The Penguins’ new third jerseys are reminiscent of the early 1990s team that won back-to-back Stanley Cups in the beginning of the decade.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury took that idea one step further by designing the mask he will be wearing with those sweaters to be virtually identical to the one Tom Barrasso wore during that era. Barrasso played for the Penguins from 1988-2000, backstopping them to those first two championships in 1991 and ’92.
“It’s the same thing, pretty much,” Fleury said. “He’s a guy I grew up watching with the Penguins and they had those jerseys and I thought he was always very good, so that was pretty cool to get his mask.
“I think different masks have been different situations, but with this one I said I wanted one like Tom’s because of the jersey and as a kid, that’s how I remembered the Penguins – with those jerseys and Tom in net.”
Fleury recently passed Barrasso in the record book for most franchise wins (288), shutouts (28) and playoff shutouts (8). Fleury ranks second in team history with 52 playoff wins behind Barrasso’s 56, and has recorded the second (42, 2011-12), third (40, ‘06-07) and fourth (39, ‘13-14) most single-season win totals in team history behind Barrasso’s 43 in 1992-93.
While the front of Fleury’s helmet is a nod to Barrasso, the back remains filled with the 29-year-old’s own personal references. Fleury has always had his four grandparents’ initials (E.F.G.T.) listed there, along with a fleur-de-lis in honor of his last name. Those two elements remain, but this year he added something new – his daughter's name, Estelle. She was born to Fleury and his wife Veronique last April.
Continuing the throwback theme, Fleury is bringing back yellow pads similar to the ones he wore starting with his NHL debut on Oct. 10, 2003 against Los Angeles until Feb. 28, 2008, after which he switched to white ones. The only difference is that these ones are more of an orange-yellow hue, while the old ones were yellow-gold.
“Kind of missed them a little bit,” Fleury smiled. “It’s been a while. So I thought I would bring them back.”
Fleury will wear the Barrasso throwback helmet and yellow pads when the Pens don their third jerseys for 12 matchups during the 2014-15 season. The full schedule is here.