In a world where many sports fans would like athletes to showcase their personalities more freely, one idea has been kicked around: What if hockey players were allowed to customize their helmets?
NHL goalies are afforded the opportunity, resulting in some really cool masks. Maybe the league should let other players follow suit, if only for a game or two per season.
The Athletic’s Joe McDonald recently explored this possibility, comparing it to the NFL allowing players to wear custom cleats once per season and Major League Baseball allowing players to put nicknames on the back of their uniforms during its annual Players Weekend.
McDonald asked several Boston Bruins players how they would design their helmets if allowed, and some of the responses were pretty interesting. Zdeno Chara, for one, would focus on the history of both the Bruins organization and the city of Boston.
Here’s what Chara said, according to McDonald:
I would honor the Bruins legends that aren?t with us anymore, guys like Milt Schmidt. It?s such a cool thing to play for an Original Six franchise and be able to wear the same jersey that they wore for years and years. I would put something about the events that have affected Boston. I know we don?t want to always talk about it, but how the city and its people came together during the marathon bombing. I would honor that. It?s our team and it?s our city, so I would do something that would combine everyone as a unit of one.
Not everyone would love the custom hockey helmets. The sport is deep-rooted in tradition, and the thought of players donning headwear featuring vibrant colors and random graphics is enough to make hockey purists’ heads spin.
But McDonald suggested the custom helmets be auctioned off for charity should the NHL ever seriously consider the idea. And it sounds like many players, including some in the Bruins’ locker room, are onboard with the concept.
Here’s what B’s winger David Pastrnak said, per McDonald:
I?ve never considered doing it; maybe the Czech flag and my (new No. 88) logo. Something from ?Gladiator? because that?s my favorite movie of all time. Maybe a Celtics shamrock. It would be something I would really have to think about because I would want it to be perfect and do it right. Obviously something with my family, my country and something from the movie. Anything is good if you do it for a good cause.
McDonald’s full piece for The Athletic definitely is worth a read. The custom helmet idea certainly is thought-provoking, as are the Bruins’ potential designs.