August 31, 2011
It's not often we think about the goalie masks of the Florida Panthers, though in fairness we do watch mostly playoff hockey.
This is Theodore's new mask for the Panthers, and our records indicate it's the first in NHL history to feature a female feline in a bikini.
The design is a welcome change from the litany of Florida goalie masks that just feature a solitary palm tree or the goalie's face inside the jaws of a Panther head. Were this a Tex Avery cartoon, our eyes would now be bulging out while we make the "aaaah-oooo-gaaah" noise.
So what's the story behind the image? Prepare to feel a little awkward. From George Richards of On Frozen Pond, which published the mask image on Wednesday:
On one side of the mask is a feline wearing a bikini. On the other side is another adult cat (the one that looks a little like Joe Camel) wearing sunglasses. Next to him is a surprised looking kitten. I was told the three cats on the mask represent the Theodore clan: Jose, wife Stephanie and daughter Romy.
So the buxom bikini cat is … his wife? You know, once you work past the initial jaw drop, it's actually a sweet little gesture, no?
Here's the other side:
He's a little more Chester Cheetah than Joe Camel, because there's no way Joe Camel is ever using a bendy straw.