Following the buyout of the contract of Braden Holtby, the Vancouver Canucks needed some additional help in the crease. That came in the form of veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who agreed to a one-year bonus-laden contract.
He recently released his debut mask, courtesy of Dave Gunnarsson of DaveArt. And fans will notice the touching tribute that he included on the backplate of his new lid to former Canucks forward Pavol Demitra, a fellow Slovakian who lost his life in the terrible plane crash that took the lives of 44 members of the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in 2011.
Halak was originally selected with the 271st overall pick by the Montreal Canadiens in the ninth and final round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, and it wasn't long before he became a folk hero in Montreal thanks to his stellar performance in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs that including stunning the President's Trophy winning Washington Capitals in Round 1.
He then took his talents to the St. Louis Blues, and has also seen time with the Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, and Boston Bruins. Halak, who sports a career record of 281-173-62 with a 2.48 goals against average, will provide veteran mentorship for young Thatcher Demko in the Canucks crease.