A Foothills artist's work made waves online this week.
Ottawa Senators goalie Cam Talbot has been showing off his new mask depicting Marvel's Deadpool, a nod to actor Ryan Reynolds who plays the character onscreen and has hinted he may be interested in partial ownership of the Sens.
The man behind the mask is Dave Fried, an Aldersyde-based artist who runs the business Friedesigns with his wife Natasha.
He's painted masks for numerous NHL, WHL, and AJHL goalies.
A former Okotokian, Fried's work includes a mask painted for Brady Parker of the Okotoks Oilers.
Talbot was made aware of Fried's work after seeing it sported by fellow Ottawa netminder Anton Forsberg.
Through his equipment manager, Talbot reached out to Fried with his idea to pay tribute to Reynolds and Deadpool.
"I actually agreed to paint Cam's mask without knowing what it was," says Fried. "I knew it was coming, the equipment manager said it was in the mail, and then about three or four days later, he texted me the idea. I remember telling my wife, 'I think this is gonna get some traction.'"
Fried was given free rein with the design and added numerous flourishes of Canadiana and Senators iconography, including a "Go Sens" foam finger and what appears to be a Tim Horton's cup in Deadpool's hands.
Reynolds and Deadpool are both Canadian (Reynolds was born in Vancouver, and Deadpool is said to have been born in some undisclosed part of the country,) which is frequently referenced in the character's movies and comics.
"I kept it on the funny, cheeky side kind of like the movie posters. Couldn't do it too violent because the NHL doesn't allow that, which is fine by me, it's for the fans and the kids... It's throwing cheeky jokes about Ryan Reynolds being Canadian. Even in his movies he kind of pumps up Canada," says Fried.
It seems to have paid off, with images of the helmet having gone viral on Thursday (Jan. 4) including coverage from Hockey Night in Canada and Sportsnet.
Reynolds himself tweeted in response to Talbot.
Jacques Plante would be proud as hell. https://t.co/lgS6QkQHYe— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) January 4, 2023
A tweet from Friedesign also drew the attention of Tim Hortons.
Love the design! We've seen that cup somewhere...— Tim Hortons (@TimHortons) January 4, 2023