Meet the artist behind Rask’s goalie helmet

BOSTON (WHDH) — Ron Slater looks like your average Bruins fan. He grew out a big playoff beard to support the team in the Stanley Cup Finals.

“I can’t wait for them to win or lose and I’m shaving it off,” he said.

But when you watch the Bruins in a bar, you might be sitting next to the man behind the mask.

“I was a goalie growing up and into art at the same time. So, like, the two worlds kind of combined and I end up doing what I love,” said Slater.

The mask you see every time Tuukka Rask skates on the ice was designed by Slater himself. He did one for the backup goalie as well.

“Both Anton Khudobin and Tuukka Rask, I do both their masks, the paint jobs,” said Slater.

He started making Rask’s mask about six years ago.

“He just kind of said ‘put a bear on it, make it mean and make it work.’ You get to make a brand new one every year. He’s still a year behind the one he has now. He’s been wearing it for two years,” said Slater. “He got a new one in September but with the lockout he just was comfortable with the one he currently has.”

The helmet has a clear coat so nothing will chip off. Slater does helmets for kids and one is on display at the Fitchburg Art Museum. He also does corn hole boards and prosthetics. And it’s all done by hand.

“I just happen to be the local guy doing it for the local team and it’s a good feeling to be able to turn on a TV and see your mask on there,” said Slater.

He puts 30 to 40 hours of work into one mask. If you’re interested in having something custom painted by Ron Slater, visit his website at http://www.ronslater.com

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