Beaupre Goes ‘North Stars’ On Stadium Series Mask
Netminder Don Beaupre is set to honour Minnesota’s NHL teams, past and present, with this awesome new mask designed by Erik Gilbertson of Gilby Designs.
Featuring both the Minnesota North Stars’ iconic logo and the Minnesota Wild’s current crest, the mask was specially painted for the upcoming Stadium Series alumni game, when a combined Minnesota North Stars and Wild team take on a Chicago Blackhawks alumni team at TCF Bank Stadium – home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team.
While the game itself is now just weeks away, the design process took significantly longer.
“The process started back in August, when Don’s son Connor saw a picture I had posted on Facebook of a Jon Casey style mask I had painted” Gilbertson told InGoal. “They got to talking and saw that I was local to them (Minneapolis area) so they contacted me and of course I was interested in taking on the project.”
“I grew up watching the North Stars and went all-in with the opportunity, to get a chance to do a North Stars mask for the team was a huge honor.”
Drafted by Minnesota in the 2nd round of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft (37th overall), Beaupre played 316 games for the North Stars between 1980 and 1989 before being traded to Washington.
“Don didn’t give me any specifics at first as far as what he was looking for,” Gilbertson continued “so I put together a few mock ups and after about 5 or 6 versions we came up with the final product.”
“Some of the early designs were very North Star heavy, as far as logos go and he was a bit hesitant to include too much North Stars imagery since he wasn’t sure how much that was going to be a part of the event. But being an early Stars fan, I was all about making it scream ‘North Stars’.”
Gilbertson’s use of green and yellow certainly capture the old North Stars look, with the team’s classic logo appearing on one side as well a number of other ‘North Star’ related design points helping reconnect with the club, which moved to Dallas in 1993.
“Don liked the star outline on either side as a sort of subtle nod to the team. After it was announced that they would be wearing a North Stars jersey, he gave the go-ahead to add a logo. He also wanted to include the Wild since it is their event, so he had the idea to have the skylines. Wild logo above the St. Paul skyline, North Stars above the Minneapolis skyline.” Gilbertson explained.
“Don had initially wanted to have the Met Center on the top, not unlike his Capitals mask that had the US capitol building on it, but it just didn’t work. The Met Center was kind of a box-y, nondescript building. So I added the stripe down the middle to help separate the two cities. I was able to add an exterior of the Met Center behind the images of Don and Gilles Meloche.”
Meloche will be sharing goaltending duties with Beaupre on February 20th, reuniting a partnership that manned the North Stars’ crease from 1980 through to Meloche’s departure in 1985.
The pair helped backstop the North Stars to the 1981 Stanley Cup Final, with Beaupre recording Minnesota’s only win against the New York Islanders as Al Arbour’s team won the second of four straight championships.
“After I had the goalie images on there of Beaupre, Meloche, Maniago and Worsley, I had some empty space on either side to fill, so I came up with the idea of paying homage to the former goalies who have worn the ‘N’ and put their names on it. I wanted to put all 26 goalies who played at least 1 game with the team, but in the end I just didn’t have the room for each one, so those who only played a handful of games were left off, with the 1 exception of Jim Craig. I kept him on since he’s a fairly notable name.”
Beaupre played a total of 667 NHL games during a seventeen year career, representing not only the North Stars and Capitals, but Ottawa and Toronto as well, becoming the first Senators’ netminder to record an NHL shut out in 1994.
All four club logos appearing on the backplate of Beaupre’s new mask, with the Waterloo, Ontario native compiling a 268-277-75 record through his career.