|Born||July 19, 1972 (1972-07-19) (age 38),
North Bay, ON, CAN
|6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Steven Charles Shields (born July 19, 1972 in North Bay, Ontario) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender.
Shields was drafted in the fifth round (#101 overall) in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres out of the University of Michigan. Shields could be best classified as a journeyman NHL goaltender over his tenure. In his NHL career, Shields would play for the Buffalo Sabres, the San Jose Sharks, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, the Boston Bruins, the Florida Panthers, and the Atlanta Thrashers. Shields has recently been playing in the NESHL as a center for Mutiny. Mutiny is a B division team out of the Metro Boston league. .
One of his career highlights was during the 1997 playoffs, when Dominik Hašek was injured. Hašek had been the team MVP and the league's best goalie during the regular season and he had been considered crucial to the Sabres' playoff hopes. With Hašek leaving in the midst of game three of the first round, Shields was forced to step in but he helped the Sabres to rally and defeat the Ottawa Senators.
Shields then played the second round series against the Philadelphia Flyers, as Hašek was suspended for three games after an altercation with reporter Jim Kelley. Hašek was set to return in game four with the team down by three games in the series, but he told the Sabres' coaching staff he felt a twinge in his knee and left the ice after the pregame skate. Shields turned in another season-saving performance as Buffalo staved off the almost inevitable sweeping elimination with a win. Again before the fifth game, Hašek declared himself unfit to play and Shields would finish the series with Buffalo losing 6–3 and being eliminated.
Shields's best season was in the 1999–2000 season, when he played in 67 games for the San Jose Sharks while posting respectable goaltending numbers for the team (27 wins, 30 losses, four shutouts, a 2.56 GAA, and a .911 save percentage). San Jose made it to the second round of the playoffs of that year.
Goalie mask designEdit
Shields had a notable goalie mask which was designed while he was a member of the Boston Bruins. Shields's mask was a tribute to former Bruins goalie Gerry Cheevers famed "stitch mask". He continued wearing the stitch mask after he was traded to the Florida Panthers and signed with the Atlanta Thrashers.