Last year was a tough year for the Calgary Flames, so the fact that Karri Ramo had a record above .500 should encourage a number of Flames faithful regarding the ability of this talented goalie. While it may not uplift, Ramo’s new mask from Jason Livery at HeadStrongGrafx is a work of art as well as an ode to a classic. In November of last year, Ramo debuted this mask channeling Edgar Allan Poe and his famous poem, The Raven. Well, the bird is back and better than ever. The addition of Jonas Hiller may push Ramo into a backup role, but he’ll look great regardless of where he is in the depth chart.
According to the artist, Jason Livery, “Ramo still wanted to use the same theme as last year on this mask but obviously change it up a little.” Along the left side of the mask designed by Marcus Power, there is a silhouette of raven’s wing against what appears to be a blood spattered background. The detail of the spatters is incredible, and as you move forward towards the chin, it becomes clear that instead of simply painting skulls on to the mask, Livery has made the entire mask one big skull as well. The chin depicts the mouth of the skull with something clearly burning behind the teeth.
On the right side of the mask, a similar raven silhouette sits beside some skulls lined up above the cage of Ramo’s new lid. Above each silhouette is a raven, one flying and one perched, staring menacingly and squawking. Ramo and Livery certainly went for a sinister edge on this design. Livery mentioned, “I also used on this mask what we call Head Strong Grafx DirtyFX.”
The top of the mask is simple, yet effective, with barren trees and a murder of ravens flying in the distance. Along the edge, the same passage is written that was on Ramo’s last mask: “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted – nevermore!” It’s an eerie end to a classic poem and the finishing touch to a masterfully executed mask.
With the aforementioned Hiller signing a two year deal worth $4.5 million annually, Karri Ramo has likely been replaced as the starting goaltender of the Flames. However, the Assikala, Finland native played well for stretches last year on a Calgary team that desperately struggled to score and wound up in the bottom four of the league. With a full year under his belt, and 40 more games worth of experience, Ramo certainly has something to prove, especially in the final year of his contract. If he and Jonas Hiller can provide some strong goaltending, the Flames may have a chance to climb out of the Western Conference basement. Ramo went 17-15-4 last year, with a .911 SV% and a 2.65 GAA. Those are pretty good numbers for a now backup goalie. So, while Calgary may struggle up front and on defense, and they do, those that preach, “It starts with solid goaltending” may have a team to hang their hats on.
Ramo’s Raven is a fantastic work of art and will likely be one of the more unique masks in the NHL this season. We haven’t seen many like it, and perhaps that is the effect Ramo is going for. It’s a chilling rendition, and one that apparently represents who Ramo is. Working on last year’s mask Livery said, “Ramo really wanted a mask that reflects him and who he is.” Well, those are all the answers we need!
Jason Livery worked on Ramo’s Flames mask from last year, as well as Ben Bishop’s Big Ben mask for the coming year. You can find more great masks from Livery on the HeadStrongGrafx website. You can also follow HeadStrongGrafx on Twitter and Facebook to see some great new designs and ideas. Check out the rest of Ramo’s Edgar Allan Poe mask below!