Samuel Montembeault puts Simpsons on the ice with new mask
Diehard fans of The Simpsons know that the show, although ‘officially’ located in a fictitious American town, the city is heavily based on Springfield, Massachusetts.
That little cinematic tidbit served as some serious inspiration for Samuel Montembeault and mask artist Sylvie Marsolais of Sylabrush, who just revealed his latest mask design as a first-year pro for the Florida Panthers:
“At the end of the summer we sat down with Sam to check down his ideas about his 1st Florida Panthers paint job,” Marsolais told InGoal.
He wanted the main theme of the mask to be around the Springfield Thunderbirds team.
Sam is a big fan of the ‘’Simpsons’’ show and as the team play in Springfield, home of ‘’The Simpsons’’, he wanted some of those characters playing hockey to be painted on the mask. He also wanted a big realistic thunderbird with wings wide open to cover mainly the whole mask.”
Marsolais explained that they came up with the idea of putting the Simpsons characters inside of the thunderbird’s wings, which gives the sides of the mask a splash of color without making the design too busy. It’s a perfect backdrop for Bart as he skates down against antagonist Nelson Muntz, mimicking a pale blue frozen ponds as the Thunderbird itself provides the perfect arena for their showdown.
Behind the bird, Marsolais points out, there’s the ‘Springfield’ sign from the show (mimicking America’s most iconic sign in the Hollywood Hills), then Montembeault’s number on the chin itself is scripted out using the show’s official font.
It’s a perfect harmony of pop culture and symbolism for the team, which was important to the rookie goaltender as he moved from the QMJHL to the pros.
The backplate provides a bit of extra symbolism, to boot. There’s the Panthers new logo – so the mask isn’t entirely AHL-based – along with the team’s motto, “No Excuses”, and the logo for La Fondation Alecxange, which raises money to help provide aid for families of children with cancer.
Here’s a couple more looks at the mask: