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Miska Designs has provided custom goalie mask designs to both the college and pro level. Todd Miska is the wizard behind
some
of the most intriguing graphics ever to adorn a goalie mask. Each design is done by hand from start to finish and created
exclusively forthe individual that will be wearing the goalie mask.

When creating a custom goalie mask design, usually the owner of the mask has an idea or an image that he/she would like
to
see come alive on their mask. Goalies are a breed apart, and their personalities usually take the form of the graphic design
placed upon their goalie mask. Todd will get the basics and then from scratch produce a design which will eventually 
be painted and airbrushed
on the helmet.

The process starts with Todd taking the goalie mask and stripping away any and all paint that is present on the mask.
Once the surface is clean, a base coat of white primer is placed on the mask. Todd then takes the agreed upon design
and makes a sketch of the entire design on the helmet. After getting one side of the mask sketched in, he uses one of two options.
Option one is to project the design on the other side of the helmet to insure the size and placement of every detail is consistent
on both sides of the mask. Option two is to have the mask placed in front of mirrors to allow Todd to see the sketched side
of the mask in different angles and then to reproduce the exact sketch to the remaining side of the mask.
Then painstakingly painting and airbrushing the image until the final graphic design is complete.

 This is only half the process, the mask has to be clear coated and baked to insure that the paint will not be chipped
by pucks that hit the helmet. The helmet is wet sanded and polished for a mirror like finish that is not only durable
but a sight to behold. Todd is a perfectionist at his artform, and his clients agree that he has the magic touch.

 

 

 

The Goaltender: The armored knight who stands in battle during the toughest competition, the last line
of defense and the mysterious man behind “The Mask”.

Playing goal is an art form – a position of skill, athleticism, timing, positioning and mastery. And now, through
the graphical talents of an airbrush artist, the personalities of the goaltender are at the forefront of their mystique.

Today there are many manufacturers of fine head equipment for goaltenders as well as artists who paint them.
However, before I introduce the main ingredients of this article, please understand that the main purpose
of a goalie mask is first – protection and secondly – comfort.

Back some thirty plus years ago; goaltenders were all grins and toothless smiles as they actually saw the puck
coming at them, head on, without any such protection. Goaltenders being openly exposed to a puck I’m sure left
its mark in more ways then one.

With the advent of the slapshot and curved sticks; and players getting bigger, faster and stronger, the need for protection
was apparent. Out of necessity the goalie mask was invented.

Though very archaic in design and composition, it was the introduction of how the goaltender came across
and his personality expressed. The mask was part of his persona, what makes one individual stand out from the rest.

Thus, the making of the mask – that is the Gerry Cheevers mask – reincarnated. Cheevers (to Bruins Fans aka “Cheesy”),
the undisputable heavyweight champion of goaltenders, was the goalie who had the most distinctive goalie mask
on the planet. The stitches on his plain white mask become his trademark. It was the epitome of the position, knowing that
when he took a puck to the face another stitch mark would appear. The Hall of Famer, through his style of play and
artistic approach, has brought the concept of graphic design on the goaltender mask through the ages.

Now to the present; Goaltender Steve Shields (acquired from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks by the Bruins over the summer)
is literally faced with his first challenge moving to a new team – what design does he put on his mask?

 




Like getting a tattoo, the design on a goalie mask leaves a lasting impression to the fans, to the players and in the
hockey history books. Steve Shields turned to his long time mask designer and graphic artist Todd Miska of Miska Designs.
Steve actually gave Todd two different tasks: first, to come up with his first game debut mask concept and secondly, to design
a game mask for the rest of the season. Both of them decided that a tribute to Gerry Cheevers, as an explosive idea, would
be the debut mask honoring one of the greatest goaltenders to reach the shores of Boston. Now it was up to Todd Miska
to make the concept a reality.



Steve Shields has been using goalie masks from Warwick Custom Goalie Masks for years. The same prototype of his previous
mask was shipped out toTodd Miska’s design shop. The mask was sent without the front cage and interior padding so that
once the custom painting was completed, those features could be added last.

Todd analyzed and conceptualized many pictures of the Cheevers mask, which he needed to transfer to the latest mask style.
The goaltender mask of the present has a front cage unlike the “flush to the face” mask of old with cutout eye and breathing holes.

With Steve’s acceptance, Todd added the full head expression, from the multistitched Cheevers mask down to the ears and hair.
Step one for Todd wasto prime the rough fiberglass and Kevlar shell with an epoxy primer. Todd then used a grease pencil to outline
the design on the mask shell. Once the designs took shape and were completed to Todd’s satisfaction, airbrushing of the base
was completed using all the colors that make up the Cheevers mask, skin tones and hair colors. Todd then painted the right
half to the left half (with help from a mirror) using the oil base Pantone colors and a permanent marker.

Once this crucial phase was completed, the mask is clear-coated with 6-8 layers of a poly-based finish. It is then allowed
to sit and harden. The next step was for the mask to be wet sanded and buffed to reveal the final finished product. The mask
was packed and shipped back to Gary Warwick at Warwick Custom Goalie Masks where the high-impact, insulated rubber padding,
pro cage, chin cup, screw fixtures and the back plate harness were added. The finished mask was then shipped off to Steve Shields
awaiting his highly anticipated conversational piece.


With Steve Shields sharing in the netminding duties at The FleetCenter, the torch has been passed from a Boston legend
of Bruins and the legacy of Bruins goaltending lives on. And deeply etched in our memories of the great Gerry Cheevers
days of old, the mask we all know so well will once again be the talk of the town.With Steve’s acceptance, Todd added
the full head expression, from the multistitched Cheevers mask down to the ears and hair. Step one for Todd was to prime
the rough fiberglass and Kevlar shell with an epoxy primer. Todd then used a grease pencil to outline the design on the mask shell.
Once the designs took shape and were completed to Todd’s satisfaction, airbrushing of the base was completed using all the colors
that make up the Cheevers mask, skin tones and hair colors. Todd then painted the right half to the left half (with help from a mirror)
using the oil base Pantone colors and a permanent marker.

Once this crucial phase was completed, the mask is clear-coated with 6-8 layers of a poly-based finish. It is then allowed
to sit and harden. The next step was for the mask to be wet sanded and buffed to reveal the final finished product.
The mask was packed and shipped back to Gary Warwick at Warwick Custom Goalie Masks where the high-impact,
insulated rubber padding, pro cage, chin cup, screw fixtures and the back plate harness were added. The finished mask
was then shipped off to Steve Shields awaiting his highly anticipated conversational piece.

With Steve Shields sharing in the netminding duties at The FleetCenter, the torch has been passed from a Boston legend
of Bruins and the legacy of Bruins goaltending lives on. And deeply etched in our memories of the great Gerry Cheevers
days of old, the mask we all know so well will once again be the talk of the town.

Miska Designs Client
(1995-2000 : 2007-Present)
Stanley Cup Champion Netminder
Ed "The Eagle" Belfour

  Ed Belfour
 Chapter 1

 

On January 25, 1997 at 2:38 am, Ed Belfour was traded from the Chicago BlackHawks to the San Jose Sharks.
Ed contacted Todd that evening and requested that a new paint scheme be prepared to reflect the colors of his new team.
Todd completed Ed Belfours new mask, which was unveiled on Friday, January 31, 1997 right here on this web site.

It's Arrived..........He's Back......

One of Todds most famous graphic designs is the current mask that is worn by Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour of the San Jose Sharks.
The eagle mask, as seen above, was worn by Eddie during his days with the Chicago Blackhawks is well known to all hockey fans
and a early version of it is even in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Shortly after Ed got his first mask his famous nickname took hold. Eddie used this early version of the mask until the beginning
of the 1995-96 season. Todd was approached by Gary Warwick who created the mask shell for Ed and asked if he would like
to submit a new eagle design. Todd then went to work and presented Ed with this version of the eagle as seen below.

                                                  

Ed used this mask during some Blackhawk practice sessions and advised Todd that he liked the detail of the design, but wanted
a meaner, more intense looking eagle, along with a symbol for the make a wish foundation. Todd went back and revamped
the design and came up with the all black shell and the new eagle design, as seen below.

This mask was debuted during the 1995/1996 season. The mask was only used for a short period., because Ed felt that
the mask didn't show up well enough from far away, so Ed asked Todd to make a Red shell and use the exact same eagle design.
Todd went back and painted a helmet shell red and reproduced the now famous eagle design that adorns Eds masks.
Todd also made a special design on the back of Ed's mask, which reveals one of his favorite hobbies - classic cars, as seen below.


The back plate has the name of "Carman Racing", which is one of Eds hobbies during the off season and a picture of a 1941Willy.

Ed Belfour A New Era Begins
Chapter 2


It has been no secret to the fans of Ed Belfour that he was traded from his home with the Chicago Blackhawks,
to the San Jose Sharks. Ed boarded his plane for San Jose on Saturday evening, but before leaving to join his new team,
Ed contacted Todd and asked him to prepare a new mask that would reflect the colors of his new team.

On Tuesday, January 28, 1997, Todd received the new shell from the man who supply's Ed with his goalie mask shells,
that man being Gary Warwick of Warwick Custom Goalie Masks. Step one for Todd is to prime the rough fiberglass
shell with apoxy primer.

Todd then airbrushes the wishbone, and the eagles beak onto the mask. After completing the beak, the lower dark
colored feathers are added in. Once this phase of the mask is completed, the feathers are masked off and the head
of the eagle is next in line for completion.



Once the eagle takes shape and is completed to Todd's satisfaction, airbrushing of the base is completed,
which is the new teal color to match the San Jose Sharks uniform.


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.


Todd then begins work on the back plate of the mask. Todd base coats the plate in the new teal color.
Then Todd painstakingly adds the graphics to the back plate.



This project was completed within 48 hours after Todd received the shell. As of Friday, Todd packed the new mask
in a Miska pro helmet case and sent it back to Gary Warwick so that it could be padded and fitted to Ed's specifications.
It will then be sent to Ed in San Jose for his game against his old team.....the Chicago Blackhawks.

This new mask is a new beginning for Ed Belfour. A chapter in his professional career is now closed
and a new chapter has just begun, and even though Ed has a new team, he has made an identity for himself recognizable
around the world. He is and always shall be Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour.

Ed Belfour
Chapter 3

On July 1, 1997, Ed Belfour finalized a 3 year, $10 million dollar contract with the NHL Dallas Stars.
Before the press conference started to announce the deal, Ed contacted Todd and advised him of his new home in the NHL
and requested a new mask design be prepared for the '97-'98 season. Below is the finished mask for Ed Belfour of the Dallas Stars..

 

Introducing Miska Designs
Ed Belfours Dallas Design #1


This new mask is a new beginning for Ed Belfour. A chapter in his professional career is now closed and a new
chapter has just begun, and even though Ed has a new team, he has made an identity for himself recognizable around the world.
He is and always shall be Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour.

From his friends and fans back in Chicago and around the world we wish you well Ed.

Ed Belfour
Chapter 4

Introducing Miska Designs
1998-99 Ed Belfour Dallas Stars Edition



Mask Used For Away Games

Mask Used For Home Games

In November 1997, Todd Miska was called to Dallas to meet with Ed. This meeting was to come up with a radical
new design concept that would be used as a universal icon and be associated with the EAGLE. This icon would be used
on signature hockey equipment and sportswear.

This new mask was to be more graphic in intensity, and done in a way that it could be seen from anywhere
in an arena where Ed plays. For 2 days Ed and Todd worked on the computer with state of the art graphic design
software to come up with the ultimate design.

Ed and Todd go over design ideas for mew mask



Todd and Ed rendering new design on the computer

Ed received the finished product as seen above and debuted the mask against the St. Louis Blues on January 14, 1998.
Ed then took his mask to the All Star game for the national debut of the new mask. If you look closely at the white feathers
on the mask you can see the word EAGLE spelled out. This is the identity that made Ed recognizable around the world.
He is and always shall be Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour.

On July 31, 1999, Miska Designs had the pleasure of being invited to a very special celebration. 
Dallas Stars Stanley Cup Champion Goalie Ed Belfour flew back to Chicago for a get together with friends and family
to celebrate his 1999 Stanley Cup Championship.  The party took place at the famous Palmer House Hilton Hotel, in Chicago. 
Each Dallas Stars player was allowed to have the cup in their possession for 24 hours.  Ed on the other hand was able
to get his hands on the cup for 48 hours.

Miska Designs Todd Miska, David Romz, and Matt Rumpfeldt arrived at the Palmer House Hilton
and joined Ed and the party.  There were alot of family and special guest who traveled from Canada,
Dallas, and Miami to join the celebration, including Ed's mentor and friend Vladislav Tretiak.

Also on hand was Gary Warwick of Warwick Goalie Masks.  Gary is the developer of Eds  head gear.

Gary Warwick, Ed and Todd pose for photo

Todd was able to catch up with some friends that also made the trip to celebrate with Ed including Ken Tangen
of Norman James, the group responsible for the fantastic NHL, Nascar, and WWF posters, and replica mini masks
including the famous Ed Belfour replica mini masks.

Todd and Ken with Eds replica mini masks

During the celebration Ed took time to take for us to take some photos of him and the Stanley Cup.

Ed and Dave posing with Lord Stanleys Cup

As the celebration continued into the wee hours of the morning, Ed allowed us to drink from
the Stanley Cup as he did on that fateful early morning.

Getting a BIG slurp with help 

Dave, Matt and Todd pose with the cup

Group of partying fools!!!
Gary Warwick, Matt Rumpfeldt, Todd Miska,
Ed Belfour, David Romz, Psycho Michael

The celebration is one that I will never forget.  I am hoping that Ed and his fellow Dallas Stars will repeat,
and we get the chance to party with one of the greatest netminders of all time once again as a back to back Stanley Cup