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Kari Lehtonen’s Finnish Olympic Team Mask

Kari Lehtonen’s Finnish Olympic Team Mask

From goaltender’s concept sketches to artist’s realization of the vision

The rush of new Olympic masks is a great time for goaltending fans and in addition to all kinds of incredible artwork, it also produces a few interesting stories, from Ryan Miller’s being told to make changes to his design in 2010 to Jesse Vetter having to remove “We the People” from her 2014 mask. This one may be without controversy as artist Joni ‘Bona’ Hallikainen was careful to confirm his design before committing to paint; however, there is a slight twist to this unveiling of Kari Lehtonen’s 2014 Team Finland mask here at InGoal.

We have the original sketches that Lehtonen himself penned for his former junior teammate and now personal painter. It’s interesting to see a bit of a peek into the process of Bona and ‘Lehts’ working together on a new design but it is even more impressive to see what a talented artist can do with a very simple concept. Bona, himself a former pro goaltender in Finland, has taken Lehtonen’s very basic drawings and brought them to life, turning them into amazing works of art.

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Bona, in an email to InGoal told us about Lehtonen’s wishes for the mask:

 “Kari wanted to have a clean and crisp Suomi mask with the Finnish coat of arms and SUOMI on both sides. He also wanted to have some snow flakes incorporated into the design so I came up with this snow flake pattern. The idea was to celebrate the winter Olympic atmosphere. The mask has a navy blue base with baby blue and white stripes to match the Finnish uniforms and his olympic gear from CCM.”

To see more of Hallikainen’s fantastic work, visit his Facebook page or contact him directly via email.

Bona also created both a mask to match Dallas’s new home uniforms this season as well as a mask for the Stars’ road uniforms.

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About The Author

David Hutchison

David is one of the founders of InGoal Magazine which he began in 2009. Of course he finds time for some goaltending of his own as well, and despite his age, clings desperately to the idea that some NHL team will call him to play for them - though in his mid-forties (OK, late 40s) it'll likely be for a practice when everyone else on their depth chart has the flu and the shooter tutor has gone in for repairs.


  1. Ian Wotherspoon

    Awesome Artwork once again. When you are as talented an artist like Joni ‘Bona’ Hallikainen you have the talent to be able to take basic drawings and turn them into beautiful works of art as he has done with
    Kari Lehtonen’s new Finnish Olympic Mask. Every mask that has been painted that I have seen is truly a work of Art.

    If some of the goalies who have left us were still around today to see how the goalie mask has changed over the years, I believe they would be amazed, I know I am. My first mask was made of clear plastic and my second one came from Jacques Plante’s factory.

  2. Warren Shapiro

    Nice job on the crests of the country. Good use of colors , hopefully it will match the countries uniform. To comment on what Mr. Wotherspoon said I played with a catchers mask or the Tony Esposito type mask.(plastic) These masks today are so much better. At least you can see better than the old ones.