Anyone who has followed the mask history of Edmonton Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk is probably already familiar with his use of Melman, the hypochondriac giraffe from the popular children’s movie series Madagascar, with a goalie mask hanging from his net.
A play on his 6-foot-5 frame, Dubnyk has featured the cartoon giraffe on his backplate for years, but this season Melman moves onto the marquis with a spot on the top left side of his new retro style Oilers mask.
Painted by popular Swedish artist David Gunnarsson of DaveArt, the new mask was designed as a tribute to old Edmonton goalie designs, with the Oilers logo prominent throughout, including subtle flames surrounding the biggest ones on either side of his face.
“Devan wanted something old school for his new NHL mask,” Gunnarsson wrote on his Facebook page. “The tribute design is created as a homage to the old school Oilers masks. On a distance it is a classic old school design, and when you come closer you will discover all the details and the mask enters a new dimension with all the DaveArt trademarks effects. Not only that, the mask is a time traveler. Is is created just as if it´s 20 years old or more.”
That includes “rust” coming out of the screws, and scratches and puck marks all over the mask.
“It´s like Devan found this 25-year-old mask in the attic and just dusted it a bit and started to play,” Gunnarsson wrote.
Well, minus the new giraffe of course, which Gunnarsson recommended moving into the spotlight. You can find more of Gunnarsson’s great artwork on both his website and on his Twitter feed, but for now enjoy his latest for Dubnyk and the Oilers: