Sunday, November 18, 2007 08:59 PM

NHL All Star game goalie mask

 

Goalie mask soldier tribute

Trooper Mark Wilson’s death in Afghanistan has inspired a special piece of art that’s being passed among elite NHL players to become part of the upcoming all-star game.

Sports artist David Arrigo, a friend of one of Wilson’s relatives, was hit hard by the October death of the London soldier and inspired to design a military-themed goalie mask.

“It just sort of pushed me — this is going to be my addition to thanking the soldiers,” said Arrigo, who has done work for years for the NHL, NFL and other pro sports leagues.

“(But) I didn’t want this piece to be about any one person — it’s more about all the soldiers in Afghanistan.”

The detailed mask design, Arrigo explained, has two distinct sides: The right is called “the mission,” and features images of an Afghani girl reading and a Canadian soldier. The left side, called “the memory,” includes a bagpiper and a soldier pinning a poppy on a wreath.

They have also photographed the mask with hockey celebrities such as Don Cherry, who mentioned the project during Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night In Canada.

NHL officials in the U.S. were so impressed, they have asked Arrigo to make a mask with an American theme.

Those photos will eventually be posted at NHL.COM and on Arrigo’s own website, darrigoart.com. Arrigo’s mask will then be auctioned off on the NHL’s website with the money raised going to tbenefit the United Services Organization (USO), the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA) and The Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund.

Sabres' Miller honoring soldiers at All-Star event

Sabres goalie Ryan Miller and several other NHL players are going to Dallas-Fort Worth airport on Tuesday to greet returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Stanley Cup also will be there (although it would be shocking if Miller broke hockey code and actually picked up the Cup before earning it on the ice).

Also, while visiting with the troops Miller is going to show two new goalie masks custom-designed to honor U.S. and Canadian troops. The masks, designed by renowned sports artist David Arrigo, will be displayed in the terminal during the visit. Arrigo has done paintings for all sports and sporting events. He designed the Canadian mask after a relative of a friend of his was killed in combat in Afghanistan. After seeing it, the NHL asked him to design one with an American theme.

By the time the returning soldiers see the masks at the airport, the masks will already be part of an online auction on NHL.com. They'll go up on the auction at 3 p.m. Monday. Proceeds from auction will benefit the United Services Organization (USO), the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA) and The Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund.

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Photos
click on photo to enlarge

Far left - Left side of Canadian Mask by David Arrigo (Toronto sports artist)

Center - Sports Artist David Arrigo with Don McLean and Don Cherry on Coach's Corner.

Far left - Right side of Canadian Mask by David Arrigo (Toronto sports artist)

Center - David Arrigo with NHL players at the Texas Speed way

 
Far left - Joe Sakic - Centre for Colorado Canadian born from BC

Center - Roberto Luongo Goalie for Vancover Canucks at the All Star Game has Canadian Goalie mask by David Arrigo in hand. Roberto is Canadian Born - Montreal Quebec.

 
Left side - Veron Wells Toronto Blue Jays player holds the two masks created by David Arrigo at the NHL All stars game.

Center - Posing with Canadian Mask is Marc Andre Fluery goalie of the Pittsburg Penguins born in Sorel Quebec and Centre position Sidney Crosby born in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

 

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