Miller's new goalie mask has a musical theme

News-DemocratMarch 22, 2014 

— With a new mask that is part tribute to former Blues goaltender Curtis Joseph and also some great guitar players, Ryan Miller is happy with a rock-solid design.

Miller's new mask was special enough to have its own debut Thursday through various social media outlets, including Twitter and Facebook and the Blues' web site.

It features a large Blue Note logo, a Gibson Les Paul guitar played by legendary Led Zeppelin member Jimmy Page and a Fender Stratocaster model favored by Jimi Hendrix.

An avid rock fan, Miller also paid tribute to St. Louis' blues music history with a "Saint Louis Blues" logo taken from the sheet music of the famous song by composer and musician W.C. Handy.

"I like to get involved and I had a little more input than usual," Miller said. "I sit around and just tried to come up with some ideas. This time I was a little more pressed for time.

"I got some basic sketches together and just pulled up everything I could on Google about the area."

The design has the definite feel of some masks worn by Joseph during his tenure here, minus the famous "Cujo" dog design taken from the crazed St. Bernard from the Stephen King book and movie of the same name.

"I don't think you can take somebody's mask like that," said Miller, who has long considered Joseph one of his favorite goalies. "That's more iconic. I always liked that mask, Cujo is probably the only guy that can wear it"

The rear of the mask includes "Miller Time," the name of his wife, actress Noureen DeWulf, and more personal remembrances.

Miller played his first nine games with the Blues wearing a white mask reminiscent of one once worn by his agent, former Blues goalie Mike Liut.

Ray Bishop of Bishop Designs played a major role in putting the new mask together, taking original sketch work by Miller and working with several others.

The rock guitars on both sides really stand out.

"It turned out great," Miller said. "I think it's a fun theme; there's a lot of great guitarists out there so if I get another mask I've still got a lot of blues to cover.

"Stevie Ray Vaughan still hasn't made an appearance yet. You can have some fun with it."

Like many goalies, Miller was determined to work with several themes as he tried to come up with a design.

"I didn't want to just throw something together" he said. "I wanted to do something that might look good, or at least look good to me. It was kind of a collaborative effort this time because we were playing every other day and I didn't have time to sit around and do it like I usually do."

Colaiacovo in

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said veteran defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo will return to the lineup Saturday in Philadelphia, replacing Ian Cole in the defense pairing with Roman Polak.

"I've liked his game," Hitchcock said of Colaiacovo, who hasn't played since March 9. "One thing about Carlo is he really moves the puck and we're playing against teams that are hard on the forecheck, so we need people who can transition it quickly."

Hitchcock said defenseman Jordan Leopold needs a bit more recovery time after dealing with the flu. Winger Magnus Paajarvi participated in practice Friday and will likely see action in one of the weekend games in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh.

Prospect signs

The Blues on Friday announced they had signed defense prospect Petteri Lindbohm to a three-year entry level contract.

Lindbohm is a 20-year-old from Finland who was the Blues' sixth-round draft pick in 2012. He has one goal and six points in 37 games with Assat Pori and Jokerit Helsinki in Finland's pro league this season.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, or follow him on Twitter: @NormSanders

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