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Subban's new mask a tribute to late Blackhawks legend Esposito

Erich Ferguson of Resurrection Custom Painting completed helmet in short time window

by Cristina Ledra @cledra / NHL.com Staff Writer

Malcolm Subban's new goalie mask is a detailed tribute to late Chicago Blackhawks legend Tony Esposito.

Painted by mask artist Erich Ferguson of Resurrection Custom Painting, the design features two depictions of Esposito in action, as well as two portraits of him with and without a mask. The backplate has Esposito's iconic white mask with "In memory of Tony" written across and his No. 35 on the side. Subban's "Subbz3ro" nickname is across the bottom.

"I painted this for Malcolm a few weeks ago and I have been chomping at the bit to post the pics since," Ferguson posted on Instagram. "Tony Esposito tribute. I was given a ton of freedom on the design, and I'm stoked with how it turned out."

Ferguson told NHL.com that Ron Stefaniuk of Coveted Masks, who makes Subban's masks, contacted him on Instagram and he was honored to have the opportunity to paint a legend.

Esposito died Aug. 10 at the age of 78 from pancreatic cancer. He played 15 of his 16 seasons in the NHL with the Blackhawks and was a three-time Vezina Trophy winner as the best goalie in the League. He remains the Blackhawks' leader in shutouts (74) and wins (418), and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.

"They were in a bind and it had a super short window in which to paint," Ferguson said. "I was pretty swamped at the time but just couldn't say no. I think they knew I would jump at the prospect of an Esposito tribute.

"Malcolm only had a few parameters for the design. He wanted the logo on the top in red, white and black, a Tony portrait on one side and an action shot on the other. I took the info and the short list of wants and this is what I came up with."

NHL.com independent correspondent Kevin Woodley contributed to this story.

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