The St. Louis Blues have a history of honoring the members of the military. Jake Allen is quickly setting up a tradition of his own.
The St. Louis Blues honor the military or a member of the police just about every game. It usually draws standing ovations every time. Jake Allen is doing a smaller thing, but just as honorable way to show his appreciation.
Allen might be Canadian, but he knows that both the Canadian and American military are responsible for many of the freedoms we enjoy today. With that in mind, he has shown his appreciation in the best way he knows how – with his mask.
The Snake showed his appreciation in the past with a special mask. The Blues netminder had a mask to honor the Blue Angels not long ago.
Now, Allen has unveiled a new mask that will debut against the New York Islanders on November 11. On Veteran’s Day, 2017, the Blues goaltender will show his appreciation to military both near and far.
The full pictures can be seen on the Blues website.
While Allen has gone for more subtle accents in his usual masks of late, this one is top notch. It is both flashy and classy with the pieces Allen and his artists at Head Strong Grafx.
Ed Staniowski played for the Blues from 1975-1981. He is featured on the right ear of the mask, in his Canadian Armed Forces uniform. Staniowski served multiple tours of duty with the Canadian military after joining in 1985 and even served as recently as 2010 according to the team website.
Behind Staniowski is a stylized version of the Canadian flag. It is a brilliant way to show that not only American heroes deserve recognition.
On the left ear is Bobby Gassoff Jr. The son of the former Blues player Bob Gassoff, who was taken from us far too early, served in the Navy Seals. He won a college hockey championship and was with the Blues minor leagues when they were affiliated with the Worchester Ice Cats, as reported by Chris Pinkert.
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Fittingly, the same stylized flag resides behind Gassoff, though in this instance it is the American flag. The sides would be enough to make a top notch mask, but Jason Livery went all out with the design.
The forehead features military stars containing red, white and blue stripes. Those bars are somewhat reminiscent of G.I. Joe, a famous American military cartoon.
Last, but definitely not least, is the back plate. That’s usually where you find some form of personal accent, such as a nickname or in Allen’s case he usually has the New Brunswick flag.
In this case it is a silhouette of the famous scene of the U.S. soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima. The flag pops very nicely against the white of the soldiers and the darker blue of the mask.
Allen will give all the credit to Livery and any other artist who contributed and rightfully so. Nevertheless, every goaltender has at least some input into their mask and Allen had to have made the suggestions of the Blues’ family members that served proudly.
It continues to show how the members of the team appreciate all those that serve do for us. Regardless of where you fall politically, these are the kinds of things that should bring us together.
Add in the fact that the mask will be raffled off to help fund H.E.R.O.E.S. Care and you’ve got a home run all around.