In less than two weeks time the Canucks will wear their flashy new Vancouver Millionaires retro threads in a home game against the Detroit Red Wings. It’s the marquee game of the regular season for the Canucks, and there’s plenty of speculation in the Vancouver sports market that in addition to sporting their new Millionaires jerseys, the club will also retire Pavel Bure’s number 10 at the game.
Well, courtesy Kevin Woodley’s informative publication InGoal mag, we now know that Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider really wants to start the game. In putting together a Vancouver Millionaires mask specifically for the occassion he’s really dotted his i’s and crossed his t’s in an effort to get Alain Vigneault’s coin to come up tails.
Read on past the jump.
I’m not a guy who generally gets too excited about goaltending gear, probably because I never played the position, but I have to admit that Cory Schneider’s Vancouver Millionaires mask is pretty sweet. Beyond the iconic V logo emblazoned on the top of the mask and the stripes along the bottom – which ape the stripes on the arms of the jersey – there’s several nods to history on each side of the mask.
On the left side: the classic team photo of the 1915 Stanley Cup winning team (including giants of early hockey history like Cyclone Taylor and Frank Patrick).
On the right-side: the image of Millionaires goaltender Hugh "Hughie" Lehman. I like this hat-tip in particular because the connection between the Millionaires franchise and the Canucks franchise is tenuous (beyond the fact that they share the same city, separated by a half century). In my view anything that draws a direct link from a player like Lehman to Schneider helps strengthen that connection, and that’s good for the teams historical branding efforts.
As for Hughie Lehman, in his Stanley Cup winning season with the Millionaires he sported a goals against average a tick above 4. So that could serve as inspiration for Cory Schneider (if he has a bad game he can just think to himself "keep your head up Cory, at least you allowed fewer than Lehman averaged") and also to his teammates ("we’ve got to give Schneider the sort of goal support Lehman enjoyed!").
Schneider can also draw from Lehman’s example in terms of puck-handling. Needless to say that’s the one area of Cory Schneider’s game that he still occassionally struggles with, while Lehman was famous for his puck-handling mastery. Our pal Joe Pelletier explains:
Lehman was an innovator, becoming one of the earliest goalies to venture out of his net to stickhandle the puck. One mythical story has Lehman skating up ice and scoring a goal. No evidence of this feat exists in Vancouver newspaper archives, although some suggest it may have happened back when Lehman was still playing in Ontario.
So that’s pretty neat. Anyway here’s the Millionaires jersey promotional video from the Canucks, in case you want to get even more pumped up about the occassion:
You can find more images of Cory Schneider’s sweet Millionaires mask over at the InGoal Magazine site.