Puck Daddy - NHL

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:

Jaroslav Halak’s Demitra mask and other NHL tributes this season

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:

• The Carolina Hurricanes, who will wear a No. 63 patch on their jerseys during the 2011-12 season in memory of former player Josef Vasicek.

• The Nashville Predators, who opened camp wearing Wade Belak's(notes) No. 3 on their helmets.

• The New Jersey Devils are considering a patch for Alexander Vasyunov(notes), a 2006 draft pick, and former defenseman Karel Rachunek.

• The Dallas Stars are wearing a No. 37 sticker on their helmets in honor of former defenseman Karlis Skrastins(notes).

• The Winnipeg Jets will wear an 'RR' sticker in memory of Rick Rypien, who was signed but didn't play a game for the team.

• The New York Rangers will wear a sticker in honor of Derek Boogaard this season as well.

The Colorado Avalanche, according to Adrian Dater, are "likely to commemorate Skrastins, [Ruslan] Salei and Belak with some uniform patch/sticker this season."

If you see any others, email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com.

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.

Related Articles

Puck Daddy

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog