Ray Emery’s iconic new Blackhawks mask – and one that almost was
When – or if – the National Hockey League returns to action, one thing is certain: Chicago goaltender Ray Emery will once again have one of the sharpest masks in the league, a look that fits perfectly with the Blackhawks’ iconic jerseys and Indian head logo.
Designed and painted by Emery’s long-time personal painter, Montreal artist, David Leroux of Diel Airbrush, the new mask is a slightly modified version of the mask the duo made popular last season, when they both chose to move away from Emery’s long-preferred boxing-themed masks.
Leroux changed the Indian chiefs depicted on both sides of the mask, added some effects in both the tribal lines and jersey lines on the chin, and put a double-headed Hawks logo on the chin to make the mask “even more symmetrical.” It was a nice, subtle renovation of a mask design Emery has declared his favourite, but it was almost a drastic rebuild instead.
Despite instructions to do something similar to last season, Leroux’s first attempt was a lot more mean looking, with two very aggressive, glowing-eyed skulls inside the feathered Indian headdress on both sides of the mask.
Unfortunately it was deemed a bit too aggressive for a Blackhawks that is careful to be safe and respectful in regards to its use of native american symbols. Leroux, however, liked it enough to keep the mask, and paint another for Emery to use rather than just starting over on the same canvas. That means not only can we show you pictures of the mask that almost was for Emery, but there’s a very good chance it will be for sale from Diel Airbrush at some point in the near future!
Enjoy the images of both masks below, and be sure to check out more of Leroux’s amazing work, including a Grim Reaper/Bible verse lid for Malcolm Subban, at his official website and on his Facebook page.