The Chicago Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup victory may have cause for joyous celebration and signalled the end of a 49-year drought, but it’s hard to compare the victory to that of the Chicago Cubs, the Windy City’s beloved baseball club, who snapped a 108-year World Series drought by winning the MLB title this past season.
Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling seems to be well aware of just how much that victory meant to the city of Chicago, too. As the Blackhawks get ready to head outdoors for the Jan. 2 Winter Classic meeting with the St. Louis Blues, Darling has unveiled a mask that will bring the Cubbies to the ice for the NHL’s marquee outdoor contest.
Designed and painted by DaveArt’s David Gunnarsson, the mask is Darling’s “love story to the Cubs.” The design, simple and clean, features black and white sketches across the top of the mask and throughout the right panel, with the Blackhawks’ logo for the outdoor game placed on the back left. Take a look:
The mask itself bearing the stitch marks of a baseball is a clever touch that makes the top of the mask standout, while the left panel that features the logo and black and red striping pattern is a nice way to pay tie into the uniforms Chicago will be wearing for the game. However, all the best touches are on the right panel.
On the right crown of the mask, Gunnarsson has sketched two images of Anthony Rizzo, Darling’s favorite Cub, along with Rizzo’s No. 44. Behind Rizzo, you’ll find the Cubs logo faded into the background. There’s also an incredibly detailed image of broadcaster Harry Caray, which is a beautiful tribute to the legendary Cubs voice.
And no mask that has anything at all to do with the Cubs would be complete without the iconic Wrigley Field scoreboard, which Gunnarsson has painted to display “World Series Champions,” which surely gives Cubs fans a slight, joyous shiver every time it crosses their minds.
According to Gunnarsson, this is just the first of two masks Darling will have for the outing, but it won’t be easy to top his tribute to the Cubs.
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.