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Smith Gets New Goalie Mask

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

A fresh take on Wile E. Coyote is featured on Mike Smith's new mask. Photo by artist David Arrigo.

GLENDALE – Mike Smith received a nifty-looking holiday gift in the mail a few days ago when his new goalie mask arrived in time for the team’s three-game, pre-Christmas road trip to Los Angeles, Vancouver and Edmonton.

Smith plans to wear the new lid when he makes his next start on Monday at Vancouver.

Smith has kept the Wile E. Coyote theme, but the new mask is not quite as “kid friendly” as its predecessor, Smith told reporters with a smile.

"It's a little more mean," he said. "It's the whole head of the Coyote with coyote claws and the paws and then the mouth open on the tongue and the saliva."

Smith ordered a new mask, in part, because his old mask did not have the name of his third son on it; Nixon Smith was born after Mike Smith’s previous mask was designed.

Per usual, artist David Arrigo worked with Smith to design and create the mask.

Road Runner and the new Arizona Coyotes logo are depicted on Mike Smith's new mask. Photo by artist David Arrigo.

"I'm not exactly sure how many masks we've worked on together now but it's got to be close to 20," Arrigo said. "It's amazing to look back at the progression of both his personality and my artwork through the various designs we've developed together."

Arrigo said Smith is very hands-on when it comes to the design of his masks.

"It's quite funny actually because a number of the goalies I normally deal with are good with the initial design with some minor input and tweaks," Arrigo said. "Working with 'Smitty,' he might as well be painting the lid as well these days. In the end this is a great thing; he knows what he wants, he's getting what he wants and that's what I strive for."

He added, "Over the years we've built up a very unique relationship, one that I am proud to say that a great friendship has blossomed and mutual respect, and if he denies any of this I'm calling his wife."

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