St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen will pay tribute to the American military with a special mask created just for the team’s Veterans Day game against the New York Islanders on Saturday.
The goalie mask, which blends the red, white and blue with the teams navy and gold color scheme, depicts two veterans with ties to the Blues.
Ed Staniowski played in 137 games for St. Louis from 1975 to 1981 and later joined the Canadian Armed Forces. He served multiple deployments to the Middle East, Croatia and Bosnia, most recently to Afghanistan in 2010.
Bob Gassoff Jr., son of the late Blues’ defenseman, is a former Navy SEAL. He played in the Blues’ minor league system after helping the University of Michigan with an NCAA national championship in 1998. Gassoff served in Iraq. His father’s no. 3 was retired by the team and hangs in the rafters at ScottTrade Center.
“It’s pretty cool to have a Canadian soldier like Staniowski on the mask, especially since he was a former Blue,” Allen said through a Blues release. “And as you know, the Gassoff family has long ties with the Blues organization. Having a tribute to these two guys on a night we’re honoring members of the military was a no-brainer.”
The mask was created by Jason Livery of Head Strong Grafix. In addition to the liknesses of Staniowski and Gassoff, the mask features the iconic image of solidiers raising the American flag at Iwo Jima on the back, as well as “Blues” across the throat protector in camouflaged letters.
The mask will be raffled off at stlouisblues.com at a later date to raise money for H.E.R.O.E.S. Care, an organization that provides support for members of all branches of the military and their families.
Tickets for Saturday’s Salute to Military game are available now at the Scottrade Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com. Fans attending the game are encouraged to donate care package items for troops overseas for a chance to win autographed Blues merchandise.
The team will also sell autographed mystery pucks outside Section 114 to benefit H.E.R.O.E.S. Care and Operation Shower.
At 11-3-1, the Blues are in first place in the Western Conference Central Division, six points ahead of the second place Winnipeg Jets. St. Louis is in New Jersey Tuesday to face the Devils and returns home Thursday for a game against the Phoenix Coyotes and Swansea native Clayton Keller.