Kari Lehtonen’s New Dallas Stars Mask
Lehtonen enlists help from old teammate – and skilled artist – to create look for new Stars uniforms
Kari Lehtonen’s new Stars mask for the 2013-2014 season is a first for InGoal from Finnish painter Joni ‘Bona’ Hallikainen, a former pro goaltender who now makes his living as a mask artist and also loves creating replica masks from the 1970’s NHL era.
Although ‘Bona’ did paint one mask for Lehtonen last season, it is fitting that we introduce a new artist today with the first mask Lehtonen will use with the Stars newly designed uniforms. Hallikainen and Lehtonen have been friends for many years, having played together on the same junior team, Jokerit Helsinki, in 1999.
As Hallikainen tells it, “I was going in to my last Junior A season and broke my ACL in the very last exhibition game before the regular season. Kari was a Junior B rookie and he was called in. The rest is history.”
While Hallikainen would probably be happy to be in the Dallas net himself, the mask art world is happy that he has perfected his craft after more than 19 years of painting.
Lehtonen enjoys a good conversation about gear and goalies as much as anyone and he gave Hallikainen some specific instructions about the design, requesting the new Stars logo on the sides, the graphic design on the top of the mask and the longhorn on the chin. Like any great artist, Bona took the suggestions and ran with them, creating a clean, bold look that will look fantastic with the Stars new uniforms.