When Spencer Martin — a backup goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks — takes the ice during the 2022-23 NHL season, his faith in Christ will be on full display.
>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<
Martin has taken advantage of the freedom goalies have in decorating their masks to paint a cross and a reference to the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 on the back of his. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
In addition to references to his faith, Martin also includes a large, blue and green “V” for Vancouver, a Canucks logo on the left side, the AHL Johnny Canuck logo on the right, and a representation of the city’s skyline on both.
Famously, Martin’s previous masks were chrome and soon became the talk of everyone who saw him play. They too sported a cross on the back.
😎 Spencer Martin may still be wearing custom Tampa Bay Lightning pads but his shiny new @Canucks mask (by @artofdave we believe) stole the gear style show on opening day of camp pic.twitter.com/gNox3xodV7
— InGoal Magazine (@InGoalMedia) September 23, 2021
However, Martin told CanucksArmy.com earlier this month that he wanted a new, chrome-less mask that is “more simple” because he doesn’t want to “take anything away from the team.” Martin commissioned Sweden’s Dave Gunnarsson, who is a well-known NHL mask artist, to create a new design for him.
Martin also discussed with CanucksArmy.com why he always makes sure to reference his faith on each of his masks.
“I’ve had different verses on my mask before,” he said. “Jeremiah 29:11, it’s like, God’s gonna have a plan for me that’s gonna prosper me. It’s like, He’s already been down that road for me, so that kind of breeds confidence into my life and then into my game — that I can be at peace with that.
“Coming into last year, obviously it’s a different situation right now, so I just felt like it was appropriate to have [the Bible verse] on the back of the mask and hopefully, you know, who knows where we can take it this year.”
For the first time in his career, the 27-year-old Canadian is preparing to enter an NHL season as the main backup. He’ll be expected to fill in for Canucks starter Thatcher Demko when needed.
Martin appeared in six games a season ago, posting his first three career victories and a .950 save percentage. Prior to Vancouver calling him up briefly in January 2022, Martin hadn’t played an NHL game since January 2017 with the Colorado Avalanche, when he started three games.
A night Spencer Martin won't soon forget–his first NHL win. pic.twitter.com/iuA2nEXci0
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 28, 2022
Throughout his time as a professional goaltender, Martin has spoken about his faith. When he was an up-and-coming goaltender prospect in 2012, he was asked by Yahoo Sports who he credits most with helping him in his hockey career.
“I thank God the most first above anything,” Martin said. “I’m religious, a Christian, and He’s been there throughout all the lows and highs.”
When asked about whether he prays, he confirmed: “Before games, during games, after games. In life, in any struggles and for any highs that you do have, but during a game, it’s just asking Him to be with me in any situation, whether you’re winning or you’re losing. Help me play my personal best.”
In the offseason before his first NHL appearance with the Avalanche, Martin was asked by ColoradoAvalanche.com whether he had a pregame routine.
“I’m not very superstitious, but I am religious,” he said. “So I’m always praying.”
Now donning a new, albeit understated, mask, yet still representing his Christian faith, Martin will enter the 2022-23 season hoping to help the Canucks (40-30-12 last season) reach the playoffs after missing out the last two years.
– Tage Thompson signs 7-year extension with Sabres as he trusts God’s plan
– Sports, faith & safe water with Water Mission connect through S.C. Stingrays
– Children of NHL veteran Jack Johnson baptized in Stanley Cup
– SS PODCAST: Avalanche’s Josh Manson on Stanley Cup win, connection to God
– Josh Manson helps Colorado Avalanche win Stanley Cup with God as his foundation