Toronto Maple Leafs netminder Antoine Bibeau is hoping to see his first NHL action this season, but his mask will have him looking like one of the most beloved goaltenders in franchise history.
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ 100th anniversary celebration will include an outdoor game, dubbed the Centennial Classic, the re-raising of banners, additions to legends row and the debut of brand new uniforms that pay tribute to the team’s past. There will be one more piece of history brought back if goaltender
Antoine Bibeau gets a shot between the pipes for the big club, though. Bibeau, 22, is set to debut a brand new mask for the upcoming season, and the beautiful lid pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Maple Leafs by honoring
Felix Potvin, one of the most beloved goaltenders in the history of the franchise. It isn’t just an homage to Potvin’s mask with a few design flares or touches, though. Instead, the mask has been designed to look like a modern-day version of the look Potvin rocked during his days as a Maple Leaf. The mask features the cat eyes on top and the teeth along the bottom of the cage, but
Airbrush Zap’s Sylvie Poitras,
the mask designer, threw in some additional images along the right and left panels, as well as the back plate of the helmet. Take a look:
During his career in Toronto, Potvin posted a 160-149-49 record, .908 save percentage and 2.87 goals-against average, and he burst onto the scene in 1992-93 with a campaign that nearly earned him Calder and Vezina Trophy honors. He finished third and fourth in voting, respectively. This isn’t the first time Bibeau has used his mask to honor the netminders who came before him in the Maple Leafs’ crease. Previously,
Bibeau wore a design that paid tribute to Johnny Bower and
he rocked a Mike Palmateer helmet this past season. However, those designs’ only homage to the Maple Leafs’ greats were images of them on the helmet. The Potvin-style mask is the first one to pull a design from a former Toronto netminder. There’s a fair chance we’ll see Bibeau rock the mask in the Maple Leafs’ goal at some point this season. Unless Toronto inks an experienced backup, Bibeau is slated to battle it out with Garret Sparks for the No. 2 position in the Maple Leafs’ goal and he could very well see at least one or two starts at some point in the campaign. Bibeau spent 14 games in the NHL this past season, but dressed for only 11. He was the backup for each game and has yet to see a minute of NHL action. He posted a 28-9-1 record with the Toronto Marlies in 2015-16, posting a .909 SP, 2.70 GAA and three shutouts.
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