‘Optimus Reim’ Is Back Again On Latest Leafs Mask
We knew it was only a matter of time before James Reimer debuted his latest installment of ‘Optimus Reim’, and Dave Gunnarsson of DaveArt did not disappoint. Reimer and last year’s starter, Jonathan Bernier, are set to duke it out once again for the starting job in the center of the hockey universe. While Toronto is a tough place to play due to the pressure placed on the Leafs’ regulars by fans and the media, Reimer has largely taken harsh criticism and any rough reviews in stride. Reimer has become a fan favourite for his great demeanor and willingness to incorporate great nicknames. This latest mask is sure to be a popular one with those same fans and perhaps endear him to curmudgeony old coach, Randy Carlyle!
Gunnarsson has designed and painted Reimer’s masks for several years and the theme of Reimer’s robotic nickname has been a popular one. Catching on in fan circles and within the arena, it’s only fitting that ‘Optimus Reim’, the play on Hasbro Transformer’s Optimus Prime, is back again. However, according to Reimer and Gunnarsson’s Facebook page, this is a mask “that describes the rise of the new era”. The Leafs disappointed everyone down the stretch last year, and it’s clear Reimer and Co. would like to turn the page on 2013-2014. We think this is a great way to do it!
With wires, cables, and metal plates all over this mask, it’s difficult to concentrate on just one great feature at a time. Metallic flames shoot up from the chin, emblazoned with a small Leafs logo and another nickname, “Reims”. Just above the cage is the Transformers logo etched into a steel maple leaf. Optimus Prime is on the left side, and as you look all over the Bauer mask, you can see the blueprints behind the giant, mechanic hero.
On the right side of the mask, you can see the artist’s interpretation of Grimlock, the Autobot capable of taking the form of a monstrous tyrannosaurus rex. He looks mean, and perhaps that’s the vibe Reimer is trying to give his on-ice persona. As usual, the mask is covered “the DAVEART trademark effects and lots and lots of DAVEART 3-D PaintTech”, says Gunnarsson. In particular, you can see the holographic Leafs logos spliced with a circuit board on top of the mask. It’s a unique and new design in Toronto and, here at InGoal, we know you’ll love it.
While Jonathan Bernier may have assumed the starting role in Toronto last year, it’s clear that Reimer is still valuable to the Maple Leafs. Avoiding arbitration by signing a 2 year contract worth $4.6 million, GM Dave Nonis has established his goalie tandem that ranks pretty high around the NHL. The issue now is try and formulate a strong enough team to turn around the woefully “undefensive” Leafs. Toronto allowed a league 7.8 more shots than they produced last year, which had many pundits predicting their inevitable (eventual) fall from grace. It’s hard to blame Reimer and Bernier when you’re giving up close to 36 shots a game. Regardless, Reimer has posted a lifetime record of 65-48-15, with a .914 SV% and 2.85 GAA. Perhaps the addition of some players up front and a combined realization that last year’s strategy didn’t (and will not) work can improve the tough sledding for Reimer.
Widely regarded as one of the nicest guys in the league, Reimer has got a great new mask to debut when he suits up for the Maple Leafs this season. However Randy Carlyle and the coaching staff choose, or are forced, to use Reimer, we’ll be excited to see this DaveArt creation out on the ice.
As mentioned, Gunnarsson has painted Reimer’s masks in the past, including the first Optimus Reim mask, the progression towards more Optimus Reim, and finally, last year’s installment in the series. It’s a great theme and we hope it continues. You can check out Gunnarsson’s website, follow him on Twitter and/or Instagram, and Like his page on Facebook for more awesome mask designs and paint jobs. Be sure to see the rest of Optimus Reim below!