It has been no secret that Manny Fernandez was picked up in the expansion draft by the Minnesota Wild for the 2000-2001 season. Manny being familiar with Todds work with Ed Belfour and Steve Shields contacted Todd and asked him to prepare a new mask that would reflect the colors and the attitude of his new team.
On a late summer afternoon, Todd received the new shell for Mannys new mask. Once Todd had the shell in his hands, he met with Manny and spent 3 hours on a late summer Sunday night, and then 3 more hours the next day going over Mannys new design. Once the design was set, it was on to production.
Step one for Todd is to prime the rough fiberglass shell with apoxy primer. Todd then uses a grease pencil to outline the design on the mask shell.
Once the designs takes shape and is completed to Todd's satisfaction, airbrushing of the base is completed, using the colors Range Red, Harvest Gold, Metallic and Wheat to match the Minnesota Wild uniform.
Todd then paints the right half to left with help from the mirror, using the oil base Pantone colors.
Once this crucial phase is completed, the mask is clearcoated with 6-8 layers of clearcoat. It is then allowed to setup. The next step is for the mask to be wet sanded and buffed to reveal the final finished product.
This project was completed within 24 1/2 hours, minus 90 minutes for a nap in his office at about 4:30am.a
The design as described by Manny is as follows :
Manny designed his mask in homage to his brethren. The ear looks like the moon on Nikolai Khabibulin's mask. The blue eyes are a tribute to Ed Belfour, and the 31 on the back plate is for late Philadelphia Flyer legend Pelle Lindbergh.
This new mask is a new beginning for Manny Fernandez. A chapter in his professional career as a backup for the Dallas Stars is now closed and a new chapter has just begun, as the netminder for the Minnesota Wild .