InGoal talks with Phoenix goaltender about his new mask

Jason LaBarbera has long been known for his wrestling- and rock-and-roll-themed goalie masks, all designed and painted by Toronto artist David Arrigo.

This season the Phoenix Coyotes keeper decided to get more serious with his latest Arrigo design.

LaBarbera’s new mask features a camouflage military theme anchored by images of Pat Tillman, an all-American linebacker at Arizona State who became the starting safety for the Arizona Cardinals before leaving the NFL to enlist in the U.S. army after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Tillman was killed on a tour of duty in Afghanistan in April 2004.

“At the time I thought ‘wow, this guy is leaving something he has worked his whole life for, to go do something that he feels is the right thing to do and is the best thing for his country,'” said LaBarbera, also noting Tillman’s huge popularity in Arizona. “Thousands and thousands of professional athletes and he’s the only one that left and basically made the ultimate sacrifice for what he felt is right. That’s a pretty amazing thing that he wanted to do.”

Jason LaBarbera Pat Tillman Tribute Coyotes Mask

LaBarbera will donate $420 (Tillman wore number 42) for every win he gets to the Pat Tillman foundation, which helps the families of soldiers who have fought for their country. But the Phoenix goaltender stressed that his mask is meant to honour all soldiers, in both the United States and his native Canada, pointing out both flags are represented on his new lid.

“It’s just more a respect thing and not just for him, but for all the troops that go overseas and fight over there,” said LaBarbera. “They honor them at games and stuff but I just never feel like the troops ever get enough respect when they get back and I can’t imagine how difficult it is going over there, and then coming back to a normal life again. So it’s for everybody, all those men and women that go over and put their lives on the line for everybody else. It’s the ultimate thing and I think we should all give more respect to them.”

Jason LaBarbera Pat Tillman Tribute Coyotes Mask

Jason LaBarbera Pat Tillman Tribute Coyotes Mask

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4 Responses to LaBarbera talks about honouring military with Pat Tillman mask

  1. Joel says:

    Pat Tillman wore # 42 in college at ASU, and in San Jose CA’s Leland High School. I went to the school with Tillman, didn’t know him too well. But my interactions with him were always hilarious, and I think this is a wonderful tribute by The LaBarbarian.

  2. Porelle says:

    Very nice tribute to Tillman, very classy mask.

  3. The Spoonman says:

    I am in agreement with what has been said already. It is a wonderful tribute to not only Pat Tillman but to every soldier who has been in battle and for those who, like Pat Tillman gave the ultimate sacrifice so that our world can one day be a safer place to live in. The mask is a great tribute and the creative design by David Arrigo is amazing. Jason LaBarbera is to be congratulated not only for having his mask painted as he has but for his kind words he said in this article as well as donating $420.00 to the Pat Tillman foundation for every victory the team gets when he is in nets. I just know that God will bless him for what he is doing.

  4. Caps21 says:

    This helmet is amazing. Bauer, the Coyotes, or someone should make replicas of this helmet. I would love to have one sitting on a shelf in my home! What a tribute to Pat Tillman and all the military personnel around the world. Well done!

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