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Best Canucks Masks, Round I: Jason LaBarbera vs. Gary Bromley

So many skulls, so little time. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
So many skulls, so little time. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Half way through the Linden Conference and we arrive at the 3rd vs 6th seed which features a battle of colorful individuals: (Antonio) Jason LaBarbera and Gary Bert "Bones" Bromley. If you enjoy metal music and/or relish absolutely crazy WTF-type masks, you won't be disappointed.

Jason LaBarbera

LaBarbera was drafted in the third round (66th overall) of the 1998 Entry Draft by the Rangers, two slots behind current Ranger Brad Richards and two ahead of former Canuck Jarkko Ruutu. He would toil mostly in the AHL where by 2004 he was named the league's MVP and best goaltender. He remained in the AHL through the lockout, but by the time 2005-06 came around the Rangers didn't resign him (opting correctly for Lundqvist) and LaBarbera signed with the Kings where he backed up Mathieu Garon and went 11-9-2 in 29 games, including a string of seven straight wins and notching his first career shutout. He played 45 games the following season, one in which LA used seven goalies including Cloutier, Quick and Bernier. By the following year Quick had taken over the helm and Ersberg was favored as back-up which lead to his December 30, 2008 trade to Vancouver where both Luongo and Sanford were dealing with injuries. He only played nine games for Vancouver, going 3-2-2 with a .915 SV%. The following off-season he signed with Phoenix where he originally backstopped Bryzgalov and currently for Mike Smith.

LaBarbera Trivia: LaBarbera played his first NHL game on October 14, 2000 for the Rangers when he relieved some chump named Kirk McLean.

LaBarbera Mask Gallery: While with the Kings LaBarbera used a mask that heavily featured Metallica and WCW icons flanking each side (also had an earlier one with Slash from G'n'R on it). When he arrived in Vancouver he quickly updated the mask with the Canucks logo. By March 2009 he rolled out an entirely different design with notable Canucks adorned on the sides and the Metallica skull on top. [1] [2] [3] [4]


Gary Bromley

Bromley broke into the pros while in with Buffalo in 1972 and would play 136 NHL games over eight years, going 54-44-28 with a 3.43 GAA. After his first season in 1974-75 (where he went 26-11-11) Bromley dealt with some injuries and Buffalo brought in some other netminders; consequently he only played one game the following year and got shelled for seven goals in that appearance to boot. Buffalo cut ties with him in 1976 and he headed to the WHA for two seasons with the Calgary Cowboys and Winnipeg Jets, the latter of which he backstopped to the Avco Cup playing behind Bobby Hull, Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson. Vancouver came calling in 1978 where he entered a crowded crease with Glen Hanlon and Dunc Wilson. Remember these Canucks teams were by and large awful, so his stat line that year was an ugly 11-19-6. His stats were better the following two seasons, but that by point he was pegged as the back-up for Hanlon followed by Brodeur in 1980. His career ended in 1982 after he went 22-17-3 with the New Haven Knighthawks of the AHL.

Bromley Trivia: Vancouver dealt Bromley to the Kings in 1980, but under a "contingency plan" he stayed with the Canucks and never suited up for Los Angeles.

Bromley Mask Gallery: Bromley was 5'10'' and weighed between 140-160 lbs. In short, he was "skin and bones." Hence the bones nickname and his mask design which speaks for itself and stands out, according to a goalie mask book by The Hockey News, as one of the greatest masks of all time. [1] [2] [3]