Just days ago we heard from Elvis Merzlikins, and his desire to capture the coveted Vezina Trophy to honor late Goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks. Now he has gone a step further, as to ensure that Kivlenieks is with him during every game he plays, on the way to capture that ultimate goal this season. He just unveiled a new mask and helmet combo, which was created specifically for him, to honor Kivlenieks, such that it looks very similar to his mask.
Elvis had this to say regarding the remastered and vital piece of game equipment. “I want him close to me. I always want him with me. I know he is going to always be with me and he is going to look on from up there and help me. That’s the minimum of what he can do for me because he is not here with anymore with us. The passion and love that he had for this game, that is what he is going to do, and I believe that.” ( https://www.nhl.com/bluejackets/news/elvis-merzlikins-goalie-mask-tribute-to-matiss-kivlenieks/c-326112870).
In addition to the number 80, which Kivlenieks wore, the helmet will also include words Merzlikins said during his eulogy. “You saved the last puck, little brother,” (Also from the same source of NHL.com). Further, he stated this about the color scheme, related to the Blue Jackets itself. “It’s not dark, it’s light. I told them to play more with the red and the white and the blue, not to make it be dark. … I wanted it to be a really, really similar mask to what he had. He was my little brother. He’s always going to be with me.”
You can see David Gunnarsson’s amazing work in the link here> https://www.nhl.com/bluejackets/news/elvis-merzlikins-goalie-mask-tribute-to-matiss-kivlenieks/c-326112870.