Longtime Hip fan and Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby went above and beyond in his support for The Tragically Hip during this year’s World Cup of Hockey by sporting a custom made Tragically Hip Goalie Mask.
The Hip united Canada on their 15-stop tour after Downie was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. Holtby’s mask is a touching tribute to this famous Canadian band with the funds from the NHL online marketplace going to The Hip’s charity of choice.
Holtby, who plays guitar as part of his pre-game routine, discussed the Hip with Sportsnet:
“Everyone knows the story in Canada,” Holtby told Sportsnet in an interview. “It’s one of those things that has turned a positive from a negative. It’s pretty amazing kind of what Canadians do. I grew up and I can have vivid memories of listening to my first Hip songs. We even had a class in school, a little part of it that was based on (the song) ‘Wheat Kings’ – I mean you just remember it. It’s Canadian, it’s the Hip, and with me being a huge music lover (it made sense).
Holtby teamed up with Swedish artist David Gunnarsson in order to design the mask, which features a unique maple leaf crest of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey Team Canada jersey on the right side of the mask, and an image collage of Canadian music icons, The Tragically Hip on the left
The Mask is currently being auctioned off on the NHL auctions website, where the current leading bid is over $14,000.
The proceeds from the auction will support two foundations, The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre where Mr. Downie has received treatment, and the Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation supporting a program to educate and preserve the historical significance of Canada’s abolished First Nations Residential Schools program.