Braden Holtby's new mask 'canceled' over offensive images.



I'm getting a little tired of having to write stories like this one, but unfortunately that is simply the world we are living in at the moment. 

According to breaking news from Canucks reporter Daniel Wagner, the facemask design has that had been commissioned by Vancouver Canucks goaltender Braden Holtby has been taken down from the Instagram account belonging to the man who created it, David Gunnarsson. There was some small controversy this week after the mask design was revealed when several people felt the need to express just how offended they were at the mask's design. 

The mask heavily featured indigenous symbolism that was meant to be a tribute to a common myth on the Northwestern Canadian coast about the "Thunderbird," a giant creature that was largely responsible for floods and earthquakes due in large part to his ongoing conflict with "Whale" another mythological creature from the same myth. Given that the Canucks have been known to prominently feature the orca as a part of their brand, I actually felt it was very fitting while also showing great respect to the indigenous communities in the area.

In fact both Holtby and his wife have been very active in community efforts in DC during their time as members of the Capitals organization, and I suspect that this was largely meant to be a first step in that very same direction for the Holtby family in Vancouver.

Unfortunately it would appear that due to the now infamous 'cancel culture' that we are currently living it, it now appears as though this pretty awesome looking mask will never see the light of day. That is to say that Holtby will never get around to wearing it on an NHL playing surface, and no doubt it will be retired forever unless we see a dramatic cultural shift in the next few years.

Thankfully for all of us who actually wanted to see the mask before it got taken down there is good news, in many ways the internet is forever. As you would expect the image has long since been downloaded and saved countless times, and is still readily available if you search for it. I've included it below because I frankly see it as a beautiful piece of art, not something meant in any way to be harmful or disrespectful of any culture or anyone.