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Self-taught Swedish artist Dave Gunnarsson has transformed an old barn into a modern art studio across the Atlantic. It's here where David Rittich, Cam Talbot and now, over the half the goalies in the NHL, have their signature headgear designed

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames /

What was to become the trademark look was forged 6,300 kilometres away from the source of its inspiration, the Hook and Ladder Company #8 fire station on North Moore Street in Tribeca, NYC.

Dreamed up on a family farm near Vrigstad in Småland, Sweden, built in the 1930s by Dave Gunnarsson's grandfather, Werner.

"Dave is the one who came up with the Ghostbusters theme for my mask,'' says Calgary Flames' puck-repeller Cam Talbot. "I lived maybe a five-minute walk from the fire station at the time, when I was playing for the Rangers.

"Before, to be honest, I was into Transformers masks.

"But Dave said: 'I want to do something a little different with you. No one's done a Ghostbusters mask. You play in New York. Everybody knows that fire station from the movie.

"I think it'd be fitting. I think it'd be cool.'

"So he makes the mask and people go absolutely nuts for it.

"Then I'm traded to Edmonton and all kinds of people are telling me I have to - have to - take the mask theme there with me.

"Now Ghostbusters follows me everywhere.

"It's become my identity."

On that subject, Dave Gunnarsson pleads guilty and throws himself on the mercy of the court.

"I am, myself, a big Ghostbusters fan. So when I was brainstorming ideas for a new mask for Cam, I thought: 'What could be more New York?'

"And that mask was a smash hit.

"Now, it's his thing."



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