TORONTO – When Carey Price
arrived at the Air Canada Centre Thursday morning, Toronto-based artist David Arrigo was waiting to greet him, new mask in hand.
Price will be changing up his style for the 2011-12 season, aiming for an aesthetic that hits close to home. Moments before presenting the Habs’ netminder with his new mask, canadiens.com met with Arrigo to talk about the process that went into its creation and Price’s new look for the upcoming year.
“Carey decided to go back to his native roots this time around,” explained Arrigo, offering up a first look at the mask. “With him being Native Canadian we have on the one side an image of Anahim Lake, where he’s from, as well as a tribute of the elder wearing a headdress. Then of course there’s the dream-catcher on the forehead and the pink ribbon on the chin area in support of breast cancer for October.
“He’ll be wearing this for the month of October, but it’s also probably going to be the base for his helmets this year – sticking to his heritage,” added Arrigo, who over the past five years has worked on helmets for around 15 NHL goaltenders.
It’s not Arrigo’s first time designing a mask for Price and the process of arriving at the end result has developed over the years.
“When I first started working with Carey maybe four years ago, he was used to just giving an idea to the artist and six to eight weeks later he would be getting a helmet in the mail, whereas I send him ideas, he gets back to me with his feedback and it continues in that way,” said the artist who over the years has worked with NASCAR, MLB, the NFL, the Olympics and even created a mural for the NHL All-Star game in Montreal in 2008-09.
“It’s a great thing because he’s getting so involved in the process now and it just shows that he takes that much more interest in it and that it’s really a reflection of what his desires were for the helmet.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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