A new season means new masks for many of the NHL’s goaltenders and Buffalo Sabres goaltender
Robin Lehner and Colorado Avalanche netminder
Semyon Varlamov have unveiled their newest helmets. Lehner, who is getting set for his first season as a Sabre, went a route not often seen when it comes to mask design. Gone are the flashy, shiny graphics in place of a matte finish and design that incorporates Lehner’s musical taste.
While the side panels do feature the Sabres logo and word mark, the main feature of the mask is the skeletal logo on the crown of the helmet. The logo, which is that of Swedish metal band In Flames, is a jester’s head and has been featured on all of the band’s albums since the 1996 release The Jester Race. “Robin and I had a vision to create a dark and gritty design, inspired by nightmares,” mask designer David Gunnarsson wrote about the mask. “With a violent look filled with scratches and marks and splatter, the design transforms into a tribute to Robin Lehner’s favorite music.” We like Lehner’s style, but when it comes to creativity, the design for Varlamov’s new mask might be even better. To celebrate the Avalanche’s 20th anniversary, Varlamov will be rocking a mask that has a pair of evil snowmen celebrating their birthday on the left panel and the Avalanche logo, big and bold, on the right.
As always, it’s the small details that count and Varlamov’s mask has those. Beyond the party favors that the snowmen are holding onto, the top snowman is holding onto a Russian flag to honor Varlamov’s home country. But if you look closely, that same snowman is also holding a balloon shaped like St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square. Amidst the snowflakes dotting the mask, you’ll also notice the Russian imperial eagle takes on the same design and sits front and center, right above the cage. Varlamov’s mask is a great tie-in of his home nation and a big anniversary for the Avalanche. Which mask do you like better?