Coming up with a replacement for Petr Mrazek’s old mask featuring Peter Griffin from Family Guy was never going to be easy. But with Mrazek looking ready to move on from the AHL – he was a Petr playing for the Grand Rapid Griffins, hence the Family Guy reference – it was time to move on.
Thankfully painter Ray Bishop of Bishop Designs came up with an equally brilliant idea.
Since Mrazek, who was called up again this week with Jimmy Howard nursing a sore catching hand, looked ready to play for the Red Wings, why not tie in their home building, Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.
What better way to represent the downtown rink than by tying in the boxer it was named after? So Bishop decided to incorporate “The Fist” of Joe Louis, which was also memorialized in 1986 by a 24-foot long sculpture of the Detroit-raised boxer ‘s fist and forearm that is located at Detroit’s Hart Plaza.
“I wanted to do something that was bold and screamed Detroit,” Bishop told InGoal. ” I really don’t remember anyone using ‘The Fist of Joe Louis’ on their mask, so I thought that would be a great image to bring Detroit into the design, as well as show the strength and resilience of the city. To help further tie the image together, I decided to ghost the skyline of Detroit in subtly beneath the fist, and encircled them with ‘Detroit Red Wings and ‘HockeyTown USA’ to bring it all home.”
The chin of the new Vaughn by Pro’s Choice mask features Mrazek’s first name, along with Czech flags celebrating his heritage.
“As for the rest of the lid, I wanted to just have some clean looking stripes and Red Wings logos to keep the mask looking classic and clean,” Bishop said.
Bishop is no stranger to celebrating the city of Detroit, having painted the Spirit of Detroit statue on Howard’s new mask. He was also the artist behind Howard’s brilliant pink ribbon breast cancer awareness mask. For more of Bishop’s work, be sure to check out his company website, as well as “liking” his Facebook page, and following him on Twitter. In the meantime, enjoy these images of the Fist of Joe Louis on Mrazek’s new lid: