Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 9/19/13
In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on an ice rink is where I spent most of my – Wait, what? If you’ve been awake late at night aimlessly flipping through TV stations at any point over the past 15 years, you’ve probably stumbled upon Will Smith‘s ’90′s comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. If you’re even the slightest bit savvy to pop culture, you probably know the words to the theme song, and that Smith spent most of his days on the playground. That’s why, at first glance, Jordan Binnington‘s mask may cause a fair bit of confusion. The 20-year-old netminder for the Chicago Wolves — the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues — has garnered national attention this preseason with his new facemask that depicts Smith as he was in the show — a goofy looking, earring-rocking adolescent with a stereotypical ’90s hightop haircut — on the left side of his mask. The mask also features the words “Chicago Wolves” in the iconic graffiti font used as the show’s logo, and a rough sketch of a Chicago skyline. For all those already annoyed with the ambiguity of the mask, rest assured knowing a vicious-looking wolf graces the top of his mask in the middle. To Binnington’s credit, the Ontario native explained the well thought out process to InGoalMag. “Outside of the [Fresh Prince] TV show, from what I see he [Smith] is a self-driven individual who knows what he wants in life,” Binnington wrote to InGoal when asked to expand on his mask choice. “I couldn’t name one movie I haven’t enjoyed with him in it. Every movie or show has a purpose. The TV show is so creative, I’m laughing out loud every episode. So, to sum it all up I just feel we’d be best friends.” Forbes magazine estimates Smith has already earned $23 million in 2013 — approximately one-third of the NHL’s salary cap this season. Outside of the financial ramifications though, St. Louis can’t really complain that their 20-year-old stud prospect wants to emulate the creative and self-driven qualities Binnington lists as reasons for his original artwork. If those qualities flourish, Binnington may be the king of St. Louis — not Bel-Air — in the not so distant future. Check out photos of the flashy mask below. Photo via Twitter/@headstronggrafx Filed under: Headlines, NHL, Offbeat, Pat Bradley
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