HAZELWOOD, Mo - If you liked the vintage look of the goalie equipment Jake Allen debuted at the Winter Classic last January, you're going to love the mask and pads he plans to wear in the upcoming season.
From head to toe (or skates?), Allen will stick with the same blue and yellow throwback colors he made popular last season.
'Cause why mess with perfection?
"Stick with what works," Allen said. "Fans seemed to like the old-school look at the Winter Classic, so I kept that gear for the second half of last season. This year's gear is just an extension of that."
Allen's new mask - which somewhat surprisingly doesn't include a venomous snake - is a nod to St. Louis' rich tradition of music and features legendary blues and jazz musician Louis Armstrong, whose recordings of "Saint Louis Blues" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Armstrong's timeless lyrics "I got those Saint Louis Blues" don each side of the mask, while a large Blue Note and bold "STL" letters decorate the top.
On the chin, Allen's No. 34 is centered over the state of Missouri.
While the majority of the mask's design pays tribute to blues music and the city of St. Louis, the backplate has a much more personal touch for the Blues goaltender. The provincial flag of New Brunswick - which has been featured on all of Allen's masks - reminds him of where he came from, while two dog paw prints make him think of his pets, Murph and Marvin, back home. The name "Bub" sits at the bottom of the backplate in honor of his late grandfather, while a lemon - which is the nickname of his eight-month-old daughter, Lennon - is a new addition.
The mask was designed by Dennis Simone and painted by Jason Livery of Head Strong Grafx.
"For the most part, I'm not too picky," Allen said. "I have a general idea of what I want and I let Dennis and Jason do the rest. It's not an easy job, but those two never let me down."
Allen's new pads come from Vaughn and rock the similar bold, retro look from the Winter Classic. Primarily vintage blue with pieces of gold, the pads are a perfect match for Allen's new blocker and glove.
For now, enjoy these up-close images of the new gear. You'll be seeing it on the ice real soon.
To see more of Jason Livery's work with Head Strong Grafx, visit headstronggrafx.com or on social media on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.