Photo Credit: Sylvie Poitras / AirbrushZap
Antoine Bibeau has a sweet new goalie mask. It’s like a silver version of Felix Potvin’s famous design, which continues the parallels between the two French-Canadian netminders (minus Potvin being an objectively better goaltender, even if comparing them at the same age). It got me thinking, though; what are some of the greatest Leafs masks of all time? Here’s what I came up with.
5. Wayne Thomas
Photo Credit: THCVintageMask.com
Wayne Thomas wasn’t exactly a historically great goalie for the Leafs, but as far as the old school style masks designs, this one is probably the best. The cross hatching of Leafs logos actually reminds me of the flag of Nova Scotia, which is fitting when you consider that he spent the last year and change of pre-NHL hockey on the AHL’s Nova Scotia Voyageurs, who broke a ton of offensive records as soon as he left.
4. Terry Sawchuk
Photo Credit: betweentheposts.ca
With that said, I do love the idea of going as simple as can be with an all-brown to match the pads, and who did it better than Terry Sawchuk? One of the greatest goalies in history, with his last great years involving him donning a stellar looking blue uniform with vintage, monotone protection.
3. Curtis Joseph / Ed Belfour
Photo Credit: Pinterest
I’m lumping Cujo and Eddie together for a few reasons. First off, they both have classic designs that play off their animal-based nicknames. Secondly, they were the Leafs’ starting goalies one after another. Lastly, though, the one thing that brings them down a peg is the fact that both essentially just recoloured a design they had their entire careers.
But man, what a design for both.
2. Andrew Raycroft
Photo Credit: canucks.nhl.com
I know, I know, Andrew Raycroft shouldn’t be anywhere near a 5 Best Leafs anything, other than perhaps 5 best ways to use the Leafs to induce a nightmare. While his acquisition was one of the worst trades in Leafs history, his play was some of the worst for its era the team has ever seen, and he probably cost the Leafs at least one playoff spot in the mid-2000’s… he had a pretty awesome mask that paid homage to the history of the franchise.
In fact, I’d love to see someone wear a bucket like this again this year. Hey, if Garret Sparks can make Trevor Kidd’s pads cool again, why can’t he breathe new life into the gear of another forgettable Leafs goaltender?
1. Felix Potvin
Photo Credit: gameusedmasks.com
Of course, you can’t talk about the knockoff without talking about the real thing. Potvin gets our number one seed, if only because he began a trend of Leafs goaltenders putting personality into their masks beyond their own arrangement of the Leafs logo. Combined with his legendary Koho pads and sticks, nobody made protecting the Leafs’ net look cooler than the cat.