MONTREAL – Peter Budaj is typically a calm guy just like Ned Flanders.
But, if the renowned Simpsons character was to get very upset, he could easily resemble the image that artist David Gunnarsson decided to place atop the Canadiens netminder’s new mask.
The Swedish artist is no rookie when it comes to putting his own personal touch on goaltenders’ headwear, having already worked on masks for Carey Price, Pekka Rinne, Henrik Lundqvist, Ondrej Pavelec, Semyon Varlamov and others in 2013 alone.
Not only did Budaj choose Gunnarsson to come up with a new concept for his mask, but he also gave him carte blanche when it came to its design. It was the eighth time that the talented artist had worked on a mask for the Slovakian netminder.
“He designed it. I did a few of the designs for my masks in the past. I told him that I wanted something with Lionel Messi last time. This time around, I gave him carte blanche to do what he wanted to do. I just told him that I wanted Montreal colors and I wanted something cool. It came out great,” underlined Budaj, whose new mask features a large-scale image of Flanders as an angry netminder.
While the drawing of the animated character is the predominant image, the sides of the mask feature giant Canadiens logos. True to form, the 31-year-old goaltender also had several other items inscribed, including his last name, his son’s date of birth, a verse from the Bible, in addition to drawings of the Canadian and Slovakian flags.
“I’m hoping to wear it the next time that I play a game. But, at the same time, I haven’t made a decision yet. It looks really good with the red jersey and the other mask stands out better with the white jersey. So, I’ll have to see,” mentioned Budaj, who has only worn his newly acquired mask at practice.
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.
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