance Michaels | November 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm |

        Or baseballs.

        It is kind of an interesting Rorschach test for how we’re viewed: baseball baseball baseball hamburger dollars dollars BIG FLAG dollars baseball baseball

        • Phil Hecken | November 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm |

          Don’t forget the multiple cowboy hats and boots. And the stereotyped Native American symbol.

          Also two Empire State Buildings and one Golden Gate Bridge. And participation ribbons(?). Lots of participation ribbons…

    • BvK1126 | November 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm |

      Curious list of place names above the map, too. Marfa? I know, spooky lights! But even with that, you don’t normally see it get equal billing with New York, San Francisco, and the Grand Canyon. Or even Monument Valley and Big Sur, for that matter!

  • Hank-SJ | November 21, 2014 at 8:57 am |

    Nice work on the goalie cage presentation. Note that Steve Mason uses a chrome cage, not white. And he had it muted down because he thought he was getting too much glare from the new lighting configuration at the Wells Fargo Center.
    http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/images/photos/002/724/155/hi-res-465012511-steve-mason-of-the-philadelphia-flyers-showcases-his_crop_north.jpg?w=630&h=420&q=75

  • Dumb Guy | November 21, 2014 at 8:57 am |

    The hand-painted sign guy video is awesome. Period.

  • Connie DC | November 21, 2014 at 9:17 am |

    Enjoyed that Dartmouth-football-unis-thru-the-ages feature. Well written, too. So I’m looking forward to the author’s blog:

    “… Dave Bailey is an editor on the Valley News night desk. He also chronicles the history of college football uniforms in New England (and a few other places) at gridirongarb.blogspot.com…”

    I’m a ridiculous NewEnglandphile, but I’d wager that the region boasts some of the best (and least hackneyed) nicknames: White Mules, Black Bears, Polar Bears, Catamounts, Cantabs, Minutemen, Crusaders, Lord Jeffs, Ephs, Bantams, Elis, Stags, Jumbos, Friars, Greyhounds…

    For tomorrow, go with Harvard as long as the spread is seven or less; take the over if the under/over is 45 or less. Both teams feature high-score offenses (fun!), but the Johnnies’ D is tougher. It is amusing to observe the soi-disant sophisticates at both schools going apeshit over the on-the-scene presence of the College Football Gameday thing. Ratification from the lumpen!

    • Connie DC | November 21, 2014 at 10:07 am |

      Nice feature — and great photo! — of my favorite Crimson gridders.

      http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/11/20/smith-bros/

    • Phil Hecken | November 21, 2014 at 10:38 am |

      Harvard is favored by 12 and the o/u is 64.

      • Connie DC | November 21, 2014 at 11:10 am |

        I’d be tempted to bet Yale, but can’t for spiritual reasons. I will take the under, however, because of the pretty-good Harvard defense.

  • Chad | November 21, 2014 at 9:41 am |

    Nice article on goalie masks. I noticed that while Vanbiesbrouck had a ton of bars, he also had the two-tone treatment like Lundqvist.

    • John | November 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm |

      I noticed that, too!

  • Joe Drennan | November 21, 2014 at 10:01 am |

    As a goalie myself I’ve used a few different cages and helmet types. Here are my thoughts.

    I had a white cage and never really noticed it. Switched to an orange cage when I had my mask painted with my high school colors. I thought it would be distracting, but got used to it in just a few minutes. I think like one commentator said, you subconsciously know it is there. Now I use a muted chrome and I think it is my favorite of them all. I just think it blends in better with the ice than the white one does. My biggest gripe is where a row of the horizontal bars is positioned as it’s almost right in my line of sight.

    Having mentioned I’ve worn a few masks and cages, that includes Hasek-style masks too. After a serious concussion in college I switched to a Cooper helmet and cage. I actually loved this helmet. It was super light, I had greater mobility for looking side to side and down, and my peripheral vision was unmatched. My coaches would have liked me to have added one of those clear neck protectors, but I never liked them because they fog up and impeded my vision when looking down. I never did take a shot to the neck either. In the summer time I switched my cage out to a non-certified cat eye cage like Chris Osgood. I again loved it as the large eye holes provided a clear view of the ice. I did however take a stick end to the eye. I didn’t mind though as bruises come with the position. Another concussion had my coaches and parents force me back to a goalie mask where with the added neck protection – I took a shot to the neck the first time on the ice. Go figure.

    Other great goalie topics as we’re all crazy about our equipment – how we tape our sticks – how far up the blade we tape, do we add grip above the paddle, do we notch the paddle for our finger, how big of a nob, jersey specs (goalie cut or just large jersey, long or short), suspenders or belt, golf glove or not, sharp or dull skates, tight or loose top straps on your leg pads, laces or straps on the toe bridge. I think you get the point – we’re all weird.

    • Will S | November 21, 2014 at 11:43 am |

      Did you ever consider the Cooper GL-100 cage when you wore the helmet & cage?
      http://goaliestore.com/board/filedata/fetch?id=2837520

      Were you not aware of it or was the added weight of a metal neck protector a factor?

      All my helmets for playing goal and out are Jofa (most are the 390s). I think all the cages are a light grey. As far a goalie sticks I still use a straight blade (shoot right/catch left and shoot the puck as little as possible) and I first cut and sanded and later just sanded down my spare goalie sticks to match my regular old Louisville one – curved where the shaft meets the paddle instead of the more common angle. Not mine but here’s a pic of an example
      http://auctions.frozenpond.com/ItemImages/000000/386c_lg.jpeg

      Most unusual cage I have saw online years ago is the Steit cage – haven’t heard much about it in years. Wonder how much it has caught on anywhere?
      http://digilander.libero.it/simcorner/gara4/AsiVipStreit29mar03.JPG

  • Rob S | November 21, 2014 at 10:01 am |

    Commissioner Bele of Cheron approves of the Flyers’ patch.

    • Chance Michaels | November 21, 2014 at 10:33 am |

      Lokai, on the other hand, sees it as yet another reminder of the systemic oppression of his people.

  • andyharry | November 21, 2014 at 10:02 am |

    Kansas State looked great with everyone in purple socks last night!

  • RJ | November 21, 2014 at 10:07 am |

    Great article today. I was always intrigued by Chris Osgoods helmet. Ozzie wore a normal cat eye cage but had it mounted on a traditional helmet rather than the kind that all the goalies wear now days. It was a rad look with horns on each side too. Very clean looking.

  • Willard | November 21, 2014 at 10:16 am |

    Just a hunch here but I suspect Nike wanted to do an A.I. Tribute shoe because the demographic who lays out crazy amounts of $$$$ for sneakers are the kind of people who were AI fans. I could be wrong but I’ve had my eye on this Nike company for awhile and they seem driven by margins and money. Then again I may be completely wrong on this.

    Is Detroit gonna wear throwbacks on thanksgiving day?

    • Kek | November 21, 2014 at 11:04 am |

      But Reebok has been pumping out AI retro re-releases for the last two years like CRAZY. I should know, I have three of them! AI fans know he’s a Reebok guy and I don’t think they mind.

      I have always wondered what makes SOME sneakerheads so brand loyal. Unless a company is paying me to endorse their shoe, give me a break. If I like the shoe, I’m going to buy it. Plain and simple.

      Nice to have this talk, and not just someone commenting on a grammar misstep!

      • roger | November 21, 2014 at 7:08 pm |

        just curious. you say you bought 3 pair.

        1- how much for each?
        2- you wear them or just invest/collect?
        3- are they identical?
        4- can you post a picture(s) of them?

        thanks

        • Kek | November 24, 2014 at 11:00 am |

          Roger, I have the white on white low cut, the black with gold “New Years Eve” mid and the Georgetown Hoyas gray/blue mid colorway.

          I think the whites were 99.99 and the others were 129.99 but don’t quote me on that.

          I only buy shoes I wear, I’m not in the invest/resale game.

          While we can’t post here, if you check out my twitter feed, I’ll try and post a pic later tonight.

  • Thomas J | November 21, 2014 at 10:18 am |

    University of Illinois is wearing white/orange/white this weekend for the their final home game. Baring something strange happening next week, the Illini will have avoided wearing navy blue all season.

    https://twitter.com/IlliniFootball/status/535635855940263936

    Given that navy blue has been the most common home jersey shade and given that they had displayed a navy jersey when the new uniforms were unveiled, what could explain their absence?

    • Big CK | November 21, 2014 at 11:26 am |

      My guess would be distinctiveness. The B1G has Michigan and Penn State in Blue but no one in orange. It strikes me as an attempt to stand out.

      • Lee | November 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm |

        If Illinois wore orange/blue/orange, I think that would be pretty distinctive.

        Lee

        • Big CK | November 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm |

          I agree, though that’s still the blue jerseys and is also a combination the better-known-and-usually-more-successful Florida Gators wear. Perhaps they’re focused on an identity nationally since orange is rarely paired solely with white. Even Texas’ burnt orange is a distinctly different shade.

        • Lee | November 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm |

          But Tennessee does the white/orange/white already.

          Lee

    • Matt | November 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

      Illini did not receive blue jerseys this year… only a limited budget for new equipment following the rebranding.

      • Lee | November 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm |

        I thought part of the deal with letting your uniform company mucking up your jerseys was that they’d give you the jerseys they muck up.

        No?

        Lee

      • BvK1126 | November 21, 2014 at 1:24 pm |

        Wait, why would Illinois need to budget to buy the blue jerseys? Doesn’t Nike provide the uniforms as part of their apparel contract?

        • Matt | November 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm |

          Nike apparently provides an allowance of about $1M per year for equipment. The football team only got 3 of 4 uniforms (I hate to include the gray one – yuck), down to the soccer team which only got new jerseys in orange but are wearing last year’s model in all other colors.

        • Matt | November 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm |

          (note: this is all second(or third)hand info I have gathered from various blogs and forums with varying degrees of actual access, so take it with a grain of salt)

        • Matt | November 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm |

          Also, I would expect to see the basketball team have their full array of uniforms. First of all a basketball team is much cheaper to outfit. But another bug reason is the basketball program seems to be on the fringe of Nike’s first tier, while the football program is a lot lower in the pecking order (for obvious reasons).

      • Thomas J | November 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm |

        Between this an the Eagles nonsense, Nike is having some problems in supply this year.

  • Rufus | November 21, 2014 at 10:21 am |

    I enjoyed today’s article. I always thought the Chrome mask was popular to distract the shooters. Something shiny to distract them as they are about to shoot. I don’t think Hank’s mask looks as good with the flat blue paint on the mask. I am used to and now prefer the look of the chrome.

    As for RJ’s comment: Ozzie style of mask as more popular in the 80’s early 90’s. I believe it offered more protection than the molded ones. If I recall Rick Dipietro wore one of Ozzie old Islander ones while recovering for a concussion.

    • Eric Romain | November 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm |

      The chrome masks first appeared (in numbers) in the early 2000s around the same time when chrome car wheels and chrome trim on everything was trending hard.
      It was entirely for aesthetics.
      I hated them from the beginning in favor of the traditional white/black/gray options, mostly because the chrome color clashes with the team colors.

  • Vee63 | November 21, 2014 at 11:24 am |

    Nice piece on the cages. I wore a stainless one as I felt it was the least visible to me – white seemed really bright in comparison.

    I also wound up wearing the so-called cheater cage, or the Thomas/Beaupre design shown. I felt it had better sight lines than the cat eye, and was also safer and definitely way more durable. Even a well-made cat eye will bend easily from a shot.

  • JJ | November 21, 2014 at 11:31 am |

    Chalk one up again for NCAA’s obscure uni rules.

    UCF basketball had to get rid of their pinstripe unis from last season:

    https://ucf.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1706369&PT=4&PR=2

    • Aaron | November 21, 2014 at 12:57 pm |

      I’m not usually a huge fan of pinstripes in basketball, but those unis were sharp. Maybe somebody can get a rewording of that rule to allow those back on the court.

  • Micah | November 21, 2014 at 11:33 am |

    Don’t know why Chris Paul would tape over his Jumpman logo on his socks, considering he is a member of Jordan Brand and has his own signature shoe with them. Maybe a league mandate? I think that players can only display the NBA logo on their socks…..

  • Ken | November 21, 2014 at 11:46 am |

    My daughter plays goal. She is on 3 teams (HS, Tier 2 & House[Rec]) She wears a Bauer mask with the full cage. She has hinted that she would like to try a cats eye (but we can’t seem to find the right one. .) I am attaching a link to some pics of her mask and one of her in action. Her Mask

  • Mike Engle on iPad | November 21, 2014 at 11:54 am |

    As a goalie in a roller hockey league in my youth, we had to have HECC protection. I went with the standard cages, because the legal cat-eyes felt like censored porn to me. You’re undoing the one thing that makes it great! But whatever, you get used to your cage and it becomes white noise once you’re tracking the puck. I liked chrome because it really had a way of looking invisible from the inside. I also swore by the hard plastic dangling throat guard, as I took many pucks and slashes to that area. Other preferences: goalie cut jersey with the sleeves rolled up, suspenders on the breezers, and skate lace webbing in the trapper.

  • Chance Michaels | November 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm |

    Wow – you can tell I never played goalie. I would have presumed that a black cage would be easier to see through; we paint stuff black on stage and film when we want it to disappear. But of course, on white ice with a black puck, your eye would want a light-colored mask. Outstanding.

    As an occasional viewer of hockey (and at the risk of opening up a can of worms), that’s why I like colored sweaters at home. Maximum contrast against the ice makes the home team stand out.

    • Eric Romain | November 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm |

      As a youth player (not a goalie) I didn’t notice a difference in the cage color as far as noticing the puck and surroundings.
      I chose a black cage for 2 reasons:
      1. Most colleges wore the black jofa cages at that time and I wanted to emulated the D-1 look.
      2. Black was less likely to show the inevitable rusting near the welds. White cages looked awful when they started to have paint chip and rust.

      Once I turned 18 and removed the cage (which was a time honored rite of passage still at that time) it drastically improved my peripheral vision and sense of my surroundings.

  • satoshi | November 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm |

    Totally unrelated: I had this crazy Uni Watch-related dream last night where the NY Giants were going to add orange shoulder yokes (a la Titans) to match the color scheme with the Mets/Knicks, but then at the press conference, the models pulled a “fuck management!” move and walked out with regular blue uni’s with the NY logo ripped off.

  • Will S | November 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm |

    “But whereas we consider ourselves a collection of distinct regions, each with its own iconography, I guess other parts of the world view us as one big jumble of interchangeable symbols.”

    This from a country whose media’s weather reporting has cold fronts or storms coming from geographically vague area of ‘Canada’; often when reporting on other countries, regions or provinces of these countries are not usually mentioned and each country, or even sometimes continent, is treated as one homogeneous mass (one exception seems to be reporting on a prolonged war or conflict). Some of this just might be from our sound bite, short attention span, 24 hour “news” infotaintment culture of late. Maybe we are both unreasonably expecting depth and attention to detail where both are not commonly found.

  • Eric Romain | November 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm |

    I love that license plate project.
    I have many requirements for what makes an good plate
    – Stamped lettering/numbers
    – Blocky bold readable letters that contrast the background (even with headlights reflecting at night)
    – no websites in place of state name
    – Max 3 colors with simple design
    – state name and motto are the only text
    – Number format of ABC123 or ABC1234, when you start jumbling letter and numbers too much, it’s hard to recall a number for police.
    – Show restraint with how many alternate designs a state has (just like sports unis!) When Michigan offers a plate that looks like it could be an Arizona plate, you are getting into brand identity issues.

  • Graf Zeppelin | November 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm |

    OK, I think I’ve picked my favorite “new” name for the Washington NFL club. I’m not sure it’s 100% kosher, though, so I’ll lay out the pros and cons and let the reader decide if I’ve missed anything.

    Here it is:

    Washington Red Scouts.

    Why I like it:

    – The team would be able to keep its logo and current uniform set.
    – It kind of sounds like “Redskins”; same number of syllables, most of the same consonant sounds.
    – It starts with “R” so things like the R-emblazoned sideline caps, and the Lombardi-era throwback helmets (if they’re ever allowed again), can still be used.
    – The fight song, “Hail to the Redskins,” could continue with only a minor change to the lyric.
    – “Scouts” is an Indian designation, like “Braves” and “Chiefs.”
    – They can be called the “Scouts” for short, instead of the “‘Skins.”
    – “Scouts” has been used in major pro sports before, albeit very briefly (viz., the Kansas City Scouts in the NHL).
    – It would be the first two-word nickname in the modern NFL, making it unique and noteworthy.

    Why it might not be 100% kosher:

    – The word “Red.” I’m not sure that retaining the word “Red” and using it as a modifier while retaining the Indian motif and logo would completely excise the racist connotations of the current name, viz., they’d be the “Red-Skinned Scouts.” It’s a step in the right direction but it might be considered an unacceptable “compromise.” (By comparison, when St. John’s changed its name from “Redmen” to “Red Storm,” the new name did not retain the Indian motif at all. And, as it happens, I wasn’t even aware at the time that “Redmen” meant Indians.)
    – It may be too close or too similar to “Chiefs.” And, I think, and I could be mistaken about this, chiefs outrank scouts in Indian hierarchy, so the team and fans might not like that especially when they play Kansas City.
    – Some might consider two-word nicknames amateurish, appropriate for high school or college or other sports but not the NFL.
    – It does not advance the argument/cause that Indian names, motifs and images are altogether inappropriate for sports franchises.

    All in all, I think the pros outweigh the cons, although actual Indians and actual fans of the Washington team will certainly have a different view.

  • Ferdinand Cesarano | November 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm |

    The uniform for the New England Black Wolves is pretty dire, as is the name. And compounding the unfortunate matter is the loss of the Philadelphia Wings, who moved to New England, and who had the best logo and best uniform in the league (after the folding of the New York / Orlando Titans a few years ago).

    http://cdn87.psbin.com/img/mw=280/mh=350/cr=n/d=fmxdn/r6w58n12lq92iwt1.jpg

  • mordecai | November 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm |

    no mention of Hasek’s mask?

    • Sean Engelhardt | November 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm |

      I thought a lot about it, but in this case I tried to stick to modern masks (fibreglass/cage combo) that currently 100% of the NHL uses, to keep it manageable.

      Once you’re considering helmet/cage combos, it basically opens up the entire history of goaltender masks. The gridded small cage that Hasek used, the cat-eye cage that Osgood, Glenn Healy, and countless others used, the big gridded cage that Tommy Soderstrom used, Arturs Irbe and his flat small grid… it just goes on and on!

  • Noah | November 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm |

    As a Canadian, and especially as a Montrealer, I obviously love and have read The Hockey Sweater (in both English and French) a billion times. My wife and 3 year old daughter love it and I’m sure my son will when he’s old enough.

    My favorite thing about it is that, really, the moral of the story is simply: Don’t be a Leafs fan. There’s nothing else to it. Don’t be a Leafs fan… words to live by.

  • BvK1126 | November 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm |

    “A town in Poland will not allow Winnie the Pooh to be part of a playground logo because he is of “dubious sexuality” and isn’t fully clothed.”

    I’m glad someone has finally taken a stand against Winnie the Pooh and his androgynous pants-less agenda! I always knew he was a gateway character to the Teletubbies.

  • Nick | November 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm |

    Thanks for posting the link to the video about the Cleveland sign painter. The address was very familiar so I checked the map. His shop is a block south of my old childhood church. I also passed it every day on my way to junior high school.

  • KW | November 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm |

    How is it after 10 years, the ESPN NFL Power Rankings (fan “rank ’em” site) STILL has the old Cardinals logo. Even the Jags, Panthers, Dolphins (and likely others in the past 10 years) have updated logos shown.

    http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/rank/_/listId/3062/versionId/10

    Maybe Paul can pull some strings to get it updated. Although… maybe it’s better to let it be and see just how long the old one will be put in use.

    Are there any other places that old logos are being used consistently – like the old Cardinals logo on the “rank ’em” section every week (not just a one-off occurrence)?

  • arrScott | November 21, 2014 at 4:48 pm |

    This week’s New Yorker cover is Redskinstastic:

    http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/cover-story-2014-12-01

  • BurghFan | November 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm |

    From http://blogs.post-gazette.com/sports/2013-06-20-18-51-15/empty-netters/42960-islanders-at-penguins-11-21-14

    Yesterday, we asked Marc-Andre Fleury for a update on his yellow pads and when they might see the light of day in an actual game. He said, “The next one,” meaning the Penguins’ next game they wear their throwback jerseys. That would be Wednesday’s contest against the Maple Leafs.