Goalie mask designs can be patriotic, pay homage to television or even honor legends. But led by Quebec-based mask artist company Sylabrush, goalie-mask designs can now change colors.
With the help of Sub-Zero white paint, Sylabrush designer Sylvie Marsolais and her partner Alexandre Mathys have created color-changing masks. Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and Boston Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin are the first in the NHL to debut the masks, which change when hit by water.
"We thought about [the color-changing effect] a couple months ago, then we decided to test it for this season on a couple of our NHL masks," Marsolais told NHL.com. "For [Khudobin's] mask, we did the whole design without thinking about the Sub-Zero paint. When we got to the chin part, we decided to add dramatic effect on the background. The idea was when [Khudobin] would get on the ice, or squirt his water bottle on the chin, it would darken up."
Sylabrush, based in the Montreal suburb of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, has designed masks for Vasilevskiy and Khudobin since 2012-13. The chin area on Vasilevskiy's mask changes from white to Tampa Bay Blue, and reflective images of the Lightning's logo, lightning bolts and the Russian firebird are displayed when water hits it.
Vasilevskiy's mask will have an electric-charged lion on the top of the mask, with palm trees and the Russian firebird on either side. His No. 88 is visible on the chin in front of the color-changing element.
"Andrei is a determined goalie that always wants to be unique," Marsolais said. "He likes felines, and he's determined like a lion, so we drew a realistic lion charged with electricity on the forehead."
For Khudobin's mask, Sylabrush put a fierce bruin on the left side and the Bruins home, TD Garden on the right. His nickname "Dobby" is spelled out on his chin in front of the white paint that changes to brown when touched by water.
Marsolais and Mathys surprised Khudobin when they showed him the mask change colors during training camp.
"His response was, 'wow, awesome,'" Marsolais said.
Sylabrush has designed mask art for many NHL goalies, including the New England Patriots-themed art for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask's mask at the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Foxborough, Massachusetts against the Montreal Canadiens. Canadiens prospect Zach Fucale also received a color-changing mask to wear for St. John's of the American Hockey League this season.
Sylabrush rolled out the three color-changing masks but will unveil more in the days ahead.
"We have many more to come," Marsolais said. "We are artists, so we always want to innovate and create."