Best Canucks Masks, Round I: Curt Ridley vs. Garth Snow

A show of hands for those of you who can destroy an Original Six franchise and also make the ladies kiss on command. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

With Curtis and Cory slugging it out, we'll move the spotlight over to Curt and Garth. Suddenly it's the battle of boy band names.

It's stick-in-rink versus the Yeti. By the way that sentence has never been written in the history of the internet. You're welcome.

Curt Ridley

Hitting the rewind button back to the franchise origins with Ridley who was selected 28th overall in the 1971 NHL Entry draft by the Bruins, the same year which Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Larry Robinson and Rick Kehoe were selected. Boston kept him in the minors until 1973 when the Rangers picked him up in a reverse draft though they were stacked in net behind Eddie Giacomin and Gilles Villemure, so again Ridley was stashed in the minors. He was traded in 1975 to the Atlanta Flames where he - wait for it - battled solely in the minors. But his strong farm play for the Tulsa Oilers caught Vancouver's eye and they sent Atlanta a first round pick (Dave Shand) in 1976.

Ridley immediately impressed Vancouver with a 6-0-2 record and went on to battle Cesare Maniago for the starting gig in the 1976-77 campaign. Unfortunately the Canucks were a nightmare team during Ridley's tenure; in just four seasons he played 96 games and was tarnished with a 25-44-16 record coupled with a 3.80 GAA. By the end of his Vancouver stretch Glen Hanlon was the starter and Ridley was moved to Toronto for cash but only played three games before breaking his hand. He stayed in Toronto the following season but was part of a five goalie rotation and was eventually banished to the AHL/CHL level once again after which Ridley quietly retired in 1982.

Ridley Trivia: Ridley wore #35 in Vancouver, a number that has been used by 11 other players in franchise history and all have been goalies, including their current starter. Wink wink.

Ridley Mask Gallery: It's hard to get more quintessential Vancouver Canuck than Ridley's clean "stick-in-rink" mask. If imitation is the finest form of flattery, then note that Ridley's design inspired Schneider's third mask design and also a version Luongo used with third jerseys. [1] [2] [3]

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Garth Snow

Drafted out of high school, Snow was selected 114th overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, six spots behind the newest Canuck at the time Garry Valk. Snow honed his skills at the University of Maine and the Cornwall Aces (AHL) before Quebec called him up to sneak some games in alongside Stephane Fiset (who himself had a great mask) and Jocelyn Thibault. By 1995 Snow was moved to Philadelphia for a third (Shawn McNeil) and sixth rounder (Kai Fischer) where he slotted in as the back-up to the equally insane Ron Hextall. However by the following year Philly was running the tandem equally and Snow posted his best numbers to date (14-8-8 with a .903 SV% and a 2.52 GAA) which didn't include the eight wins he picked up in the Flyers run up to the Cup finals. The Flyers stumbled the following year and eyed a change in net - one that took the form of free agent signing John Vanbiesbrouck - so they moved Snow to Vancouver in exchange for the doubly insane Sean Burke.

Snow would finally become a starter in his first season with the Canucks, but he also shared the dubious honor of most losses in the league with Olaf Kolzig that season (31). Once again the goalie can't be assessed total blame since the roster in front of him read like a who's who of mediocrity. In total Snow played three seasons in Vancouver (33-52-11 with a .901 SV% and a 2.87 GAA) before losing the starting slot to Felix Potvin and eventually leaving to sign with Pittsburgh in 2000. After one lackluster season there he then signed with the Islanders where he played four seasons backing up both Chris Osgood and Rick DiPietro, the latter of which would be signed to the comical 15 year deal in 2006 which Snow himself tabled since he had retired and was named Isles GM earlier that same summer.

Snow Trivia: Snow's six shutouts are tied for 5th best in team history with Richard Brodeur, two ahead of Schneider and a paltry 26 behind current franchise leader Roberto Luongo.

Snow Mask Gallery: Snow = snowman. As in abominable snowman, a design that he used with the Nordiques, Canucks and Islanders. [1] [2] [3] [4]

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