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Hart honors dad, late Foo Fighters drummer Hawkins with new Flyers mask

Goalie wanted 'nice tribute' to his father's favorite band

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

Carter Hart is honoring his hero, and two rock icons, with his latest mask.

The Philadelphia Flyers goalie unveiled his Foo Fighters-themed mask on Friday, a nod to his dad's favorite band.

The mask includes black and white images of drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died on March 25 at the age of 50, and lead singer Dave Grohl.

"Foo Fighters are a band that I really liked and it's my dad's favorite band," Hart said Friday. "When we were going to hockey in the car when I was younger, he would blast the song 'The Pretender' in his truck, and so that would get me fired up before the game. So I wanted to do that obviously for him and then obviously with Taylor Hawkins passing away, I thought it'd be a nice tribute to the band and to Taylor."

Hart has made music a theme of previous goalie masks, wearing ones featuring legendary rock band AC/DC and another with country music star Tim McGraw.

Hart worked on the latest mask with Pennsylvania-based artist Franny Drummond, who has designed Hart's previous masks.

"We were kind of contemplating on what to do, and him and his dad, his dad's a huge Foo Fighters fan, and they never got to see them [on tour] in 2019 because of COVID," Drummond said. "They never got to see them, then Taylor had passed away. So it was kind of a really cool idea. Carter and I got together, and it was like, well, now let's just make this a tribute to the Foo Fighters."

Drummond said he wanted big images of Hawkins and Grohl so fans clearly would know the theme of the mask. The band's logo also is on the mask, but it's smaller than the images.

"We just really wanted to make sure people knew from a distance of who it was, because we're not writing Foo Fighters," he said. "We have it up top, and if he goes down, you'd be able to see it. ... Obviously Dave Grohl is such a fun guy and all the pictures we found for him, he's just so fun."

Hart saw the mask for the first time Sunday and said Drummond overdelivered on the original concept.

"He blows everything out of the water," Hart said. "He's awesome. He so detailed in his work. I saw it and I couldn't believe the details on that mask. It's unreal."

Hart said his favorite Foo Fighters song is "Walk," and that he can play their "Learning to Fly" on guitar, "but not all that well."

The Flyers open the regular season Oct. 13 against the New Jersey Devils. Hart was unable to play in a preseason game because of a lower-body injury but was cleared for non-contact practice Friday. He hopes to be in the opening-night lineup and almost certainly will be wearing his Foo Fighters mask.

"I'll be ready," he said. "Just more so being cautious than anything, making sure that I'm 100 percent. It's a long year. I think that's kind of with everybody right now, making sure that everybody's fully healthy and fully ready to go on opening night."

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