The art of the mask

by Anna LaCombe || AHL On The Beat Archive

There is a whole other side to Mike Myers, the manager of community relations and youth hockey for the Worcester Sharks, which may surprise some people. The charismatic charm that Myers brings to the front office of the Sharks everyday is sometimes overshadowed by his dedicated focus to his somewhat subsidiary unique artistic side.

No, Mike is not in the art of making movies as an actor known as Austin Powers. He plays a professional goalie mask painter in his other life.

A former goalie himself, Mike knows what it takes to provide these players with the perfect most personalized possession an individual hockey player can have.

Mike grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., as a fanatic of the Washington Capitals and their goaltender, Bernie Wolfe. He moved on to play and coach for Worcester’s very own Assumption College hockey team. When it came time to settle down he decided to combine the passion he has for the sport of hockey with his outstanding artistic talent and developed his own professional goalie mask painting business.

Myers Mask Designs came to life in February of 1995 and it is where he has produced masks for such professional goalies as Dwayne Roloson, Jim Carey, Cam Ward and Olaf Kolzig, just to name a few. After fully committing himself to the growth of his business, Myers decided that it was time for a change.

“When friend Cap Raeder (San Jose Sharks scout) contacted me about the Sharks affiliate coming to Worcester and this job, I jumped at the opportunity,” said Myers.

This past April Mike joined the front office of the Worcester Sharks organization.

“I was ready for the transition as my once hobby turned into a full-time 11-year job,” he said.

By accepting this position with the Sharks it also allows Myers to spend some more time with his two young sons Matthew and Damon and his wife Anne and that was another added bonus. Although Mike had to stop the development of his mask designing business, he has still managed to dabble in a few extra paintings here and there. One of his most recent ventures has been to create a mask designed for the Worcester Sharks very own netminder, Thomas Greiss.

The young Greiss, who hails from Koln, Germany, had one request when asking Myers to paint his mask: to make sure that the Bavarian flag was on the back. Even with this one simple request Myers found himself having a creative mental block.

“This,” said Myers, “is the longest I had gone in a while since I created a mask. It sounds funny, but you lose that confidence and I knew I wanted to make it look amazing, so I put a lot of pressure on myself.”

With the time crunch Mike saw between his busy schedule at work and at home with his kids, he sketched and sketched and sketched. After he had it down on paper and a little push from a joking Worcester Sharks general manager Wayne Thomas, he worked overnight from 8:30 at night to 4:30 in the morning to create that sketch on Thomas’ helmet.

Someone with such skills should never let their talent go to waste. And certainly Mike Myers possessed the idea to never do so.