For David Aebischer’s return to North American hockey Dave Gunnarsson has created a mask that is a tribute to Aebischer’s Swiss heritage and to Canadian Aviation.

According to Dave:

“It was very exciting to create this design, a tribute to the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Aces of WW2. The design has a lot of meanings and messages, so many details that some you cannot see on the photos, only when you see it live. I love to incorporate a lot of details and stories into the designs.”


The left side of the mask features Canadian Ace Wilbert Dodd, who flew in World War II, flying his plane (a Spitfire XIV) over Winnipeg’s mountains. Also painted on this side is the Royal Canadian Air Force logo.

The right side of the mask has been designed to look like an old school fighter plane with nose art featuring a pin up. This pin up is designed to represent Helvetia, a Swiss national figure, and so she carries a spear and a shield featuring the Swiss flag .


Dave also points out that “around the chin is the latin phrase from the Air Force logo, “Per Ardua Ad Astra”, that is also the name of this mask design. It means “Through adversity to the stars”, and that phrase inspired the whole artwork. From the front the graphic lines on the top shapes the letter V, the sign of Victory and the sign Churchill showed when WW2 was won.”

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12 Responses to David Aebischer’s Winnipeg Jets Mask, 2011.

  1. Nick H. says:

    Wooooooow, I really like how everything flows. I love the amount of detail Gunnarsson puts into his masks, especially the ‘fresh’ bullet holes on the right side.

  2. Matt in Montreal says:

    Once again, Dave goes insane on a mask!

  3. paul szabo says:

    I am a pacifist at heart but that mask is a winner. Lots to look at but not overly busy. Plus the use of the predominant white theme looks clean and sharp. Wow…

  4. JRoy says:

    Wunnipeg’s mountains?
    Seriously? Are you new???

  5. Blitz says:

    It’s nice, and I dig the tribute to the RCAF – except the Submarine-Spitfire is not a “Jet” at all – a plane, Yes… a Jet, No.

    Any reference to a military theme/RCAF for Winnipeg without an actual Jet is kinda useless IMO.

  6. Paul Ipolito says:

    Born in 1953 and doomed to wear a stupid,boring, white plastic “mask” during my playing time.Damn! I’m going out in style though. I am going to request that a mask artist paints my coffin.(Not fo a while, hopefully)

  7. François J says:

    Wonderful mask ! I like the Royal Canadian Air Force emblem of the eft side. So, i search the back plate pictures for this mask ! Someones can help me please ?

    Thanks !

  8. question3 says:

    Fantastic mask. Absolutely stunning.

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