It's not often we think about the goalie masks of the Florida Panthers, though in fairness we do watch mostly playoff hockey.
But Jose Theodore, you've earned our attention:
This is Theodore's new mask for the Panthers, and our records indicate it's the first in NHL history to feature a female feline in a bikini.
The design is a welcome change from the litany of Florida goalie masks that just feature a solitary palm tree or the goalie's face inside the jaws of a Panther head. Were this a Tex Avery cartoon, our eyes would now be bulging out while we make the "aaaah-oooo-gaaah" noise.
So what's the story behind the image? Prepare to feel a little awkward. From George Richards of On Frozen Pond, which published the mask image on Wednesday:
On one side of the mask is a feline wearing a bikini. On the other side is another adult cat (the one that looks a little like Joe Camel) wearing sunglasses. Next to him is a surprised looking kitten. I was told the three cats on the mask represent the Theodore clan: Jose, wife Stephanie and daughter Romy.
So the buxom bikini cat is … his wife? You know, once you work past the initial jaw drop, it's actually a sweet little gesture, no?
Here's the other side:
He's a little more Chester Cheetah than Joe Camel, because there's no way Joe Camel is ever using a bendy straw.