Today, the artwork has evolved immensely, some of the designs are so intricate that the artwork can only be truly appreciated in a freeze-frame or photograph. Goalies express their individuality through the art on their masks, which might also serve as a distraction to opposing players.
Even as a fairly avid hockey fan, I was surprised at the number of comic book and video game characters have appeared on the masks of NHL goaltenders... Which suggests that when they're not stopping pucks, it would appear as if some of these guys are just obsessed with comics and video games as the average male...
The artists behind Kari Lehtonen's mask definitely score extra points simply for the variety of characters that have been incorporated into his mask at one time or another... He's also had characters from Kill Bill and Final Fantasy X.
|While in Dallas, Chuck Norris|
(aka Walker, Texas Ranger) has
been spotted on Lehtonen's mask,
at least during the pre-season...
The mask originally featured Yoda yielding an Orange Lightsaber to match the colors of the Philadelphia Flyers... This led to an outrage from Star Wars fans who mistook it for a red lightsaber (used only be evil Sith Lords).
The color of Yoda's light saber drew so much attention that even LucasFilm caught wind of it, and promptly requested that the color of Yoda's light saber be changed to green. The force is strong with
LucasFilm lawyers... (Who up until this point, believed that Ice Hockey existed only on the planet Hoth.)
|During his time with the Blackhawks, Marvin was again|
featured on his helmet, this time with a Native American
headdress in lieu of Roman soldier's helmet.
I can't even imagine how many hours I've watched the Coyote try and kill the freakin' Roadrunner... That's why I had to mention the cool Wile E. Coyote mask worn by Mike Smith while playing for the Phoenix Coyotes. Note the blue Roadrunner feathers in the Coyote's teeth!
While in the crease for the New York Rangers, Steve Valliquet appropriately donned a Spider-Man mask. There are two variations that I know of, both cool in their own respect.