By the very nature of the position, goaltending attracts individuals. In the past, that often meant players who were a little — wink! wink! — unstable, or at the very least eccentric. The occasional "normal" goaltender was the exception to the rule.
But with the tremendous advances in protective gear developed over the past 25 years, the position is far less daunting in terms of getting hurt physically. That’s encouraged far more kids to take up the "tools of ignorance" and try goaltending. But the sense of personality, of being distinct, among goaltenders is as strong as ever.
"People are still attracted to goaltending due to the individuality," said Mike Vaughn of Vaughn Hockey. "That’s why you have masks with custom paint jobs, and the different colors on the pads. But there’s a fine line between what you need and what you want."
Vaughn is talking about the "customization craze" in goaltending gear. In short, Vaughn emphasized that many customizations — changes to the actual construction of the gear, not simply graphics — are superfluous. Worse, in some cases, those changes actually detract from the performance of the pad, he said.