As he begins the next phase of his career with the Washington Capitals, goaltender Darcy Kuemper has a brand new look. And it all starts with a fresh paint job going into the 2022-23 campaign.
Kuemper’s new mask, painted by longtime artist Dave Gunnarsson (DaveArt), features a tribute to his new home in D.C. With a red, white and blue color scheme and 3-D effects, the top of the helmet features the vintage “Screaming Eagle.” The logo was resurrected for the team’s recent Reverse Retro jerseys and could be featured in the RR 2.0 version of the sweaters again this season. On the side, there is the Capitals wordmark, with stars on the background of the lid. Front and center on the chin is Kuemper’s signature No. 35.
DaveArt shared the artwork on his Instagram page on Saturday.
“Darcy and I have been working together for more than a decade,” Gunnarsson wrote. “This is a strict and clean design, created and painted with a maximum of 3-D effects, mixed with subtle vintage effects. I just love to go crazy with the detail works.”
Kuemper is fresh off his first Stanley Cup championship following a standout year at the helm for the Colorado Avalanche. In the regular season, he posted 37 wins (a career-high) and also shined with a .921 save percentage. He also stood tall in net and battled through an eye injury in the Stanley Cup Playoffs en route to the Avalanche’s first title since 2001.
Colorado chose to go with a new tandem in net going forward and traded for Alexandar Georgiev while letting Kuemper hit free agency. Washington then signed the veteran to a five-year, $26.25 million contract on the opening day of free agency, cementing his legacy as the team’s new starter.
Kuemper, along with new backup Charlie Lindgren, will replace Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek. The Capitals moved on from the young tandem this offseason after both experienced long stretches of inconsistency and were unable to take sole possession of the starting job. Washington expects Kuemper to be a long-term No. 1 goaltender and stabilize the situation between the pipes.