Mike Smith’s new Calgary Flames goalie pads are one of the most aesthetically pleasing sets of goalie gear we've seen unveiled this summer. The former Coyote, Lightning and Star is off to Cowtown following a trade out of Arizona and will be sharing the bulk of the load in the Flames crease this season.
Between him and Eddie Lack, who the Flames acquired to back-up the 36-year-old Smith, the new Calgary combo may have the best starter and back-up set of pads in the entire league.
When Smith unveiled his sick set of black and red CCM’s, he was still using his Coyotes helmet. Now, the day has finally come for his new Calgary Stampede-inspired mask.
The artist is David Arrigo, who’s worked with Smith in the past. His artwork features Smith's three sons – Aksel, Nixon, and Ajax – and daughter Kingsley. Aksel and Kinglsey are sitting on a horse carriage directing four ponies, while Nixon and Ajax are having a jolly old time flailing off the back. All four children have their names somewhere spelt on the mask. There’s also a beer keg with a Flames logo, which perfectly represents the atmosphere at the world-famous Stampede. The back of the of the mask features the Albertan skyline with the signature Calgary Tower.
For more close-up shots of the mask, head on over to Arrigo’s website.
The Flames are hoping Smith will stabilize their net, as they were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks last spring. They deserved better and outplayed Anaheim for good chunks of the series, but were severely undisciplined, and were let down by Brian Elliot and his spotty play. Calgary is hoping that their upgrade in net, along with defenceman Travis Hamonic, will give them a solid defensive boost in hopes pushing the Ducks for the top seed in the Pacific Division, as well as slowing down their provincial counterpart, the Edmonton Oilers.
(h/t to the Calgary Flames)