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