Canucks fans have been given ample proof that Eddie Läck is a lovable goofball. The long-legged Swede even has his own signature dance move. He’s basically just one dimension removed from being a cartoon character. Thus, it should come as no surprise that this is exactly what’s on his new mask.
When it came time to design his new head protection, rather than asking Swedish artist Dave Gunnarson, one of hockey’s elite mask-painters, to cover it in lightning and skulls and flames and stuff, he requested cartoon characters. Original cartoon characters.
Meet Wolfy, the water-skiiing wolf:
Well, isn’t he a mischievous looking scamp?
Now, you may be wondering why exactly a wolf would be waterskiing. Are water skis the secret option B to the classic wolf, goat, cabbage riddle? Actually, it’s just a novel way to fit the wolf into a maritime theme, as necessitated by the Chicago Wolves’ parent club.
Lack may be in Chicago now, but when the lockout ends, there’s a good chance that he finds himself travelling with the Vancouver Canucks as Cory Schneider’s backup. Thus, the cartoon character towing Wolfy along is Orca, the delightful orca:
Orca is pulling Wolfy! They’re friends! Of course, you can tell from Wolfy’s mischievous smirk that he thinks Orca is a total rube and is taking advantage of the situation. But the kind look on Orca’s facial region indicates to me that he is fully aware Wolfy feels that way, but is just happy to be hanging out and feels he can change Wolfy’s attitude with the power of friendship.
Can you tell that I’ve had kid’s cartoons playing on my TV recently?
Harrison has informed me that it drives him insane when cartoon characters have the same name as the animal they are. “Orca should have been called Orcy,” he said, “and I am genuinely upset about this.”
Lack received the mask 16 days ago, and even tweeted a photo of one side, but Gunnarson only got around to sharing photos and the story of the entire thing on Thursday, on his excellent Facebook page. Here he is, on how the mask came together:
Watch out for the water splash…here it’s big time action. Wolfy jumps into the water and starts to waterski with his buddy Orca… That is what we call team work.
I’m very happy to present Eddie Läck’s new Vancouver Canucks mask, with a strong Chicago Wolves connection…On this new mask we wanted to do something really funny… Eddie asked his fans on Twitter, how about a cartoony wolf in the design. Sounded awesome, I started drawing and out from my drawings jumped Wolfy, and he jumped out into the Canucks landscape, on his waterskis run by his buddy Orca. It all created a cool mix of Canucks and Chicago Wolves. And as always it’s pumped with details to discover all over the mask.
Some of those details include the funky First Nations designs on the chin of the mask, a nice subtle touch.
I do find it silly that Lack has a nickname for his nickname. Due to his long, skinny legs, Lack has been nicknamed The Stork for some time. Apparently that was too creative for hockey, which is stuck in a rut of simply adding “ie” or “er” to the end of a player’s name to create a nickname. So they’ve done the same for the Stork, turning it into “Storker” which appears on the bottom of Lack’s mask. Ridiculous. (As has been pointed out a couple times, his mask says “Storken,” which is Swedish for “Stork.” I’m dumb.)
In Goal Magazine touched on Lack’s new mask and included some practice tips for young goaltenders from the Stork that are worth a read.
S/t to Sean Leahy, the best Leahy we know.Tags: Eddie Lack