October 5, 2016 10:51 pm
Updated: October 6, 2016 2:35 pm

Winnipeg Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck has new mask paying tribute to Dan Snyder

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck shows off his new goalie mask.

Walther Bernal / Global News

WINNIPEG – Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is sporting a newly designed mask this week in practice.

The new head gear includes a tribute to former Atlanta Thrashers forward Dan Snyder who died after a car crash. According to Hellebuyck, the Snyder family gave their blessing for him to wear Snyder’s old number 37. No one has worn the number for the Thrashers/Jets franchise since his tragic death in 2003.

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“I was really grateful that the Snyder family was allowing me to use 37 cause it’s been a retired number.” said Hellebuyck.

“So I thought I would give a little bit back to him and show that I really care. I put his shrine up here, and him celebrating a goal, and just a portrait of his face. And on the back I have instead of my name, thanks Dan Snyder and family.”

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Hellebuyck wore number 30 last season but wanted to make the switch to his idol’s old number.

“I grew up idolizing Olaf Kolzig so I always chose 37 growing up.” said Hellebuyck. “And then as I climbed the ranks I continued to keep 37 and it just became very close to me, so being able to use it means a lot to me.”

Hellebuyck said it was Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff who reached out to the Snyder family on his behalf.

“Hopefully I can keep this going and keep his shrine going on my mask so he’ll always be apart of the game.” said Hellebuyck.

Hellebuyck’s jersey will also have a patch in Snyder’s honour.

WATCH: Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck describes the inspiration behind his new mask

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