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JF Berube pays tribute to Tony Esposito with Blackhawks mask

JF Berube is on his way to a new team.

After spending a tough year navigating a three-way tandem with the New York Islanders, the 26-year-old netminder had a tumultuous summer. He was claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 Expansion Draft, then released as a free agent and subsequently signed by the Chicago Blackhawks to make his Central Division debut.

It’s a new team and a new town for the netminder – so he and mask artist Sylvie Marsolais got together and created a new masterpiece to represent the Windy City.

Take a look:

“JF always likes to represent well the city for where he will play,” Marsolais told InGoal.

“On the chin, you can see the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as ‘the Bean’, from the Millenium Park in Chicago. We did the bean in chrome like the original one, leaving it as the only shiny part on the mask. The rest got a matte finish.  Behind the chrome bean, you can see Chicago skyline. “

The mask isn’t just an ode to the city itself, though. Marsolais and Berube worked together to pay homage to one of the Blackhawks greats in net, the iconic Tony O:

“JF also wanted to pay tribute to Tony Esposito,” Marsolais revealed.

“We did a red stripe on his eyes and we did the same thing on the other side with the team logo.  

On top of JF’s mask, you can see some ”C” logos painted in grey with our special SubZero paint. When JF will hit the ice it will become black.

On the backplate, you can see a small dream catcher.”

It’s a greyscale mask with splashes of color, giving the logo on the front, Berube’s number on the chin, and the red stripe a bit of a ‘pop’ while preventing the elaborate details and realism in the skyline, bean, and Esposito image from looking too busy. Add in the SubZero details – giving the mask a chance to shift and change on the ice – and it’s a masterpiece for the former Islanders and Los Angeles Kings backstop.

Marsolais and Berube did an excellent photo shoot with photographer Sébastien Gervais to highlight the new mask, giving InGoal a sneak peek at the images:

To check out more of Marsolais’ work with Sylabrush, check out the Sylabrush official website or her Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter. For a chance to see more work from Gervais, check out his official website.

About The Author

Cat Silverman

Catherine is the first American in a long line of Canadians, making her the black sheep before she even decided she wasn't going to be a Leafs fan. Writer for Today's Slapshot, InGoal Magazine, and, coach in the Arizona Coyotes Department of Hockey Development. Goalies are not voodoo.