Behind the mask: Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin talk about new bucket designs

NHL goaltenders have a unique opportunity, given their equipment, to come up with creative designs. Every season, goaltenders typically shake a new bucket, and New York Islanders goaltenders Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin talked about theirs in an exclusive interview with NYI Hockey Now.

Semyon Varlamov has a unique backstory for his new design while Ilya Sorokin paid homage to the great islanders.

The main feature of Semyon Varlamov’s new mask is Poseidon, the god of the sea, holding his trident.

Did Varlamov go this route in a symbolic effort to show his appreciation for the beaches of Long Island, with the Atlantic Ocean so close? Or was it perhaps a nod to the Long Island fisherman, who used tridents to catch fish?

No, not exactly.

Semyon Varlamov is spending his offseason in Texas, and one day on his way to the rink he saw some graffiti on a building, which caught his eye. He and his strength trainer stopped to take a closer look.

“It was early in the morning, and we were driving next to a building. And we saw some really cool graffiti on the building. And I took a picture of that because I thought it was just a really cool design,” Varlamov said. “I don’t know who made it, or who painted it, or who created it. But it was just such a cool paint job.

So Varlamov had an idea.

“So I took a picture with my phone, and I showed my painter [Dave Art], and I told him I wanted to see that on my mask. So I think he did an amazing job copying it and making it exactly the same as the picture.

For Ilya Sorokin, he spoke about the design of his mask, which pays homage to island legends.

“All of the Islanders legends and the logo, Islanders. It was my idea,” Ilya Sorokin said. Sorokin has included eight Islanders legends on his helmet in Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy, John Tonelli, Butch Goring, Billy Smith, Clark Gillies, Brian Trottier and Bobby Nystrom.

Sorokin’s helmet is fitting as the New York Islanders celebrate their 50th anniversary.

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