Catching up with Kipper Kid, Brendan Peters

CALGARY - OCTOBER 24: Miikka Kiprusoff #34 of the Calgary Flames is introduced during the NHL game against Minnesota Wild at the Pengrowth Saddledome on October 24, 2007 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan /Getty Images)
CALGARY - OCTOBER 24: Miikka Kiprusoff #34 of the Calgary Flames is introduced during the NHL game against Minnesota Wild at the Pengrowth Saddledome on October 24, 2007 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan /Getty Images) /

Known as “Kipper Kid” or “Mini Kipper”, a young Brendan Peters rose to hockey fame beginning in 2005 alongside his idol, then-Calgary Flames‘ goaltender, Miikka Kiprusoff. With support from his father, Peters would appear behind the Flames net at the Saddledome rocking a head-to-toe Kiprusoff setup, including a mask, painted-on beard, detailed goalie pads, and a No. 34 Flames sweater that all flawlessly matched those of the winningest goaltender in Calgary Flames history. Perhaps what was most impressive and entertaining to the C of Red and hockey fans around the world were Peters’ movements during the warm-up; plenty of study and practice allowed him to mimic the real Kipper’s every move, from a drop into the butterfly to a sip from his water bottle.

If you need a refresher or are a newer member of the Flames faithful, check out this City TV news feature on Kipper Kid:

With a young Dustin Wolf fan donning a No. 32 sweater and Flames goalie mask recently appearing at a Calgary Flames home game and the upcoming (and long overdue) jersey retirement for Miikka Kiprusoff’s number 34, I felt it was time to catch up with Brendan Peters to share some insight on his time as Kipper Kid and to reveal with Flames fans what he’s up to now.

His Kipper Kid chronicles started at the beginning of the 2005-06 season when Peters was nine years old and his dad hand-painted his street hockey gear to match Kipper’s pads. Peters’ father had season tickets and the young Kiprusoff impersonator was fortunate enough to go to every Flames home game that season. “We decided to save the gear for special occasion games – Hockey Night In Canada, Battle of Alberta, playoffs, etc. Every shut-out Miikka got at home in 2005-06, I happened to be dressed up for. I earned the nickname Kipper’s Good Luck Charm by fans at the Saddledome for that very reason,” says Peters.

Peters’ commitment to his role as Kipper Kid brought him to the 2006 NHL Awards Ceremony in Vancouver, where he accepted the Vezina Trophy and William M. Jennings Trophy on behalf of Miikka Kiprusoff. Reflecting on that experience, Peters calls it the “highlight of his Kipper Kid experience.”

With season tickets from 2005-06 through 2008-09, Peters’ stint as Kipper Kid lasted four full seasons, bringing him into his teenage years. Following the Flames’ 2009 playoff exit at the hands of the Blackhawks, Peters and his dad decided it was time to hang up the pads, save one special game four years later when Peters became Kipper Kid on a final occasion. “I geared up one last time at the end of the 2012-13 season to honour Miikka and his outstanding 10-year career with the Calgary Flames before his retirement.”

On his Calgary Flames and Miikka Kiprusoff memorabilia, Peters says, “Everything I collected & accumulated over the years I still have and to this day I am a huge collector of Kiprusoff hockey cards and memorabilia.”

Now 27 and still a proud Calgarian, Peters has come full circle. Fully re-engaged with his love of hockey, goaltending, and artwork, Peters recently launched Rhino GraFX, his brand for his full-time business of – you guessed it – goalie mask painting.

Here’s Peters with a happy customer and finished piece:

On his inspiration to start Rhino GraFX and commit full-time to his business, Peters credits his favourite goaltender and the masks he wore:

"It’s amazing how an athlete can have such a profound impact and inspiration in one’s life. Miikka’s mystique and intimidating masks were things I fell in love with. I grew up drawing his masks on my homework, which then slowly turned into a collection of Kiprusoff artwork that I had in my bedroom. There sparked a life-long passion for artwork. I had dreamed about one day painting goalie masks. It was after high school when I began experimenting with airbrushing and only within the past couple years that I got the opportunity to paint my very first goalie mask. As word of mouth spread, I slowly developed a following and a local fan base for my work."

Over the past couple of years, Peters has painted over 40 masks for friends and clients in Calgary and is excited to share that he has a “steady flow of new and previous clients demanding [his] artwork.”

Aiming to re-enter the NHL sphere not as Kipper Kid but as the man behind Rhino GraFX, Peters aspires to one day paint a mask for an NHL goalie.

In the meantime, Flames fans can expect something special from Peters come March. When asked if he’s planning anything special for Kipper’s retirement, he says, “Details between myself and the Calgary Flames are currently being discussed, but the short answer is yes.”

Peters is currently working on a new website for his goalie mask painting business, but in the meantime, you can follow his journey and get in touch for your own mask at the social links below:

Below are some of Peters’ most stunning recent masks.

Ghost Rider Blasty:

Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames 2005-06:


Calgary Flames 80s Edition:

Ranking every Calgary Flames jersey. dark. Next