Tampa Bay Lightning Goalies Wears Masks To Advertise the Upcoming Movie "Saw V"
Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Mike Smith wore a goalie mask that featured an ad for the upcoming horror film Saw V. Fellow Lightning goaltender Olaf Kolzig has also sported a mask featuring characters from the popular series of horror films. The masks mark the first time an NHL goalie has used his mask as a billboard. Kolzig's mask can be viewed here.
The move was spurred by Lightning co-owner Oren Koules, the Hollywood producer behind the Saw films. The team has stated that the masks will be auctioned off for charity once the promotion is over.
The masks feature airbrushed drawings of characters from the Saw films. The masks aren't too out-of-line with many masks worn in the NHL. As a recent photo gallery in Sports Illustrated showed, most goalie masks are rather similar, covered in airbrushed drawings of skulls, dragons, lightning bolts and other pieces of bad art that looked like they should be airbrushed on the side of a ‘70s van.
Still, some see the move as just another sign of how advertising is creeping into every corner of pro sports.
For those who think, "So?" Ponder this: A-Rod stepping to the plate with a "Sex and the City" bat. Brett Favre tossing a "Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys" ball into the hands of Laveranues Coles. To put it simply - it's bad enough we get assaulted by endless ads during professional sports telecasts, no need for the players themselves to shill wares (and, at the same time, their dignity).
This is especially true of hockey. The NHL gets blasted for not promoting the personality of its players, and it's even harder for the goalies. Given the amount of equipment they wear, these guys are lucky to be recognized by their own family once they step out of the locker room. Their only means of self-expression are their masks, and now this is being taken away by greedy owners. Know why Kolzig had Godzilla on his mask back when he tended net for Washington? Because that was his nickname, not because the Caps had a cross-branding deal with Toho. The Toronto Maple Leafs' goalie is called "Cujo" not to promote the recent 20th anniversary DVD, but because his name is CUrtis JOseph.
This season has seen a few innovations in goalie mask design. Earlier this year, Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo placed the letter 'C' on his mask to denote his status as team captain even though league rules forbid goaltenders from holding that title. The Canucks also held a contest that asked fans to design backup goalie Curtis Sanford's mask. Sanford selected the winning design from more than 300 entries.