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Al Montoya’s 2011-2012 New York Islanders Mask

Al Montoya’s 2011-2012 New York Islanders Mask

The Islanders’ crease is looking crowded heading into the 2011-2012 season with Evgeni Nabokov, Rick DiPietro, Kevin Poulin and Al Montoya all sharing two nets in recent training sessions. There is speculation, largely centred around Nabokov, that a trade is sure to come before long. After bringing some much-needed stability to the Isles’ goaltending carousel last season, Al Montoya was rewarded with the first one-way contract of his career, so he headed into the off-season confident that he would return to Long Island this season…and in need of a new look for the coming season.

Al Montoya 2011-2012 New York Islanders Mask by Ray Bishop

After spending last season in sharp-looking but decidedly non-Islanders mask, Montoya had the man who created that look prepare him a new one fit for an Islander. Artist Ray Bishop, who also looks after NHL clients like Ryan Miller,  Nikolai Khabibulin and Jimmy Howard, created Montoya’s new helmet art.

The character on the mask has lots of people seeing flashbacks to the old Islanders Fisherman Jerseys but that wasn’t Bishop’s intent. In an e-mail to InGoal he noted that it is,

“Just a generic captain that I came up with.  My idea was to come up with an old man and the sea motif of sorts…You know, just trying to do something with a little different twist, that still represents the team…It gets old seeing the same old stuff out there sometimes.”

montoya 2010-2011 goalie mask backplate big cubano

Before finding a home in the Islanders' crease, Montoya began the season with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage. Scott Slingsby Photo.

The most personal part of the work, as we often see with goaltenders helmets, can be found on the backplate – reserved by most goalies for the personal tributes that tell their own story. As with last year’s helmet Bishop has included Montoya’s nickname “Big Cubano.”  Montoya is extremely proud of his heritage and the fact that he is the only Cuban-American in the NHL. The character on the back came from his Phoenix helmet, as noted by Bishop,

“As far as the back plate, I usually try to come up with a character to go with the club, but I did a “man in the moon” type design in Phoenix, and Al liked it, so I did an new version of a “man in the moon” style character again for this mask…”

Al Montoya 2011-2012 New York Islanders Mask by Ray Bishop


montoya 2010-2011 goalie mask backplate big cubano

The original "man in the moon" character that artist Ray Bishop created for Montoya's Phoenix helmet last season. Scott Slingsby photo.

For more of from Bishop Designs please visit their web site and go like them on Facebook.



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  1. angelo

    wow … i love this mask. i love the art on the sailor and the whole concept. one of my favorite masks this year for sure!!!!

  2. Marcos

    That is sick. Love it.

  3. Bruce

    Very cool and beautiful work.

    With the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center and the impact it has had on so many of us, would have been nice to somehow show their image.

  4. Matt in Montreal

    Oh hell yeah! That’s cool.

    A lot of ‘energy’ coming off of that, eh?

    Must be the sparkles.

  5. IrbesGoaliePads

    A better example of using a cartoon than Ellis’s mask that’s for sure.. but the water is pretty soft. Needs a bit more bite!

  6. Reggie

    if he really wanted a Long Island theme he woulda put a mall and a camaro on it 🙂

  7. Denis

    Looks like S, what the F is with the fisherman?

  8. zooks

    Agreed, this mask looks like S.

  9. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    One of the best of the year!