Team: Atlanta Flames
Mask Maker: Dan Bouchard
Painter: Dan Bouchard
Acquired From: Classic Auctions Spring 2019 auction
Description: From Classic Auctions: Involved in goaltending throughout his life including the present day, Dan Bouchard was an original member of the Atlanta Flames in 1972, with the club records held by the Val-d’Or native for both wins and shutouts. Especially skilled but representing clubs throughout his career not quite up to his level, Bouchard would spend fourteen seasons in NHL creases, and is well remembered for the memorable masks he donned. We offer what is considered arguably one of the 1970s most iconic masks, worn by Bouchard with Atlanta in 1975-76 and at the 1976 Team Canada training camp, with this important PHOTO-MATCHED specimen made by Bouchard himself with the added influence of a then 13-year old Chris Mercier. With intact head plate and strapping, the historic design is instantly recognizable, with a white and red overlapping flame pattern, including examples that stream from the eye sockets. A Classic Auctions LOA will accompany this tremendous relic.
Following in the footsteps of Jacques Plante and according to Bouchard himself, "I started making my own masks when I was 18. After turning professional I briefly used one made by someone else. When it cracked during a game, I went back to making my own. I have a special recipe to give extra strength to the fiberglass. A bone doctor friend advises me on crucial places and I pad these. The young son of a neighbor acts as art critic. If we both like the design, I feel it's a good one". As mentioned, this mask was worn with Atlanta in 1975-76 and at the 1976 Team Canada training camp, with Bouchard switching to a cage mask in 1977-78. Surviving in wonderful original condition, the paint remains bright and vibrant, with the surface exhibiting nice use including marks, scratches and abrasions. The interior padding above the eyes and over the forehead remains intact, with a bit of surface loss to a few areas including behind the nose section. A dozen included numeric images have been matched, including one that clearly shows seven different marks on the mask.