Frederik Andersen surprised many last year in his first season in the National Hockey League. He likely caught the majority of Ducks’ management off guard as well. Who would have thought Andersen could step in for Jonas Hiller and make the run that he did? Well, I bet Andersen himself would have something to say about that. A testament to Andersen’s strong play occurred this offseason when Anaheim chose not to resign Hiller to a deal, letting the Swiss born goalie sign with the Calgary Flames. That move along with the Viktor Fasth trade to Edmonton makes Andersen the front runner for the starting job next year. To accompany the new spot in the depth chart, Andersen has commissioned Dave Gunnarsson from DaveArt to come up with a mask unlike any other.
Gunnarsson has put together one of the coolest designs we have seen for some time. It would appear that LEGO has graced an NHL lid for the first time, or so we think. LEGO was originally invented in Denmark before it became a worldwide phenomenon, and I’m sure the Danish netminder, Andersen, is hoping to take a similar path! According to Gunnarsson’s Facebook page, he and Andersen “often brainstorm cool mask design ideas together, and this idea popped up” so he “made some quick sketches and there it was.” We couldn’t be more impressed with the final product!
Titled, “LEGO Goalie – The Brickwall Builder”, the left side of the mask shows Andersen depicted as a LEGO character building up a blockade in front of the goal. Sitting on the LEGO Andersen’s head is an ode to Gerry Cheevers, as you can see the famous “stitched mask” from the 1970’s. On the right side, the wall is built and stuck to it is a poster with the old Mighty Ducks logo. Clearly, Andersen is aware of those who came before him! Just above the wall on the right, you will also notice a small silhouette of a mermaid. It is, in fact, The Little Mermaid based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen (you guessed it, another Dane). A statue of said the mermaid sits in the harbour of Copenhagen and stands as tribute to Frederik’s home country. Against a background of nebulas and stars, bricks fly and another Mighty Ducks logo sits just above the facemask. The level of detail and incredible design is certainly something we’ve come to expect from DaveArt. The artists notes, “As usual the design is total loaded with details and all the DAVEART trademark effects such as 3D PaintTech”.
Andersen will have some mighty expectations to fulfill, but if last year is any indication, he’s clearly up to the challenge. In his first NHL game last year, Andersen stepped in while the Ducks were down 3-1 to the Stars and ultimately won the game, recording two shutout periods and taking the victory, 6-3. He didn’t stop there. Ultimately posting a 20-5-0 record with Anaheim, Andersen was sensational. His .923 save percentage was 8th among goalies with more than 25 games, and his 2.29 GAA was 10th among starters. While Andersen dropped off slightly in the postseason, going 3-2 in 7 games and only managing a .899 SV%, I’m sure the Ducks management are confident that he’ll come back better than ever in October. He’ll certainly look better than ever!
Dave Gunnarsson also made a fantastic new Oilers mask for the aforementioned Viktor Fasth and was the artist behind two of Fasth’s past Ducks designs, Judge Duck and Mr. Bane Duck. For more about the mask itself and to find more of Dave Gunnarsson’s great artwork check out his website, Twitter feed, his Facebook page, and Instagram. You can also see the close ups of his work below!