Dallas Stars goalie debuts new Mario Kart helmet: ‘I played a lot growing up’

With Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger injured within minutes of Friday’s Ottawa Senators recreation, Scott Wedgewood stepped up into the crease. Not solely did Wedgewood cease 25 of 27 objectives to assist the Stars win 5-4 over the Senators, however he debuted a particular new Mario Kart goalie masks.

As Wedgewood dives for pucks, he flashed the little particulars that make up the masks, created by goalie mask artist Dave Gunnarsson. On one facet, Wedgewood’s obtained child Peach to symbolize his unborn daughter — anticipated subsequent 12 months — driving along with his two canines. (The newborn Peach on his masks was additionally one thing of a gender reveal, too, he stated.) On the opposite, he’s included caricatures of fellow teammates Oettinger and Jason Robertson driving in a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe automobile. Slapped proper in the course of the masks’s dangler is the enduring Mario star — painted in inexperienced, the crew’s primary shade. There are a bunch extra particulars scattered across the masks, like extra stars and the black-and-white checkerboard banner to sign crossing the end line.

Wedgewood instructed Polygon he got here up with the thought after a number of gamers obtained a group Halloween costume going: Lifeless Mario Kart drivers who’ve “fallen off the course one too many times,” he added. Including in his future daughter as child Peach made sense, too.

“The star is obviously the gold star in Mario,” he stated. “You can put that on the mask in green and tie it into the Stars in a way that everybody understands.”

Hockey goalies put on a completely different masks than the remainder of the crew — and it’s one among hockey’s most enjoyable traditions for these to be adorned. There’s been a ton of selection and popular culture references over time, like Henrik Lundqvist’s Back to the Future mask and John Gibson’s Pac-Man helmet. Wedgewood’s no stranger to such popular culture references, both: He’s had masks themed across the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Captain America and other Marvel characters. (Wedgewood stated the hockey tie-in for the TMNT masks was, in fact, Casey Jones. As for the Marvel masks, he wished the Winter Soldier arm on his glove facet: “You think of your glove arm as your storm arm, for most goalies.”) Goalies don’t have carte blanche as regards to their masks; the Nationwide Hockey League has a rule that gamers can’t put on theme evening gear for causes, like Satisfaction occasions. The NHL threatened Minnesota Wild goalie Marc-André Fleury with a tremendous for sporting a Native American Heritage Night time masks to honor his spouse’s Indigenous ancestry. (He wore it anyway.)

“In the position, we’re unique that we can get behind the art with a little bit more of your personality and your likes,” Wedgewood added.

Video video games have offered a new means for Wedgewood to work together with followers, too. Throughout the pandemic, when he played for the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch, he streamed video video games whereas enjoying with followers. Nevertheless it’s additionally a pastime that’s caught with him over time, since he was a little one.

“I played a lot growing up,” Wedgewood instructed Polygon. “Being ’92 born, we grew up with the Nintendo, Sega Genesis, GameCube, Nintendo 64 — pretty much one of everything. Last year on Christmas, my wife got me a Nintendo Switch for the plane rides, and a couple of guys had them. I have a gaming screen I bring on the plane, and you plug in the Switch and we had four guys playing last year. We’d get games going.”

He continued: “Last year, a couple guys brought an N64 on the road and we’d play the old school Mario Kart. [Games] are one of my bigger pastimes.”

Naturally, he performs a lot of NHL 24. “It was probably my biggest game growing up,” Wedgewood stated. “I was ranked 11th in the world in 2008 online.” He nonetheless performs, in fact, typically with different Stars gamers, like Stars defenseman Thomas Harley. They don’t play as themselves, he stated, however the EA Sports activities Hockey League the place you make your individual gamers. Their Xbox handles can typically give their identification away, he stated: “We’ll be playing and we’ll get messages like, Are you actually him? We should probably change our handles.”

Past NHL 24, Wedgewood stated he additionally performs Apex Legends, Fortnite, and a bunch of different shooters. However just lately he’s gotten into Ghost of Tsushima and completed Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. “If it doesn’t explain itself, I’ve got a PS5, an Xbox, a Nintendo Switch, and a gaming laptop,” Wedgewood stated. “The five options whenever I need them.”

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