A tribute to longtime Phoenix resident and NHL Arizona Coyotes supporter Alice Cooper is featured on a new mask worn by the team’s goalie Mike Smith.
The goaltender worked with artist David Arrigo to design a retro-style mask that combines a coyote on the front, an old Coyotes team logo on the side, and Cooper on the back.
"I think it turned out unbelievable," says Smith. "It's very simple, it's very retro, and that's the theme we went with this time around. It's the old Coyote head with different things involved, obviously the whole head of the coyote and then the old logo on the side.
"Probably the coolest thing about the helmet is the backplate. It's a tribute to Alice Cooper. He's been a lifer as a Coyote fan and a big supporter of the team.
"David been wanting to paint Alice Cooper on my helmet for quite a few years now and finally I let him have at it. Obviously it's an amazing tribute to Alice and the support he gives our team, and a throwback to him."
Arrigo explains each new design presents its own challenges and opportunities as the pair work through the design process.
"With EVERY mask I work on with Smitty, there will be… let's say, some locking of the horns, and this piece was no different,” says the artist. "Smitty was looking for a clean break all around, including the backplate. In contrast, I push as much as possible to have something on the mask that have people look twice.
“He wanted the Coyotes moon logo vs. I was looking for something more entertaining and had a punch. Enter Alice Cooper, rock star, Arizona resident and Coyote fan. What is more retro than Alice Cooper!
"I thought the image of Alice's unique look on the backplate would really make this a conversation piece (not to mention I think it would look cool as heck!). For once I got my way! I think it worked out well."
Cooper continues to support Motley Crue on their farewell tour; the pair launch an Australian tour next week and will return to play more North American shows starting in July.