If you tell artist David Arrigo what threatening, masculine imagery you want on a goalie mask, he’s going to airbrush it to spec. Say you want a brick wall, because you’re a goalie and nothing gets past you. Done. Say you want the Statue of Liberty, because you play in New York and are a symbol of excellence. Done. Say you’re a kid with no perspective on the world and the coolest, toughest thing you can think of is a primary-colored circle with eyebrows from your iPhone physics app who gets you 5,000 points every time you crush a pig. Uh, done.
That’s exactly what a goaltender for the Toronto Junior Canadiens asked for, and now he’s the proud owner of one of the most talked about (and wanted) goalie masks of the year, whether he ever actually wears it or not. It might end up on a pedestal beside Gordie Howe, for all we know.
“I got an email from the Hockey Hall of Fame this morning, and they want to put it on display,” said Arrigo. “As soon as this kid finds out what’s going on, this thing’s going to end up on eBay. It’s not the first time, I tell you.”
In case you’re wondering if this is a wink wink nudge nudge affair from a self-aware player who loves his hobbies, no. The kid is seven years old, and his dad went to the hockey’s top mask-painter to get his seven-year old something he’s going to abandon in the garage alongside his Beanie Babies in two months.
“He came to me, and it’s funny: His father said he was a big [New Jersey Devils goalie] Martin Brodeur(notes) fan, and maybe that should be on his mask. And the kid’s like, ‘No, no, no … I want ‘Angry Birds!’” said Arrigo of the young goalie, whose name wasn’t released due to his age.
Believe it or not, this is about the 5th least cool video game-themed goalie mask ever. Puck Daddy has a brief retrospective up on some mask designs I’m happy to know exist, like a Dallas Stars goalie who put the Final Fantasy X-2 versions of Yuna and Rikku on his head. I could type a thousand words and they wouldn’t be enough to say how much I love that. I wonder how much Arrigo would charge me to put Ultros and Mr. Chupon on a helmet?