Some folks acquire goalie equipment as a necessity to play, like myself, and others are collectors. And there there are some goalies, who consider themselves gear sluts.
It’s among those Goalie Gear Sluts United, which include professional goalies, where I stumbled upon a link to a Craiglist hockey ad. Someone here in Sarasota has a problem. Well, a few problems: They have too many goalie masks going unused, he only has one head, he had way too much money to acquire these and he also wants way too much money to get rid of them. (How am I for negotiating?) The poster, who goes by Ron, has a glorious set of NHL-used and autographed goalie masks looking for their forever home. He’s listing all 16 of them for $48,000. That’s about $3,000 per mask. That is also about how much one of those costs new with a custom paint job for one today. It’s about $1,000 for the molded mask and then $2,000 for a nice paint job. The mask I play with, a Hackva, has a stock Phoenix (bird not team) paint job, and cost around $350. I barely could afford that one. Goalie gear, no matter how collectible you might think it is, never appreciates in value. You can charge a little more if in great condition, but none of these goalies on the list have a name hot with goalie gear enthusiasts. It’s kind of like trading cards if you’re looking at those commodities. While the paint jobs are the first of the true wave of modern, pro masks in the NHL, these aren’t being sought out by art collectors. One that might be worth is the Nikolai Khabibulan mask from his Tampa days. The Bulin Wall won his and the franchise’s only Stanley Cup here, making the mask a bit more worthwhile to own. The others are former No. 1 goalies from the ’90s and early ’00s whose peaks were short lived, or guys like Mike Vernon, who was taking his retirement tour in Florida and beyond after his Cup win in Detroit. Here is what he’s got:
- Mike Vernon – San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers
- Manny Legace – Detroit Red Wings
- Freddy Brathwaite – Calgary Flames
- Vesa Toskala – San Jose Sharks
- Stephane Fiset – L.A. Kings
- Don Beaupre – Ottawa Senators
- Kevin Weekes – Vancouver Canucks (2)
- Byron Dafoe – Boston Bruins
- Trevor Kidd – Carolina Hurricanes (2)
- Kevin Hodson – Detroit Red Wings
- Nikolai Khabibulin – Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes (2)
Man, that list brought me back to middle and high school. I don’t know if kids today know half those goalies on that list. That Stephane Fiset mask has to be the sweetest one of them all, though I do appreciate the Beaupre helmet and what he was going for using the clock tower, which is now used as a secondary logo for the Senators 20 years later. Vernon’s Florida Panthers mask also goes for that timeless John Vanbiesbrouck look. The keeper of the masks, who goes by Ron, invited me over to take a look at the collection, so I’ll take him up on the offer. Depending where he lives, I might either post a short interview and photos here or if he’s in my work territory, I’d have to do it for my full-time job…and then link out to it from here. In the meantime, how much would you offer this guy? Which one is a keeper?