Dishing On Netminder Buckets, Part 1: Chatting With Dave Gunnarsson
Yesterday, Jhonas Enroth debuted his NHL pads in a blue and gold scheme during practice (does anyone have pictures? E-mail me) (Ed. note: seems like this is probably Enroth’s new old set of gear) during practice. Earlier that morning, I received an e-mail from Dave Gunnarsson with responses to some questions I asked him.
Dave is headquartered in Vrigstad, Småland, Sweden and is an up-and-coming rockstar in the world of goalie masks. A quick look at his mask gallery and you’ll find over 200 excellent masks. Three of those are Enroth’s.
Hit the jump for my chat with Dave about one of his longest, most loyal clients.
(As always, my questions are in bold type and Dave’s responses are in italics)
How did you come to be Jhonas Enroth’s mask painter and how much input has he had in the design of his goalie masks? Have you had a chance to see him play in the AHL or NHL yet?
I have painted for Jhonas for many years. We started to work together when he played in Södertälje many years ago. Jhonas is very interested in his mask art and I love that. We talk a lot about designs and details before I start to paint, he is very involved. I have seen Jhonas play live a lot when he played in Södertälje. And now when he plays in AHL and NHL I follow him on TV closely. I am very proud to paint for Jhonas and I always knew he will make success.
All of his masks from Södertälje to his current mask feature the same element – the team’s logo or logos breaking through a stone wall. Like many goaltenders before Enroth, design elements on a mask can come to be associated solely with that wearer. Do you think the stone wall can become Enroth’s trademark?
Yes Jhonas very often wants the stonewall, so it is more and more becoming his trademark.
A couple of your own personal trademarks are chin stripes and and a “wet” look to your designs. They’ve helped your work become some of the most notable masks in the NHL. Have you become the go-to mask designer for Swedish goaltenders in North America?
I work with all swedish goalies in North America. I am very proud about that. We know each other very well since I have painted for them for many years when they played in Sweden, and many of them I have painted for since they were kids. It is a very cool feeling for me to follow their careers.
With Enroth undoubtedly moving upwards from the AHL to the NHL full-time next season, do you anticipate he’ll be ordering up a new mask from your studio?
Yes Jhonas and me have worked close for many years and I´m his official painter, I am always looking forward to create his next artwork.
Thanks to Dave for chatting with me about Enroth! Next up, I’ll have a chat with Ray Bishop, Ryan Miller’s go to painter!