Monday, December 5, 2016

BEHIND THE MASKS - Some New, Some Old, And Some For Me

I've always enjoyed goalie masks, the history, the designs and the stories that lay within them.  I really enjoyed when Pinnacle came out with their Masks subsets in the 90's and how the trend of including them in products has continued up to today.  There is clearly something special about this unique piece of equipment that has card producers constantly going back to this well.

Now....if they could just inject some creativity or a new twist on things....that would be fantastic.

I have seen that there will be a new Masked Men product coming out in the new year.  Leaf's first foray into the goalie market.  I'm not as excited as I normally would be and I think that's because I've been moderately impressed with what they have done with the ITG line since they acquired it a couple years back.

I hope for something new.  I hope for something that will get my interest piqued again.

Now I know that the first thing you will notice (I hope) is that the Habs logo on Patrick's head has been altered.  This was common practice for the past few years at ITG....likely to avoid issues with the NHL for logo usage.

What I noticed though on a different insert was the 'H' to be fully intact - no photoshopping.  So I asked Leaf if the Masked Men Roy card would have the mask fully realized?  I was told that on the actual card there would be no photoshopping.

That's a good step forward.  That said, I'll believe it when I see it (this is just a mock up of the card, the final product could look different).

Now to take two steps back....there will be some "Leaf Metal technology" used to create nine different parallels.


Wanna bet how many of those parallels are numbered to 10 or less?

I'll be sticking with the base version.  I just hope that there are some fun and interesting players included in the checklist and that we can drift away from the usual suspects.

Now...speaking of fun and interesting, check out this fantastic goalie mask pic that was recently forwarded to me...

Yes sir.  This is how a goalie mask should look.

Gary "The Cobra" Simmons apparently went with this mask for a few games during his career.  But we all know him from his normal cobra mask design.  That one is still very nice.....but this one takes it to the awesome level.

Now if I could find some footage of him wearing it.

OK...on to the latest goalie mask pickups - courtesy of COMC.

I've been sitting with a few cards on my simple wantlist for a number of years - heck, a couple decades.  Sheer laziness and the inability to pull the trigger on something for a moderate price just put these cards by the wayside.  But when COMC had their "Black Friday" sale, I found a few that could top off the order.

1996/97 Pinnacle Masks
#7 Nikolai Khabibulin

One of the top goalie mask sets of all time, this beauty from two decades ago puts me only two cards away from completing the set.

This card shows off Khabibulin's mask from just when the Jets moved to Phoenix.  In fact, the back of the card (which has an action shot) shows Nikolai in his Jets uniform....and mask.  And odd little anomaly.

Unfortunately, as great as I think this set is, there really is little to see here with this mask shot.  You get more of the background through the cage than the actual design elements.

A side shot would have been nice.  But....I still like it.  Maybe it's a nostalgia thing.

1998/99 Pacific Dynagon
Ice Watchmen
#9 Curtis Joseph

Another great mask set that gets little fanfare, the Ice Watchmen cards from Pacific Dynagon really showcase the goalie mask in action.  You get to see the player wearing it on the front and on the back of the card.

This iconic mask of Curtis Joseph really cemented his nickname of CuJo.  It's one of my favourite designs of the 90's and anytime I can add one to the collection, it's a win for me.

The background design is a little cheesy....but weren't all cards in the 90's that way?

I'm down to just one card for this set....the dreaded Patrick Roy.

2010/11 In The Game Decades 80s
Memorable Masks
#MM-10 Murray Bannerman

Lastly, this truly is a memorable mask.  Murray Bannerman falls in the category of "guys who's masks were more popular than them".  What a fantastic design.

When ITG put out their Decades 80s product, I was excited to see that they were adding a goalie mask insert set.  That was until I saw the card design.

Why fill a good chunk of the card with border and text?  It leaves little room for the mask - the star of the show.  It would have been great to see the mask take up the majority of the card space.  But such is life in the card world.  Can't satisfy everyone.

Now I also picked up some 12/13 Decades 90s Mask cards, but I didn't scan them.  I hate to say it but I am on the verge of not even calling them goalie mask cards.  They really don't have the vibe I like when it comes to mask know, where the mask is the focus.  There was even less room for the photo and a huge "MASK" text taking up way too much space.  Meh....I need three more of those.

Other than that, I'm pretty happy with my goalie mask wantlist.  Not too many, nothing overwhelming and it allows me to be last with it.  And I like's nothing new to me.


  1. I have that Bannerman card.... somewhere. It was enough for me to not chase the rest of them.

    1. was a swing and a miss for me. I'm just too dumb enough to chase them all though.