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New York Islanders

Behind The Mask: Semyon Varlamov & Ilya Sorokin Talk New Bucket Designs



Semyon Varlamov, New York Islanders

Goaltenders in the NHL have a unique opportunity, given their equipment, to come up with some creative designs. Each season goaltenders usually rock a new bucket, and New York Islanders netminders Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokinspoke about theirs in an exclusive interview with NYI Hockey Now.

Semyon Varlamov has a unique backstory to his new design while Ilya Sorokin paid homage to Islander greats.

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

Did Varlamov go that route in a symbolic effort to show his appreciation for Long Island’s beaches, with the Atlantic Ocean so close by? Or was it possibly a nod to the fisherman on Long Island, who used to use tridents to catch fish?

No, not exactly.

Semyon Varlamov spends his offseason in Texas, and one day, when on his way to the rink, he saw graffiti on a building, which caught his attention. He and his strength coach pulled over to take a closer look.

“It was early morning, and we were driving by one building. And we saw really cool graffiti on the building. And I took a picture of that because I thought it’s 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 a such a cool painting job.”

Then Varlamov got an idea.

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

For Ilya Sorokin, he spoke on the design of his mask, which pays tribute to Islander legends.

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

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