As sad as InGoal Magazine will be to see Jose Theodore’s temporary “Mummy” mask disappear before Halloween, the new Minnesota Wild backup has good reason to switch it out.
And as happy as InGoal was to be the first to bring you pictures of Theodore’s taped-up temp, it’s with even greater pleasure that we debut the replacement.
Painted by legendary Minnesota-based painter Todd Miska – a first for Theodore – the new lid offers a unique combination of the former Hart- and Vezina-Trophy winning goaltender’s former masks in Montreal, Colorado and Washington.
Theodore’s last mask with the Canadiens featured Gargoyles perched on a brick wall on either side, a reference to their guardian, or gatekeeper, status that has also long been featured on the masks of current Chicago Blackhawks No.1 Marty Turco. When he moved to Colorado, the Gargoyles stayed, but their wings were iced over. After signing in Washington, they were replaced appropriately by bald eagles.
Now Theodore is in Minnesota, a late signing Oct. 2 after scheduled backup Josh Harding blew out his knee in a preseason crease crash, and the Gargoyles are back – sort of.
Replacing the bald eagles on the new mask is the animal-shaped head of the Minnesota Wild logo (the franchise has never clarified if it’s a bear or a wildcat, simply referring to it as a “wild animal”). But if you look closely at the ice that the creature appears to breaking out of, you will notice a set of wings, Gargoyle style. Instead of a wall, the clawed creature is perched on the emblem being used to celebrate the Wild’s 10th season. Missing from the new mask is the “LX” symbol that used to be chiseled into the wall the animals were perched on, a Roman numeral reference to his No. 60, and something he also carries permanently in the form of a tattoo.
The number “60″ does appear on the new backplate (pictured below), part of familiar in theme on the rear of Theodore’s masks over the years. It includes his nickname “Theo” and a small elephant.
“The elephant is just a luck charm,” Theodore once told InGoal Magazine of his design.
Also returning on the back of the new mask are the stylized letters “R” and “C” with crosses hanging from them, tributes to Theodore’s young daughter Romi, and Chase, the infant son he lost prior to last season after complications stemming from his premature birth.
Theodore turned his personal grief into a positive by establishing Saves for Kids, a foundation created in his son’s honor to benefits the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, with Theodore donating money for every save, win and shutout – and inspiring others to do the same. After reclaiming the No.1 job with the Capitals during the regular season, he won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy last summer as a result of his charity work and strong play in the face of adversity, an award given to “the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Added on 11/6/10: