Detroit Prospect McCollum’s New Mask Looks Lethal
While he has only played a single game at the National Hockey League level, Tomas McCollum has been providing solid goaltending in the pros for some time. Combining with Petr Mrazek, McCollum has become one part of the premier goaltending duo in the AHL. The Grand Rapids Griffins roster was picked apart by the Red Wings to make up for injuries at the NHL level, so you can imagine that the consequences of these actions translated into shots on net and opportunities against. No matter, McCollum, along with Mrazek, were up to the test. To bring in the new season, and perhaps foreshadow a stint with the big club, McCollum has commissioned Jason Livery at HeadStrongGrafx to paint a brooding rendition of the Red Wings logo and it looks sensational.
The designs making up the majority of the mask are symmetrical, with wings on both the left and right sides protruding from next to the cage. In what can only be described as “spiky and ominous”, the thin wings flare up the side of the mask, with a deep red and off-white filling. Several “feathers” poke down towards the bottom edge of the mask, showing off a design we haven’t seen in Motown before.
McCollum’s initials (TM) are set on the chin of the mask in a clear, chrome finish that is juxtaposed against the rest of the mask’s finish. The background of the mask has a messy, sponged look to it that really provides texture to the design. It’s similar to the mask Livery did for Karri Ramo, but with less illustrations to obstruct the base and as a result, the viewer sees much more of the great work done on the base layer by Livery.
On top of the mask, we return to the classic Red Wings logo of the winged wheel. Once again, in an otherwise chaotic and nasty design, this fresh, clean-cut logo sticks out nicely and makes sure anyone looking at the mask knows McCollum recognizes the great franchise, but also means serious business.
It’s unclear how much time McCollum will see with Detroit this year. Last year, with intermittent injuries to Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson, it was the aforementioned Mrazek that was called up, not McCollum. However, with the Red Wings signing McCollum to a one year, two-way contract in July, this could be a make or break season for the 24 year old. Last year, McCollum was 24-12-4, with an impressive .922 Sv% and 2.30 GAA. Thanks to the work of McCollum and Mrazek, the Griffins allowed a Western Conference low 187 goals and were only 2 away from the league low of 185 goals allowed in 76 games. After an unfortunate exit to the eventual Calder Cup winning Texas Stars in the Western Conference Semifinals, McCollum and Co. are likely out for revenge next year.
Jason Livery also 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. The rest of McCollum’s mask closeups are available below!