Gibson,Bobkov,Thiessen Unmasked

In other professional sports every player’s equipment is tailored to their liking. The same standards hold true in professional hockey. There is one piece of equipment in hockey that goaltenders have complete control of and that is the design and theme of their helmets. A goalies mask often tells a story or pays homage to their country, personal background or team they’re assigned to.

Have you ever wanted to know why goalies pick a certain design or paint scheme? Well this article is here to give you an insider’s look into the designs and paint schemes of John Gibson, Igor Bobkov, and Brad Thiessen who are currently assigned to the top development club of the Anaheim Ducks, the Norfolk Admirals.

Another look at Gibson's mask Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

Another look at Gibson’s mask Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

John Gibson teamed up with DaveArt in Sweden the same company that designs and paints Anaheim’s Viktor Fasth’s, and Frederik Andersen’s masks.

“Gibby” went with the paint scheme called “The haunted insane asylum

Ducks on the loose.” Gibson described his mask, as having some mean faces. John also said that he was pretty

laid back on the design and the only request he asked of DaveArt was to put his hometown of Pittsburgh on the back. As far as the turnaround time on his mask, it only took a month.

The Insane Asylum design by DaveArt Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

The Insane Asylum design by DaveArt Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

Second year goalie Igor Bobkov teamed up with DaveArt on his mask also, but his theme took a different route.  Bobkov’s lid is pretty mellow compared to Gibson’s.

This side of Bobkov's mask has an old school look. Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

This side of Bobkov’s mask has an old school look. Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

According to Igor, on the left side of his mask he has a Duck logo and the right side he has a duck as a logo with pads, gloves and a stick. The lower part of Bobkov’s mask has his nickname, “Bobber”. On the back Bobber wanted DaveArt to put every country’s flag where he’s played including Russia his homeland, Canada where he played his junior hockey, and the United States where he is splitting time between AHL Norfolk and ECHL Utah.

This side features the Duck logo. Photo Credit:(Norfolk Admirals)

This side features the Duck logo. Photo Credit:(Norfolk Admirals)

Brad Thiessen may steal the hearts of many Norfolk faithful’s with the attention to detail and the historic design behind his mask. Thiessen struck an idea about a design as he chatted with a member of the Admirals equipment staff. Brad thought he should highlight the military because of the Navy’s presence in Norfolk.

Brad Thiessen chose to showcase Norfolk's heavy Navy presence.  Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

Brad Thiessen chose to showcase Norfolk’s heavy Navy presence. Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

Thiessen chose Marc Bernier’s company Griff Original as his designer. Thiessen told Bernier about the military presence and Bernier painted the Navy emblem, a Navy ship, and a fighter jet. The other side features a colonist as Thiessen explained that this area was one of the original places where English colonists dropped anchor.

Another look at Thiessen's design. Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

Another look at Thiessen’s design. Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

On the back Thiessen has a Canadian flag that displays his heritage, an emblem that displays his college alma matter Northeastern University, and a verse from the Bible, Philippines 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Note the fighter jet on Thiessen's lid Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

Note the fighter jet on Thiessen’s lid Photo Credit: (Norfolk Admirals)

Now that you know the stories behind the masks, come out to the next Norfolk home came on January 17, and view these magnificent works of art in person.

Follow Ted on Twitter @Bauerhockeydude


Ted Warren

Ted Warren

Ted grew up in Virginia. Warren has a passion for the AHL and dishes out articles about the Norfolk Admirals and the AHL. Follow him on Twitter @bauerhockeydude
Ted Warren
RT @syrhockey: Crunch baby update II: Angelidis and wife expecting second child, a son, in late March. Likely named Alex, after Mike's dad. - 2 days ago

One Comment

  1. Kari Salmela says:

    Jonas Hiller´s masks aint painted by Daveart at all… its Airxess from Hiller´s native Switzerland than manufacture and paint Hiller´s masks since many years back.

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