There aren't a lot of things that make backup goaltenders memorable. It's even tougher when that goalie is backing up one of the league's most famous goaltenders. But people know Cam Talbot, the No. 2 goalie for the New York Rangers. That's because he's one of us. He's one of the unwashed masses that unabashedly loves popular culture and gets all nostalgic about the movies of our childhood.
Talbot is a big Ghostbusters fan and he has let that love of the 1984 comedy classic set in New York City spill onto sports' greatest canvas: the goalie mask.
The Rangers backup, who was born three years after the film's release, got quite a bit of attention for last year's mask. So of course, he had to go bigger for the upcoming season and did he ever.
The mask, designed by Dave Gunnarsson, one of the best in the goalie mask painting business, includes the Ghostbusters logo and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man like the last one, but also highlights some of the movie's other characters like Zuul, Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver).
Zuul, as you may recall, ends up possessing Sigourney Weaver's character and then turns her into a demonic dog.
Weaver is featured post-possession on one side of the mask, while Zuul in dog form takes up the chin guard and wraps around the mask, complete with excessive slobber.
On the other side, with Mr. Stay Puft, is Venkman as played by Bill Murray, who of course is a pop culture icon all on his own.
Talbot also has some New York iconography sprinkled in with the Statue of Liberty and Rangers logo on the sides of the mask.
Yeah, so this one is pretty great. You can rank the two however you like, but on the geek scale (and I mean that in the nicest way possible), the new mask takes the cake. It's all about the little details.
Talbot deserves more credit, though. He's not just a guy with a cool goalie mask. In 21 appearances for the Rangers last season, he posted a 12-6-1 record with a .941 save percentage, 1.64 goals-against average and three shutouts as a 26-year-old rookie.
Undrafted out of the University of Alabama-Huntsville, Talbot worked his way up through the minors and has proven to be a more than capable backup to Henrik Lundqvist. He'll be on the last year of his contract next season, so hopefully the Rangers see fit to re-sign him so there can be many more additions of Ghostbusters-related goalie masks.
You can see more photos of Talbot's mask at daveart.com.