Historic Influences Turned Futuristic: Price’s Unique Tribute to Past Habs Goalies

Montreal Canadiens’ goal tender Carey Price has a new custom mask for the 2021 NHL season. This highly anticipated work of art was custom created for Price by Calgary airbrush artist Jordon Bourgeault. The art itself has been praised, but the reasoning behind the unusual design was critically questioned by the hockey professionals and fandom.  

By wearing this mask, Price displays self-expression and individuality which is highly criticized as it does not meet common expectation of uniformity in hockey. Unlike the typical goal tender masks we have come to expect from NHL culture, it does not have obvious connections to his team. Instead of resembling team uniforms with a large logo displayed in bold teams’ colours, Price’s mask is a sea of highly intricate details.  

Once the mask made its debut, an interview with Bourgeault revealed the design’s “influences from history turned futuristic”.  He also adds, ‘“It’s sort of the history of all the past Montreal Canadiens goalies and all of their information being pumped directly into the brain of Carey Price… and he’s got all that past information helping him.” Of the goalies recognized via the art, the tribute to the history of Jacque Plante is a standout due to the similar social controversy Plante faced as the first NHL goalie to use a mask. 

The sport of hockey has evolved significantly since the NHL was founded over 100 years ago. However, research outlines how these revelations did not come without social controversy. Despite criticism, Plante and Price challenge the norms of NHL culture and what has come to be expected of a goal tender’s uniform. Big or small, steps like these are what pushes the ridged social constructs of sport to evolve. 

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Featured Image: Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, sporting his new mask during the NHL’s 2021 season opener against Toronto Maple Leafs (Source: Photo by Claus Andersen /Getty Images)

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