Wow! I had no idea what a crazy ride this was going to be.
Reflecting on this portion of my life, I am grateful for the overwhelming, loyal support from those who really knew that to improve anything, ‘change’ is one of the main ingredients.
This ‘clean sheet’ project introduced cutting edge materials and processes, and a different shape/fit to the goalie mask. All to improve on the performance of the existing model.
The masks that were built and painted for all of our NHL clients were the exact same masks that were worn by all of our patrons - from 9 year old budding stars to working professionals that enjoyed a game or two of pick up. 'Good Enough A'int Good Enough’ was applied to all the heads that rolled into the shop.
The Armadilla ushered in a legion of ‘firsts’ - for both me personally, and professionally. It was the first ice hockey goalie mask combo with CSA approval. In addition to a myriad of structural design features, there were many unique finish breakthroughs - including the first chrome cages and chrome shells.
Aside from the technical superiority of the hardware, the Armadilla also provided me with an unconventional canvas to indulge some of my artistic whims. I never would have imagined that a shark mask doodled on a cocktail napkin in a downtown Montreal jazz bar, could have grown into this! Many thanks to all the pros and amateurs that allowed me so much creative freedom, and let me shape their ‘image’.
Still to this day - 30+ years later - there has not been another mask that is as lightweight and protective. Proud to say, the Armadilla was way ahead of it’s time. It’s very flattering to continue to field requests for new mask builds, but the last parts were created and re-homed a decade ago.
A heartfelt 'thank you’ to all those that have graced the Armadilla hallways. It was more entertaining than you can possibly imagine. I look forward to continued conversations and gatherings with those friends made, and maintained along the way.