ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - A mask honoring Native American culture that Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-André Fleury wore earlier this season, which the NHL reportedly forbade him from wearing, is being sent to the Minnesota Historical Society.
The mask was designed by Mdewakanton Dakota artist Cole Redhorse Taylor and worn by Fleury for Native American Heritage Night in November.
The mask violated a new NHL rule banning themed equipment on the ice during warmups – which itself sprung out of controversy from players wearing rainbow equipment during Pride Nights last season.
Despite the warnings from the league, Fleury wore the mask anyway during warmups, though he didn't play in the game that night.
The mask was created to honor Fleury's wife, Véronique Larosee Fleury, who herself is of Indigenous heritage.
The Minnesota Historical Society says the mask has been added to its collections, purchasing the work of art for $35,100 at auction. The money raised will go to support the Minnesota Wild Foundation and the American Indian Family Center, the society says.
"Cole is a valued partner of the work that we do with Native American Initiatives and across MNHS," wrote Dr. Amber Annis, director of Native American Initiatives at the Minnesota Historical Society, in a provided statement. "This contemporary piece is representative of the unique histories here within Minnesota and the importance of representation of Dakota art, language, stories, sports, and how they connect to Minnesota history."
The historical society met with Fleury on Wednesday to accept the mask.