Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/09/14 at 09:47 AM ET
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Chances are excellent that a shop in Middleton is the only place in the world where the heads of Tuukka Rask, Jimmy Howard, Brian Elliott, and Anton Khudobin are stacked next to each other on a dusty and well-worn cabinet, looking like they belong on Easter Island.
The space is the headquarters of Pro’s Choice. It is a company that designs and produces custom goalie masks in conjunction with Vaughn Hockey. Dom Malerba, a former Malden Catholic goalie, launched Pro’s Choice in 1988. Since then, Malerba has been the company’s one-man assembly line, responsible for everything except the sundae-topping paint job adorning each of his masks.
The heads of the NHL goalies are the cement busts of Malerba’s clients. To make each piece fit perfectly, Malerba needs the heads — he produces them after taking a plaster mold of the goalies’ faces — and all the respective bumps and contours of noses and cheeks and foreheads.
Malerba’s familiarity with his clients is to a point where he can look at one of the gray cement blocks and tell whose face it represents.
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