Another day, and another new set of goalie masks have hit the interwebs in the dog days of summer.
Earlier today, Antti Raanta – now with the Arizona Coyotes – unveiled his new Wild West themed mask.
Goaltenders often tweak their equipment over the course of the season, but the offseason presents an exciting time for gear junkies on a whole other level, especially when a goaltender changes teams. Eddie Lack’s new Flames set-up is one of the best sets yet to be released, while his partner Mike Smith opted for slick black and red set-up that is very easy on the eyes.
Like Raanta, Smith, and Lack, Winnipeg Jets goaltender Steve Mason made the jump to a new club after spending five years in Philadelphia.
Masks are a way for goaltenders to pay their respects to any symbolic references to the team or past or present athletes. Mason’s old helmets in Philadelphia featured the likes of Bobby Clarke, Dave Schultz, Bill Barber, and late owner Ed Snider, as well as Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and now ex-Flyer Brayden Schenn.
Mason’s new Jets mask pays homage to the Royal Canadian Airforce, which has a Canadian Forces Base located in Winnipeg.
Thanks to Reddit user “Rvbcaboose1018” the jets painted on the mask look awfully close to the covers Ace Combat 5 and 6, a popular hybrid fight simulation video game series.
Former Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who left Winnipeg to sign with the New York Rangers, saw his new mask hit the market when his agent Allan Walsh tweeted out a video of his simple, yet effective Ranger mask.
The goalie carousel this off-season has been quite interesting and has given hockey fans something to look forward to, as goaltenders have essentially just rotated teams: Mason went to Winnipeg, Pavelec headed to New York, Raanta moved to Arizona, and Eddie Lack and Mike Smith are now in Calgary.