For those Predators fans paying close attention to backup netminder Chris Mason’s skull protection during games, they may notice one of two things: 1) what appears to be a mummified mogwai with flame eyes painted on the top of his goalie mask; and 2) the much more civil (literally) representation of the Metro government seal on the mask’s backplate.
According to InGoalMag.com, a website that curates the artwork of goalies’ masks, the first appears to be an homage to the 1984 Iron Maiden album Powerslave, illustrating the band’s “Eddie” character. The second is a nod to the consolidated government of Nashville and Davidson County.
Mason, whose mask was designed in consultation with Steve Nash of Eyecandyair, said of the seal, “It’s got a Native American holding a skull, and the points kind of look like a sun ... I don’t know, I just thought it was really neat. I don’t really know what it symbolizes, to be honest with you. I just thought the whole design was really cool.”
The seal in question, according to Davidson County Historian Carole Bucy, is actually an amalgamation of a previous incarnation of the seal of Nashville — consisting of the Native American holding up a skull and gazing upon it like Hamlet remembering poor Yorick — that was then embellished with the blue and gold compass-point design topped with a fleur-de-lis. Those latter elements drawn up by a group of design- ers including Herb Thompson of Cullom and Ghertner, David Baker of Illustration Design-Group, and Harold West of Doyne Advertising Agency who were tapped in 1963 to craft the seal for the newly born Metropolitan Government of Davidson County.
"It’s a pretty good representation of the city to have the city seal on the back, I thought,” Mason said. “And the colors were even the Predators colors. So I thought it would be a good thing to go with on the back plate, for sure.”