For the first time in the history of outdoor games, the main event might actually be the alumni game before the actual regular season NHL contest, but that’s not hard to believe considering the rivalry the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings had in the mid-1990s. One player who is coming especially prepared for the outdoor tilt is Patrick Roy. The former Avalanche netminder and present-day coach has been donning the pads in several team skates over the past few weeks in preparation for Saturday’s game, and when he takes the ice for the alumni game he may not play like a new and improved version of himself, but he’s certainly going to look that way thanks to a brand new mask. The mask,
designed by DaveArt’s David Gunnarsson, will look familiar to those who watched Roy during his heyday as it’s an updated version of a mask he wore with the Avalanche. Matching on both the left and right panels, the mask features evil mountains with an avalanche spilling down:
“It was like a dream for me to create this painting,”
Gunnarsson wrote of the chance to make Roy’s mask. “Patrick Roy was my favorite goalie when I grew up, I had posters of him on my walls. And now paint for him is totally unreal.” Roy’s mask will be part of the spectacle of the two alumni teams facing off against each other featuring some of the same faces who made the rivalry so heated two decades ago. In the lead up to the game, some players have traded barbs. Detroit’s Dino Ciccarelli, who also suited up for the Minnesota alumni at the Wild-Blackhawks Stadium Series game,
said the game would be "intense", while
Avalanche alumni blueliner Adam Foote told a Denver sports radio station that if he could punch one player in the face, it would be Red Wings’ alumni Kris Draper. Roy, however, said the game could get heated, but the primary objective is to have some fun with it. "First of all, I'm there to enjoy myself, that's the No. 1 thing,"
Roy told NHL.com. "I mean, I had my career. Yes, I love to compete, but I'm not that crazy. I love it, you know? But at the same time, I'm going there to have fun, that's the main thing, and renew with those players and the guys from Detroit, and the guys from [Colorado]. I think it's going to be simply fun, that's how I look at it. When the game starts, you never know … it could turn, but it's not the objective."