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Stadium Series

Wild's Dubnyk honors sons, Vikings with mask

Signature giraffe also on Stadium Series helmet

by Dan Myers / Correspondent

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk made a subtle change to his mask in preparation for the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Dubnyk, nicknamed "The Giraffe" while playing junior hockey with Kamloops in the Western Hockey League, will still feature the long-necked animal on the right side of his mask; it's been a staple since his days with the Edmonton Oilers. But Dubnyk had Swedish artist Dave Gunnarsson add his sons, 2-year-old Nathaniel and 2-month-old Parker, adorned in Viking helmets and wearing eye black, to the left side.

"It's so fun to see them on there. He did such a good job with the pictures," Dubnyk said. "It's going to be fun to have this going forward and be able to show them that they were hanging out with me as I played some pretty special games."

Video: Dubnyk's New Custom Mask for Stadium Series

The 29-year-old goalie indicated the Viking helmets are a nod to the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. He also has the shooting "M" logo from the Wild's Stadium Series pants incorporated on the top of his helmet.

Having his kids on his mask was an important element for Dubnyk, who worked with Gunnarsson on the design.

Gunnarsson has painted many of Dubnyk's masks over the past couple of seasons.

"Usually, I just let him go," Dubnyk said. "But I had a lot of say in this one. I wanted my kids on the side and tied into the Vikings and the football stadium."

Dubnyk also has a small tribute to the University of Minnesota, with the school's "M" logo behind one of the helmet's straps.

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