St. Louis Blues Jordan Binnington’s CuJo Mask Knocks It Out Of The Park

2000 Season: Curtis Joseph of the St. Louis Blues makes the save despite Tony Granato's aggressive effort. (Photo by Wen Roberts/Getty Images)
2000 Season: Curtis Joseph of the St. Louis Blues makes the save despite Tony Granato's aggressive effort. (Photo by Wen Roberts/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Blues went retro with their 2019-20 fourth jersey. With that in mind, Jordan Binnington did the same with the mask he’ll wear in those games.

In case you’re wondering why there is an old picture of Curtis Joseph in his days with the St. Louis Blues as the main photo, you probably missed the news. Since the Blues are going retro with their jerseys three times in 2019-20, Jordan Binnington will do the same in those games.

On the NHL app and the team’s website, it was revealed that Binnington will wear a mask inspired and very reminiscent of the one CuJo wore at the end of his Blues tenure. By that point, Joseph had already worn a mask or two with the rabid dog face on it, but this particular one was, perhaps, the most famous and loved.


As you can see in the picture, it is not an exact copy and that is for the best. There is a fine line between copying and paying homage and this mask walks that line to perfection.

Personally, I still prefer the Joseph mask. The color scheme is a bit darker in the CuJo mask and I prefer the nose on his dog face since it looks more like a dog nose – there is something more cat like in Binnington’s portrayal.

The only other small nitpick I have with Binnington’s mask is the actual picture of Joseph. I fully understand why it is there, but there is something flat about it.

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I’m always amazed by the detail these artists can put onto their work and I appreciate the photo-realism. However, I just don’t care for the picture being there. Maybe the wrinkles don’t sit right in my mind or maybe the picture looks more like the CuJo that played in Toronto or Detroit than the one I remember with the Blues.

For whatever reason, I don’t care for that little detail. The rest of it is on point.

Regardless of who has worn them, I have always liked the open-mouth depictions on masks. Whether it was CuJo or Andy Moog‘s bear in Boston, Brian Hyward‘s shark mouth mask or John Vanbiesbrouck‘s Panther mask, they’ve all been hits with me.

So, it should be no surprise that I like this homage to the CuJo mask for Binnington. The small details are all there.

Of course, you have the dog face. You also have a nice rendition of the CuJo logo right next to the picture of Joseph.

The extra details are nice too. In the dark blue portions of the fur, there are little Bluenotes in there, adding a little new touch to it that makes it distinctly Binnington’s mask.

What is also nice is the hint at the red without it being in your face. It is a small nod to the red that will feature on the 90’s jerseys the Blues will wear November 21, February 27 and March 31. It does not hit you over the head with red as the jersey does, but it is there.

David Gunnarsson, who did Binnington’s other Blues masks, did a fantastic job here. Most importantly, Binnington is very happy with the outcome.

“David did an incredible job,” Binnington said, as reported by Chris Pinkert. “‘Cujo’ was a big part of my childhood motivation. It’s cool to be in a position where I’m able to wear a mask resembling his and give a small gratitude to the influence he had on not only me but cities of people.”

The mask won’t be the only thing to change for Binnington. During the Blues run to the 2016-17 conference final, Brian Elliott also paid tribute to Joseph with a similar mask and switched to blue pads and his glove.

Binnington will do the same. According to the team website, Binner’s pads, blocker and glove will all be blue with “splashes” of red. I’ve never been against the red totally, but hopefully it is a tasteful splash.

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Love or hate this, barring any change due to the unforeseen fickle nature of goaltender superstition, we are only going to see this mask three times. I would like to see it more often, but I also understand the purpose of it is to play along with the vintage nature of the uniform.

However, like Elliott, if he gets on a role, we might see it more. Time will tell. Overall, it is a fantastic mask, well crafted by the artist and fitting for a kid from Toronto who idolized the player.