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D.C.'s Most Unique Goalie Mask?

Earlier this month, Tarik El-Bashir brought you images of Semyon Varlamov's new mask. It prominently features Mount Rushmore.

Now, I understand that presidents usually live in the District, and Mount Rushmore (except in Gilbert's version of the Black Mount Rushmore) features presidents, but it still seemed weird to mix in some Dakotas with D.C.

So how, then, to mix in some good old Presidential imagery with the Washington Capitals? Presenting the just-arrived mask of Brett "Stretch" Leonhardt, which certainly rivals any other mask currently in D.C.

On one side is Abe Lincoln, wearing Caps red. On the other side is George Washington, wearing road white. The entire mask is infused with monument brick, to increase the D.C. feeling. (Leonhardt lives in Northwest.) On the top is the Declaration of Independence, including the first few lines, and on the bottom is his nickname, written on a scroll. The back shows the Presidential Seal, filled with the Leonhardt family shield, plus the Roman numeral LXXX, for his jersey number.

Last year, when the web producer and part-time practice player took the ice for the Caps during that actual NHL game, he wore his mask from Neumann College featuring Rocky, which didn't really fit in, color- or imagery-wise. But it was also coming apart; when he took a Mike Knuble puck to the head last week, two screws popped out.

But he had always wanted a cat eye mask, since he had never before played in a league that allowed them. Plus, he's friends with NHL mask artist Derrick Gilders, since Leonhardt helps coach Gilders's sun son during the summer. Gilders did the masks for Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth, and Leonhardt jokingly told him that he "wanted to have one of the best masks in this team's history." Plus, he thought there were enough masks featuring images of the Capitol Dome and various monuments, he wanted to do in another direction.

"I just wanted original, different, something that hasn't been done," Leonhardt said.

I'll give him a more-than passing grade on that account. It's hard to beat Lincoln in a Caps jersey.

(Also, Caps PR guru Nate Ewell points out that Leonhardt now has an player page, with someone else's photo, that says he's on 0.2 percent of fantasy leagues, with an average draft position of 230.

"Obviously it's a database error," Leonhardt said. "It must have been a late-round autodraft, I don't know. All in all, pretty cool. But anyone would be an idiot to draft me."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 17, 2009; 2:13 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gilbert Gets Black Mount Rushmore Tattoos
Next: Alex Ovechkin Turns 24


Which position does the sun play?

Posted by: twoeightnine_ | September 17, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

holy stretch that's awesome!

Posted by: hockeypunk | September 17, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I like Stretch like everyone else, but seriously, 15:01...15:02...15:03...

Posted by: Section117 | September 17, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Way cool

Posted by: mjwies11 | September 17, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse


I lol'd

Posted by: thiazzi | September 17, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

thats awesome stretch.good for looks great! you do an awesome job for the caps and you deserve it. GO CAPS!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | September 17, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Too bad that isn't Stretch on the ESPN page.
So cool.

Posted by: matucker | September 18, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

damn, his mask is cooler than Theo's, Varly's and Neuvy's....

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | September 18, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Section117, I don't get it. Why shouldnt Brett be able to get a cool mask? He practices with the team, he helps the team...even though his "contract" has expired, he's still very much part of the Capitals. I hope his coverage continues, he's a nice guy with a cool story. Keep it coming guys!!

Posted by: j3rockstar | September 18, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

in understand the sun is only allowed to play in the outdoor games.

oh, and while we're grammar policing, "unique" doesn't lend itself to comparatives or superlatives. something's either unique or it's not. it's like being dead which, miracle max's assertions notwithstanding, is an absolute. can't be the 'most' unique, anymore than you can be more dead or more pregnant than someone.

Posted by: pgreene1 | September 18, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Agreed that he's a nice guy with a cool story, but come on, it was one warm-up session, which barring similar kismet circumstances, won't happen again. Not to go Lewis Black, but stories are fun for awhile, then they get tired. This one is, imo.

Posted by: Section117 | September 18, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

of course, it's terrible poor form for me to have a typo in my grammar police post. i think the bog is rigged to insert typos into grammar-critical posts...

Posted by: pgreene1 | September 18, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The sun is a center. Green expects him to uh, star on the power play.
I apologize. You mention miracle max and anything can happen...

Posted by: redlineblue | September 18, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Section 117. His 15 minutes have been "stretched" way too far.

I only hope the Caps didn't pay for the mask.

Posted by: CapsChick | September 18, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

To the naysayers, I trust that you were not at Kettler at all last week watching Stretch shut down Ovie among others. The kid has talent and deserves any recognition that he receives. Moreover, he is living a dream that many us beer leaguers can only imagine: works for the Caps and gets ice time with the players. I do not think that Stretch is perpetuating his 15 minutes. That blame should fall on Steinberg for having the audacity to bring the story of Stretch's mask to the public forum. It's a cool story. Stretch is a good kid. And Steinberg has Bog space to fill until he can return to the Corner Bar (Sec 107) where the real Caps' stories begin.

Posted by: phknlwyr | September 19, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Agree with most of this, but Steinz isn't perpetuating the myth, it's every halfwit who spent upwards of $125 on a Stretch jersey.

Posted by: Section117 | September 19, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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