I remember when I was growing up in Winnipeg.
My older brother, Chet, was a goalie. That's how I became a goalie.
My father told me I could play whatever position I wanted. But not Chet. He was three years older than me, so he pulled rank on me and stuck me in goal. Even though Chet was also a goalie, when we played street hockey, he always forced me in the net.
RELATED: Officially enter #PicksMaskContest here
And then he'd fire puck after puck at my head!
And I mean that when I say it that way. I've always loved being a goalie, and Chet and I are both pro goalies now. Growing up playing together were some of the best times of my life.
When we were growing up, our goalie masks were usually pretty generic. That's up until I was 10, when I finally got my first custom goalie mask of my very own.
I remember my first custom goalie mask had these lightning bolts on it that shot down the side. At the time, when I picked it, I thought it looked cool.
But when I look back on that mask, it didn't look very good.
Actually, it was pretty bad.
When I think about it now, I guess I'm not always great at picking something for my mask. I usually just allow my mask artist, Dave Gunnarsson, to get creative and paint my masks for me.
When I came up with the Avalanche, my team just gave me a mask, and it turns out it was painted by him. He's in Sweden, and paints probably 90 percent of the goalie masks in the NHL. He's the best in the business, and does a really great job.
I'm still going to have Dave paint my mask.
Coming to a new team with the Golden Knights, I think I am going to do something a little different to pick what I have, though. I want the fans to help me pick out my mask.
I want the fans to help me pick out my mask.
Whether it's throwing out some written suggestions or sketching something out. I'm still going to have Dave paint it, but I want the fans to help me decide what he paints.
When I picked my own mask, I picked lightning bolts!
Getting some help from the fans seems like a better idea.
Honestly, I'm a pretty open guy. I kind of want to see everyone's creative minds, and what people come up with.
I think I'd like something that is very team centric, and incorporates both the Golden Knights and the city of Las Vegas.
Going back to when I played for the Seattle Thunderbirds, I've always tried to incorporate whatever city I've been playing in. In Seattle, I had the Space Needle on it. And then the skyline and some water.
When I got to Denver, I got the mountains on and some snow.
I try to represent the city I'm playing in, plus the team I'm playing on. I'm usually not very picky, but I want to represent my city and my team.
I would add that I'm not usually the guy that tries to call too much attention to myself. I'm not really looking for anything that's overly shiny or anything like that. Just something that incorporates the team colors and some white, which goes along with the rest of my equipment.
Other than that, I'm not really picky as long as people keep their ideas appropriate and tasteful.
All I really want to see is some creativity. Knights, horses, castles, dragons?
I might even take different elements of different people's suggestions and combine them and turn them over to my artist. Although if someone really knocks it out of the park with one sketch, I might do that, too. There's a lot of decisions to be made.
To make it easy for me to see everyone's ideas, all I ask is that they share them on social media with a #PicksMaskContest hash tag. And go to VegasGoldenKnights.com and officially enter your idea there.
That'll allow me to see everyone's ideas a little easier, and start thinking about what I like the most. I want my mask to be ready for training camp, so I want Dave to know what he's painting by next week.
Let's say later this week for your ideas, August 4.
I'll be looking at every suggestion all week, and I'll take the best ideas and turn them over to Dave to start painting.
Picking my mask for me would be a big help for me. So anyone whose ideas I end up using, I'd like to meet you. Meet you, maybe take a picture.
That's if you want to meet me, of course.
Last time I picked my own mask, I ended up with lightning bolts on the side!
The least I can do is thank you in person if you can help me pick something better.
I won't waste any more of anybody's time, so go to it.
#PicksMaskContest on social media, VegasGoldenKnights.com to enter.
Let's see what you've got!
I'll be watching.