It is becoming common for goalies to move to all or mostly white gear now – the feeling being that it gives a bigger look in the net. Think Fleury moving from yellow to all-white or Luongo from the Canucks blue and green to his all-white set adopted just prior to the 2010 Olympics.
Tim Thomas took on an all-white with black accents look this season – but with a radical new twist – his mask is done entirely in shades of grey.
There’s a common misconception that Thomas went with a black and white design because the Bruins were shopping him in the off-season and he didn’t know where he’d be playing. But look carefully in the design and you’ll see that the Bear from last season’s mask is still there – but hidden in shades of grey. The Bruins logo from the front is gone and a representation of the medallion he wears around his neck is now in its place. The chin has Tim’s personal TT logo on it this season and he has changed the back plate from the “Beware Of Bear” logo to an American flag with “Don’t Tread On Me’.’
Tony spoke with InGoal recently telling us that Tim visited his factory in Oakville, Ontario during the summer to test a variety of cage designs. Tim settled on one that resembles the certified version used by college, junior and minor hockey goalies.
“Tim put on a number of different masks and I threw balls at him so he could decide which gave him the best vision – and this is the one we settled on.”
The cage doesn’t just give Tim better vision – it offers better protection as a stick blade can’t penetrate anywhere , unlike the cat-eye worn by other pros where “a stick blade can penetrate in three different places,” noted Priolo.
Tim’s early season resurgence (Tim was one of InGoal’s 3 goalie-stars in week one and is nominated again this week) no doubt has more to do with his return to health this year, but his mask and cage are getting a lot of attention. It will be interesting to see if he will be setting a trend with his new lid.
Editor’s note: Sportmask will be offering “professional line” with exact replicas of their pro masks soon – you’ll be able to wear the same mask that Cam Ward, Jonathan Quick and of course Tim Thomas wear in the NHL.
All photos copyright Scott Slingsby, all rights reserved.