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Q&A: Andersen on His Offseason So Far, His Lego-Inspired Mask and More

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
"It was definitely tough watching when you knew you couldn’t help the team get to the next round. But you can’t really beat yourself up about it. All I can do it try and get better and stronger and faster for next season."
By Adam Brady

Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen's rookie campaign -- much like the season for his Anaheim Ducks team -- ended in frustration. While the Ducks were downed in an agonizing Game 7 to the rival (and eventual Stanley Cup champion) Kings, Andersen could only watch that defeat from afar.

In Game 3 of that series, Andersen suffered a right knee injury that was later revealed to be a sprained MCL, and he missed the rest of the postseason. His offseason so far has been dedicated to recovering from that injury, while also enjoying some of the niceties of the summer. That includes the anticipation of a new mask for next season inspired by, of all things, The Lego Movie. The mask, created by renowned custom mask painter David Gunnarsson of Sweden, depicts the character Emmet in a Ducks jersey that looks similar to the one one the team wore for the Stadium Series game (but with a retro Mighty Ducks logo) building a wall out of Legos.

Andersen, who has so far remained in Orange County to train this offseason, talked about that mask as well as his summer to this point.

First of all, how is your health?

It’s good. I’ve been working out pretty hard for three weeks now with my trainer in Orange County, and it’s going good.

Do you think you could have played in the third round if the Ducks had made it?
I really don’t know. It’s really tough to say because I hadn’t been on the ice. If we had gone to the next round, I’m sure I would have tried, but I can’t tell you right now how I would have felt. It’s tough when you haven’t been on the ice. You can’t really tell if you’re 100 percent or not.

Was it frustrating for you not being able to play?
It was definitely tough watching when you knew you couldn’t help the team get to the next round. But you can’t really beat yourself up about it. All I can do it try and get better and stronger and faster for next season.

How has your summer been so far?
It’s been good so far. I went to New York for a little bit to hang out and see some friends. I have some friends over now, and I’m showing them around a little bit, trying to enjoy the summer. I’m actually on my way to look for a new place right now, in Tustin. It’s close to the arena and it’s a nice spot.

With the Ducks indicating that they won’t bring back Jonas Hiller, do you see that as a big opportunity for you going into next year?
I didn’t know if that was going to happen, but the way things ended, it was kind of leaning towards that. This is going to be a good opportunity again for me. I got a little taste of it last year, and I think now with my summer training, I can make even more of a push and hopefully play more games than last year. I’m not used to playing that little, so there was a bit of an adjustment. Hopefully I can push for playing more games next season and play consistently on a high level.

What are your impressions of your rookie season?
Before I played at this level, I didn’t really know how good I was or what to expect.  So I just kind of took it slow and tried to do what I could. But I feel like I can improve a lot from last year. I’ll keep working with Roli [Ducks Goaltending Consultant Dwayne Roloson] and my trainer, and hopefully that can lead into something good. We can build on the team we had. I think we had one of the best teams in the league, but we came up short in the playoffs. We can add all that to our experience and keep pushing towards the goal.

Photo courtesy of @artofdave
There has been some buzz about your new mask, which is inspired by The Lego Movie. Tell us about that.
My painter, David Gunnarsson, created that. I’ve been working with him for three years, I think. He’s really creative, and he’ll throw some ideas at me and I’ll tell him what I like. I think it was originally meant for the Stadium Series game, but he went with a different design for that and decided to save the Lego idea for later.

He came up with the idea because Lego is from Denmark and only an hour from where I grew up. I liked the idea, and I think it’s really good-looking with the orange on the jersey, since we have some orange on the jersey that we wore in the playoffs. When I was a kid, I had Legos and David told me that he still likes to help his kids build with Legos. I remember when my brothers and sister would get Legos at Christmas and all the kids would want to help them build with them. It’s kind of fun. I actually just saw the pictures today of the final mask, and I think it’s going to look really good.

Have you seen The Lego Movie?
Actually, I haven’t. I think I’ve got to see it one of these days.

So what’s the plan for the rest of the summer?
Next week I’m going to go home to Denmark for two weeks and see some family and friends. Then I’ll come back over here and start training again, start easing myself into skating again. I’m planning on going home in August again, then we’ll be back for training camp in September.
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