Kuemper Snarls With Wild Mask Design
Darcy Kuemper hasn’t yet resigned with the Minnesota Wild, but a wicked new mask design suggests the restricted free agent knows where he’ll be next year. It may be a log jam in Minnesota between the pipes, but if on-ice aesthetics have anything to do with the selection process for Mike Yeo and company, we’re pretty sure Darcy Kuemper is a shoe-in for the starting night’s roster.
Working together with Dave Gunnarsson from DaveArt, the third year goalie will bring in the 2014-2015 season with some serious bite. The crowded crease includes Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding, and perhaps even the enigmatic Ilya Bryzgalov who has expressed interest in returning to Minnesota. Kuemper played well in 26 appearances last year and will likely compete for a roster spot on the Wild as the season begins.
According to Gunnarsson’s Facebook page, “The Legend is Alive”! Werewolves are the theme of Kuemper’s latest helmet. “I love to create designs that also tell a story, and it is all hidden in the details”, said Gunnarssson, and as you look closer, you can see just what he means. On the left side of the mask, you can see where an animal of unimaginable horror has shredded through the outermost layer of the helmet to reveal the green and red of the Minnesota Wild logo, as well as the snarling face of a werewolf. Painted with great detail in the corner of the mask is the whole werewolf, complete with the dreaded full moon. The half-wolf, half-man comes to life just as much as this mask!
Along the chin, “Kuemps” (Kuemper’s nickname) is scrawled hastily as if the writer was running for his life from the monster. On the right side of the helmet, the Wild logo of the Minnesota landscape inside the silhouette of a bear head is displayed more prominently. The torn and shredded theme continues there, though mercifully lets up towards the top of the mask where a basic white background is adorned with a small Minnesota crest. Gunnarsson adds “Just as usual I have created the design with all the DAVEART trademark effects… and the closer you come, if you dare, the more you will discover”. Scary!
As we alluded to earlier, Kuemper hasn’t actually resigned with the Wild. However, most would see this new mask as an indication that Kuemper and team management expect to come to an agreement before the season starts. With Niklas Backstrom back, and Josh Harding apparently reporting to camp healthy, Kuemper will be in tough to start the season with the Wild. Unfortunately for the Wild and hockey fans everywhere, Harding’s multiple sclerosis has hindered him in the past, but may open a door for Kuemper. In parts of two seasons with Minnestoa, Kuemper has a 13-10-4 record, with a .915 SV%, a 2.19 GAA, and 2 shutouts.
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher isn’t convinced that Kuemper’s body of work is enough to warrant a big contract, not to mention that Kuemper did miss some time last year with concussion issues. Regardless of the decisions yet to be made on behalf of the Wild and Darcy Kuemper, if he does suit up for the big club, he’ll look good and mean. Gunnarsson’s menacing reincarnation of the classic werewolf is enough to keep any NHL regular on the lookout for danger in the Wild.
Dave Gunnarsson has come up with some great work once again, as he did for Jhonas Enroth and Frederik Andersen recently. For more about Kuemper’s mask or to find more of Dave Gunnarsson’s great artwork check out his website, Twitter feed, his Facebook page, and Instagram. Below, you can see more of the featured mask in this article for Darcy Kuemper.