Leafs goalie Samsonov debuts Curtis Joseph-inspired mask

Sep 13 2023, 7:08 pm

Ilya Samsonov is bringing out a throwback for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In a pic posted by the team’s X account, Samsonov was wearing a mask that appeared to have dog fangs surrounding the cage.

And for Leafs fans, it’s an obvious homage to longtime NHL goalie Curtis “Cujo” Joseph, who wore a similar mask in his four seasons with Toronto from 1998 to 2002 before making a return to close out his pro hockey career in 2008-09 for his final 21 games.

Here’s a closer look at the mask Samsonov was showing off today:


Toronto Maple Leafs/X

The nickname “Cujo” was inspired, of course, by Joseph’s first and last names, but was also the rabid dog from a 1991 Stephen King book — hence the fangs on the mask.

Samsonov himself is heading into his second season with the Leafs, having inked a one-year deal via arbitration back in July worth $3.55 million for the 2023-24 campaign.

“There are no hard feelings with the Leafs, now we move forward,” Samsonov’s agent Don Meehan said at the time the contract was signed, per Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun.

In 42 games this past season, Samsonov put up a 2.33 goals-against average (GAA) along with a .919 save percentage (SV%) and a 27-10-5 record. Both his GAA and SV% marked the highest of his NHL career since debuting in 2019-20, having spent the entirety of his NHL career with the Washington Capitals before joining the Leafs on a one-year deal last summer.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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