September 16, 2011
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak(notes) played with Pavol Demitra(notes) on the Slovakian National Team, including at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. This season, he'll honor Demitra's memory by featuring him on his mask:
Via IN GOAL Magazine comes this image of Halak's mask, whose backplate features "Demitra with arms raised after scoring for Slovakia during the 2010 Olympics." Demitra was, of course, one of the 44 victims of the plane crash that killed the entire roster and coaching staff of the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team last week.
This is the second goalie mask in the NHL this season to feature a tribute to Demitra, as his Minnesota Wild teammate Josh Harding(notes) honored him, Derek Boogaard(notes) and Rick Rypien(notes) on the back of his mask.
Teams around the NHL are honoring the players who lost their lives this summer, including:
If you see any others, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As far as a League-wide tribute goes, the NHL will not issue a commemorative patch or sticker this season to acknowledge the deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, Wade Belak and the members of Lokomotiv who died. There will be a League-created tribute to NHL's summer of tragedy inside arenas, as early as preseason (and possibly mandated for opening night). Just not on the uniforms — those tributes will be up to the individual teams.