If you ain't first, you're last.
Have wiser words ever been spoken?
For Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko, the answer is definitely no.
"I think that quote is hilarious," said Demko, revealing his new mask, which features the quote and a photo of Will Ferrell as race car driver Ricky Bobby on the back. "It's just a little bit of fun; I always like to have fun with the backplate."
Demko has a long history of putting Ferrell characters on his masks, including Anchorman's Ron Burgundy, Step Brothers Brennan Huff and Dale Doback, and most recently Jackie Moon from Semi-Pro.
Ricky Bobby, the top ranked NASCAR driver from the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, is one of Ferrell's most famous characters and obviously one of Demko's favourites. But the 24-year-old from San Diego is a fan of almost every Ferrell character making it tough to decide which one will be featured on his next helmet.
Demko credited his down time during quarantine with rising Ricky Bobby to the top of his list.
"During quarantine, I re-watched Ricky Bobby and obviously everyone knows how funny it is, but I hadn't seen it in a few years, so I had forgotten how funny it is. I watched it with my girlfriend and we were dying laughing like we'd never seen it. So it was fresh in my mind."
The helmet, done by local BC artist Travis Michal, features traditional Canucks blue and green, with Vancouver's orca logo displayed on the left side of the mask. Majestic black and white mountains run along the top to the comic book themed right side, where zombie Johnny Canuck makes his second straight appearance on a Demko mask, this time alongside a pair of terrified hockey players.
"The idea was to have zombie Johnny towering over a player from every team in the Pacific Division," laughed Demko. "But we were short on space in that spot, and short on time designing it, so it's just two random players scared of Johnny."
To finish off the mask, la piece de resistance on the back, is Ricky Bobby. And his infamous quote that every NHL team will be living by starting August 1st: If you ain't first, you're last.
"That there is trademarked, not to be used without written permission of Ricky Bobby, Inc."