Mask master: Tattoo artist creates winning Devils goalie design (PHOTOS)

August 27, 2015 - The Star Ledger - View Full Article

Shawn Berham, a longtime New Jersey Devils fan and local tattoo artist, will have his design cover New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider's mask, after winning contest.

NEWARK -- Goaltenders have always stuck their necks out -- or rather, their heads -- to make a save. Back in 1930, the Montreal Maroons' Clint Benedict was reportedly the first goalie to use a mask after taking a shot to his face. He returned to the ice wearing a leather mask covering just part of his face. 

Today, NHL goaltenders masks are more protective -- and stylish. 

To ensure goaltender Cory Schneider protects the net in style, the New Jersey Devils held a contest to decide a new design for his mask. Schneider recently revealed the contest winner after five finalists were announced: Shawn Berham, 32, from Succasunna, was the grand-prize winner. See his winning design, picked by Schneider, below:

.@comablack1013 is our second finalist in Cory's 2015 Mask Design Contest with this sick concept!

-- New Jersey Devils (@NHLDevils) August 10, 2015

Berham has been a Devils fan since he was 7 years old. He's now a tattoo artist, and it took him only 30 minutes to create the winning mask design. "My heart just dropped when I heard Schneider announce my name. It's the most exciting thing to be part of," Berham said. 

RELATEDGoalie Cory Schneider still hopes to win a Stanley Cup w/ Devils

As contest winner, Berham will receive four tickets to a Devils' game, meet Schneider and get a goalie stick signed by him and a photo of both of them with the finished mask. "This means everything to me. It's amazing to have my design associated with the team," Berham said.

The gallery above shows some of the creative designs that have adorned the masks of NHL goalies in years past.

Saed Hindash can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @saedhindash. On Instagram at @ThroughthecameraeyeFind on Facebook.

Devils cut ties with longtime team doctor Barry Fisher

August 26, 2015 - The Star Ledger - View Full Article

Team USA's Michael Shindle new orthopedist; no change with trainers

NEWARK -- Barry Fisher, the Devils' team orthopedist since the club moved to New Jersey from Colorado in 1982, has joined the list of personnel to leave the organization this summer, NJ Advance Media has learned.

Dr. Fisher, 64, was one of the Devils' two original physicians for the inaugural 1982-83 season along with internist Richard Commentucci. Fisher was the team's lead doctor for 33 years before a change was made in May.

"Dr. Fisher will not be back," Devils general manager Ray Shero confirmed.

Michael K. Shindle, who is from Madison, N.J., is now the Devils' team orthopedist.
An attending orthopedic surgeon at Summit Medical Group, Shindle was Team USA's doctor at the world championships in Prague. He serves as team physician for the New York Red Bulls of the MLS and as an orthopedic consultant for the NFL Giants.

NJ Advance Media has learned that there will be no changes to the Devils' training staff with head trainer Rich Stinziano and assistant trainer Kevin Morley.

The equipment staff will also remain intact with Rich Matthews and assistants Jason McGrath and Mike Thibault.

RELATED: Devils add Patrick Rissmiller, Andy Schneider to staff

It was Fisher who kept players like Ken Daneyko and John MacLean on the ice after serious injuries. He performed career-saving surgeries and took the lead on almost all of the team's injury issues for over three decades.

However, there were controversies.

During the 1999-2000 season winger Krzystopf Oliwa suffered a left knee injury. When he disputed the diagnosis from Fisher, Oliwa sought an outside second opinion and wound up having surgery in April of 2000 on a torn ALC, partially torn MCL and cartilage damage.

Oliwa was barred from the team during the 2000 playoffs and had to buy his own plane ticket to Dallas to celebrate the Stanley Cup championship with his teammates. Oliwa believes the Devils traded him on June 12, 2000, because he got an outside medical opinion.

Mike Peluso, the left winger on the Devils' 1995 Stanley Cup championship team, also criticized Fisher and Lamoriello for allowing him to play after severe head injuries.

"It's how they threw me out onto the ice. I'd had a grand mal seizure and Dr. Fisher handled the situation and said I was good to go," Peluso told NJ Advance Media about a serious incident in 1993. "I heard (trainer) Teddy Schuch say, 'I don't think he's ready,' but Teddy was overruled by Dr. Fisher.

"I should have seen a neurologist. When the doctor clears you, you think you're healthy. What is a team doctor for? I'm not a doctor. If you're a goal-scorer and you have a concussion, maybe for a couple of weeks you can stay out of traffic. For me, it was like being a gunslinger with no gun. That was my role."

Fisher was praised by some players for keeping them healthy enough to play. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Fisher received his doctorate at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University.

Rich Chere may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Ledger_NJDevils. Find on Facebook.