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Blues goalie Elliott paying homage to Cujo with mask

by Louie Korac /

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott was always enamored with the goalie equipment Curtis Joseph wore during his time with the organization.

Each played at the University of Wisconsin, so the connection became instantaneous, especially for Elliott growing up.

Elliott, who plays against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports, SN, FS-MW), will pay tribute to Joseph by wearing the themed "Cujo" mask. He's already been wearing Joseph's trademark blue pads and mitts the past two-plus weeks.

Elliott didn't completely copy the look Joseph wore. The mask not only features Joseph's rabid dog but Elliott's signature moose and the University of Wisconsin logo.

"His mask when he was first here, with the two trumpets on top and the blue notes on the chin with the music sheet, it always stuck out in my head as a kid," Elliott said. "The rabid dog is his signature, so I didn't want to copy that one, but I wanted to pay tribute to him because I idolized him, and it looks cool too.

"He was in Heaton gear, which they don't make anymore. The gear was all blue, and I thought it looked really cool."

Saturday is the second in a series the Blues have dubbed "Heritage Nights," and in this installment, they will pay tribute to past and present goalies.

Elliott will wear the new mask during "Goalies Night," which will honor those in attendance during a pregame ceremony.

Along with Joseph and Elliott, Michael Liut, Grant Fuhr, Martin Brodeur and Jake Allen will be honored. Glenn Hall was unable to attend.

Joseph, who signed an entry-level contract with the Blues as an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin in 1989, was touched.

"It's awesome," said Joseph, who spent the first five-plus seasons of his career in St. Louis before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 1995. "It's a nice tribute and it's very humbling for me.

"It was a great place to play and the fans really embrace their athletes here in St. Louis, whether it's Mark McGwire or Brett Hull or Brendan Shanahan. They just have a real affinity for their athletes and seem to elevate them, put them on a pedestal. Certainly for me playing here this long, it's a great feeling to come back and have that warm reception."

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