January 09, 2010
Last month, a fire in the equipment truck that transported the Minnesota Wild's gear to Ottawa incinerated almost everything inside. The Wild equipment staff scrambled to get new gear to the players in time for their game against the Senators the next night and goaltenders Josh Harding(notes) and Niklas Backstrom(notes) needed to wear pads that weren't broken in yet, something that makes the job of a netminder extremely difficult.
On Tuesday, the Star Tribune's Michael Russo wrote that since Harding's mask was lost in the blaze, he decide to change the look for his new one and the Wild goaltender hinted that the design may pay tribute to the incident.
Fast forward to this morning and there is photographic evidence of Harding's new mask that is littered with memories of the fire. Russo tweeted out pictures of the mask that was designed by Stacy, Minnesota-based maskmaker Todd Miska.
Here's the back of the equipment truck on fire:
Next, the fire truck that came to put out the blaze:
Finally, the back of Harding's mask featuring the seal of the Ottawa fire department:
As Russo noted in his article on Tuesday, Harding is known for changing his mask frequently. He wore a pink mask in 2006 to honor his sister who was battling breast cancer at the time. The mask was later auctioned off to benefit a Canadian breast cancer charity. Two seasons ago he featured country music band Rascal Flatts on a mask that also paid tribute to the victims of the Minnesota bridge collapse.
According to Russo, Harding doesn't plan to auction this mask off for charity, but it might be a good idea as the money raised could help pay for at least a single one-piece stick that Mikko Koivu(notes) or Martin Havlat(notes) could share.