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Coyotes Goaltender LaBarbera to Honor Pat Tillman on His Mask This Season

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera will be wearing a new mask in the 2011-12 NHL season. Its design is a tribute to Pat Tillman and service members everywhere fighting to defend democracy.

Jason LaBarbera
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pat Tillman and everything he did for this country,” said LaBarbera. “Not many professional athletes would give up their playing careers to defend their country and fight for what they believe in. It was an incredible, selfless act and I just want to honor him and help keep his memory alive by putting some images of him on my mask. He was a great American hero and I’m proud to have him on my mask.”

Tillman played football for Arizona State University and the Arizona Cardinals (NFL). He left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks. He joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan.

During the 2011-12 NHL season, for every win LaBarbera records, he will donate $420 to The Pat Tillman Foundation. The Pat Tillman Foundation is a national leader in providing resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active service members and their dependents. The Tillman Military Scholars program aids all veterans, specifically the ever-growing population of veterans and dependents of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. LaBarbera chose the donation dollar amount in honor of Tillman’s ASU #42 jersey.

Photo by David Arrigo.
The mask was designed by David Arrigo, the same Toronto-based artist who designed Coyotes goalie Mike Smith’s new mask for 2011-12. The left side of the mask features images of Tillman's face, Tillman playing football and Tillman hugging his brother Kevin. The right side of the mask features an image of a soldier and a military aircraft. On the front of the mask is a yellow ribbon that stands as a symbol for all service members defending democracy, past and present. The mask also features a camouflage pattern in Coyotes' colors, and is sprinkled with American stars and Canadian leafs.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to see a photo gallery of LaBarbera's mask.
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