Leafs Prospect Bibeau Honours Palmateer On New Mask
Antoine Bibeau has been steadily working his way up the Toronto Maple Leafs’ depth chart since being drafted in the sixth round in 2013. His strong work ethic falls in line with the inscription on the back plate of his new mask from Sylvie Poitras of Airbrush Zap.
It reads “one day at a time.” That’s been his mantra since his days with Val d’Or of the QMJHL, who he won a Memorial Cup with.
The new design is very similar to the previous mask that Bibeau received last year from Airbrush Zap, which honoured Leafs’ legend Johnny Bower. This year, he chose to go with Mike Palmateer, who is known for some great mask designs of his own! The cream and blue colour scheme give it a truly vintage feel, and the cream-coloured cage is also a nice touch. The chin displays his nickname “Bibs” in a cool, graffiti-style font. To honour his grandmother, the back plate includes a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon.
A Toronto native, Palmateer played over 350 games in the NHL in the late-70s and early-80s, almost entirely with the Maple Leafs. While the Leafs were struggling to win games during that period, Palmateer made himself a fan favourite through his courageous style. His cool-looking masks didn’t hurt his popularity either.
Although he was born in Quebec, Bibeau has fully converted to the blue and white, and hopes to show off this tribute mask in the NHL this year. As a rookie with the Toronto Marlies in 2014-2015, he went 15-10-5 with a 2.69 goals-against-average and .913 save percentage. He is yet to make his NHL debut. but 2015-2016 may be the year.
Sylvie Poitras has a pedigree of her own, having designed masks in the past for Martin Brodeur during the Olympics, and Shannon Szabados for her SPHL team. Sylvie also designs masks for fellow Maple Leafs prospect Christopher Gibson, for whom she’ll have a new design to share soon. Until then, be sure to check out Airbrush Zap’s website for more of Sylvie’s work.
Here are some close ups of Bibeau’s new mask that Poitras kindly shared with InGoal Magazine: