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Flames goalies: Blessed by Salt Bae?


Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith recently delivered what Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson believes was the quote of the season so far, regarding some solid early play from fellow Flames netminder David Rittich:

“Whatever Salt Bae sprinkled on him in New York, I want a little bit of that too,” Smith said.

If you’re a registered old like me, you had two reactions: “Heh” and “Huh?”

Well, to start, here’s the photo Smith was referencing:

OK, that helps, but *ahem* some of us might not be too familiar with Salt Bae. You know, not your humble author, but ... others. Is this person salty? For the bae part seems easy enough to follow.

Welp, Salt Bae is apparently this wonderfully smooth proprietor of steakhouse chain Nusr-et, who gained viral fame (thus eluding certain olds) with this video:

Why, that is quite impressive. As someone who’s had friends in the restaurant industry who’ve suffered ghastly wounds while preparing food (still not sure how your finger didn’t fall off, Michael), that display can be filed under “easier said than done.”

It brings up a question: which player best exemplifies the tenants of “Salt Bae?” My vote is Mathew Barzal: he cuts through defensemen as if he was wielding a steak knife, and he does so with undeniable grace and swagger. He also plays in Brooklyn, which helps the comparison since Salt Bae’s rooted in New York.

Maybe Barzal is the best NHL equivalent for Salt Bae, yet goalies seem most fascinated by him.

Rittich recently sprinkled some of that mystery spice after a recent win, for example:

(If Michel Therrien coached the Flames, Rittich wouldn’t get away with that fun celebration for long, right?)

Rittich can’t call first dibs on being NHL goalie-as-Bae, though, as Roberto Luongo perfectly executed this Halloween costume last year:


This does bring up some burning questions. Why hasn’t Henrik Lundqvist gotten involved? Is he merely trying to avoid a clash between Salt Bae and Swede Bae?

Regardless, make sure to make as many bad cooking jokes as you can, whether Calgary’s goalies are performing at high levels or churning out the netminding equivalent to turning meat into what looks like hockey pucks.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.