After ‘What happened to the Kings defense?’ the most common question we received last night was – ‘What’s the deal with that mask Jonathan Bernier is wearing?’
So, let’s get to the bottom of it…
“I’ve been with Reebok for a long, long time,” Bernier said, as he began to break things down for MayorsManor. “I used to wear Koho. But, I have a really good relationship with the whole Lefevre family. I even live two minutes away from the factory, I can walk there.”
For those unfamiliar, Michel Lefevre is a legendary designer of equipment used by goaltenders. He originally produced items under the Lefevre brand and his stuff is now available through Koho – which is manufactured by CCM (who are owned by Reebok).
Confused yet? Don’t worry, that’s not the story here.
“For a while now we’ve wanted to come up with a new helmet,” the 24-year old goalie said. “A lot of guys wear their current mask – Martin Brodeur still wears that one, Roberto Luongo – it’s like the old style. So, I wanted to work with Pat and Michel to make it look younger and create a new style.”
Those who attend Kings practices noticed Bernier’s new look right away last month, just as he returned to North America from playing in Germany during the NHL lockout. However, it wasn’t introduced to the masses until he replaced Jonathan Quick early in the first period on Saturday.
Then, with the Anaheim Ducks buzzing all around him, Bernier’s new mask was now on full display.
Unfortunately, it looked a little stale on the outside though because he hasn’t had it properly painted up yet.
Inside though, it’s far from boring.
“It’s unbelievable!” he stated with enthusiasm. “It’s so light and they kept the same shape as the original one from Koho, but they put more lines into it. The cage is actually a little bit longer so you can see a little better too when you’re looking down.”
For anybody who’s watched Bernier in practice the last few seasons you may have also noticed he wore a plastic neck guard below his mask – only in practice though, not during games. Well, that’s a thing of the past too. With his new helmet, it’s not needed.
“Because this mask is a little longer I feel I have a little more security,” he said.
For now, he’s put a few stickers on the otherwise white mask.
However, even with some LA Kings logos applied to the shell it’s just not what people have come to expect from his mask designs.
When he does finally get a chance to show off an all new look, there’s one thing you won’t be seeing worked into the paint scheme – the Hollywood sign.
The iconic logo he’s used several times over the past few seasons is now a thing of the past.
“I just didn’t want to go that route again,” Bernier stated.
You may recall, last season Bernier, the Kings and representatives of the Hollywood sign were nearly entangled in a legal battle – something former Kings’ goalie Kelly Hrudey thought was completely ridiculous.
“They [the team] asked me if I would mind not putting the Hollywood sign on it this year. I said no problem, it’s no big deal.”
Like most things, Bernier continues to take life in stride. No problems, no worries.
Just want you want in a goaltender – calm, cool, collected.
But, seriously Beriner, about that paint job…
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