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Where Did All The Cool NHL Goalies Go?

This thought has been bouncing around my head for a little bit. Goalies ain't cool anymore. Not how they were at least. They used to be some of the biggest stars in the league. Swagger. Personality. Quirky. Angry. They were walking sound bites and a lot of times the heart beats of their teams. Patrick Roy was at the center of the Avs-Red Wings rivalry and was the biggest star in all of Quebec when he played for the Habs. Hasek was a totally unique athlete in every way. Electric. Eddie the Eagle. I LOVED Mike Richter. Remember the 2011 Stanley Cup Final? It was just Luongo crying and Tim Thomas talking shit. It was great. Lundqvist is a fashion icon and played guiter. A Rangers goalie was the sexiest man in New York City and a genuine celebrity. That just doesn't happen. There's many more people will clammer fo to be mentioned (just look at the replies, people were annoyed that I left off their guy in a tweet with character limits).

Fast forward to today and there just aren't. There is more talent across the board in the NHL than ever before, but I do think personalities amplifying stars has taken a dip. The culture has seemingly changed a bit. Hockey players are more buttoned up. They play more fortnite than going out. Many guys are robotic when facing the public and media. There's no position where that is more true than goalie. When you combine the culture change with the fact that the faces are covered and there seemingly aren't stylistic outliers like Hasek, then you're going to have a coolness drop. I've seen people say the Demko, Hellebuyck, Bob, and Vasy are all great goalies. They don't have the aura or personality of the guys from previous generations. 

Swayman has some personality and maybe he gets there eventually because he is really good and plays in an important market. I do think the closest thing to old guard is Igor. 

You need to be both awesome and have presence/personality. Igor checks those boxes. Playing in NYC helps. I think the Russian factor and effectively replacing a New York icon makes it seem like he doesn't stack up to others, but he too is close. 

I want personality back in hockey. Rivalries, violence, and personalities should take the sport to the next level. All three of those things don't seem to be as good as they were in years past. I don't think it is simply nostalgia either. Fans still love the fighting. It's why Rempe became such a star overnight. As good as the talent is now, I don't think the overall game is better than it was 10 years ago when Crosby was battling Ovi and the Flyers in the East seemingly every year. The Blackhawks were battling the Canucks and Kings. We had bigger personalities. We had more organic edge/violence than today. 

Having said all of that, this upcoming Final feels like the best possible match up if you like the game how it used to be. Stars everywhere. Plenty of guys with bite. Some personality. I think it is going to be a war with elite level highlights from super stars. Can't fucking wait. 

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