The last examination of the patch phenomenon is here. In case you missed the first two, you can find Part One here and Part Two here. There are a number of patches worn by the teams in this section, so it's a long article. However, the patches worn are quite interesting, especially when you make it to the bottom where three special patches are looked at - the Hockey Hall of Fame Game, the All-Star Games, and the Throwback Games. Let's get this show on the road, then.
Here are the last fifteen franchises, alphabetically-speaking. There are a number of patches that have been worn by these teams, and several that have yet to be worn.
Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens most-recently played in the 1989 and 1993 Stanley Cup Finals. If you notice on the 1989 patch, everything is in English. However, the Stanley Cup Centennial Finals patch is completely in French on the Canadiens’ jerseys in 1993. That is the only time that the Finals patch has been different for the two teams in the Finals. Los Angeles wore an all-English patch. Moving on, the Habs hosted the 1993 All-Star Game, and wore a patch for the event. They celebrated the life of one of the greatest players in NHL history, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, by wearing a patch in 2001 during the warm-up and ceremony celebrating his career after he passed away. The Canadiens wore a patch to commemorate the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal. They also wore an all-French Stanley Cup 100th anniversary patch. On November 18, 2006, they wore a patch for Serve Savard's retirement ceremony. On January 29, 2007, they did the same for Ken Dryden's retirement ceremony. Following the same routine, they wore a patch on November 19, 2007 for Larry Robinson's retirement ceremony. The Canadiens donned another patch on February 23, 2008 for Bob Gainey's retirement ceremony, seen here on Carey Price and Alexei Kovalev. In 2008-09, the Canadiens began the celebration of their 100th anniversary by wearing this patch. They also were hosting the NHL All-Star Game that season, and wore an all-french patch to reflect that. November 22, 2008 saw the Canadiens retire Patrick Roy's #33, and they wore a patch for that event.
Nashville Predators: The Predators have a couple of team-specific patches in their short time. They celebrated their 5th anniversary with a patch. Apparently, they will be wearing a 10th anniversary patch next season, and it may look like this. The Predators took part in the Japan Game One festivities in 2000 as well.
New Jersey Devils: The Devils visited the Stanley Cup Finals in 1995, 2000, 2001, and 2003. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a patch this season. They celebrated the life of John McMullen, long-time owner, with a memorial patch after he passed away in 2005. They also celebrated the careers of Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko with patches. Thanks to an anonymous tipster, the Devils wore a 10th anniversary patch on the rear of their jerseys. On October 27th, 2007, the New Jersey Devils wore a patch commemorating the opening of their new arena, the Prudential Center.
New York Islanders: The Islanders have worn a couple of patches in their time. They celebrated their 25th anniversary with a patch on the Fisherman jersey. They also honoured long-time Islander great Bob Bourne with a patch on their Hall of Fame night. Thanks to Joe, I found the 20th anniversary patch the Islanders wore. On November 3, 2007, the Islanders wore a patch to commemorate Al Arbour's 1500th NHL-coached game. However, they had some problems when it came to the captaincy and alternate captains in terms of patch placement.
New York Rangers: The Rangers have worn a patch for almost every significant event. Of course, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994. The Rangers celebrated their 50th anniversary with a patch in 1976, and celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2001. The Rangers also played host to the 1994 All-Star Game. They also wore a ribbon patch in memory of the 9/11 tragedy. The Rangers also played in Puerto Rico in an exhibition game against the Florida Panthers, and wore the Puerto Rican flag on their sleeves. The Rangers also honoured defenceman Brian Leetch with a patch after his retirement ceremony during the 2007-08 season. February 3, 2009 saw the Rangers retire Adam Graves' #9, and they wore a patch to reflect the event. February 22, 2009 saw the Rangers retire Andy Bathgate's #9 and and Harry Howell's #3, and the Rangers donned another patch for the event.
Ottawa Senators: The Senators have worn only memorial patches on their jerseys. The first was a “Smitty” patch, worn in memory of Brian Smith, an Ottawa sports television anchor. In 1995, he was shot outside the CJOH television studios by a man who thought the station was sending television signals to his head. Smith, unfortunately, happened to be the first person he recognized from the station. The second memorial patch was for long-time NHL coach Roger Neilson. Neilson was a coach with the Senators at the time he was diagnosed with cancer. He did not win the battle. The Senators had both a home patch and an away patch in Neilson’s honour.
Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers have a few patches in their history. They played in the 1997 Stanley Cup Final. They wore a Pelle Lindbergh memorial patch in 1985-86 after Lindbergh sped in his customized Porsche into a wall after drinking, fatally injuring himself and injuring two others. The Flyers hosted the 1992 All-Star Game, wearing a patch for the occasion. They celebrated their 25th anniversary with a patch during the 1992-93 season. They will also be celebrating their 40th anniversary next season with this patch. They also were the first team, from what I’ve found, to wear a Stanley Cup patch on their jerseys after winning the Cup, but these were never worn in a game.
Phoenix Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets: This franchise has worn a few patches. The Jets wore two versions of their Goals For Kids patches: the old, and the new. The Jets celebrated their 10th anniversary as a hockey club with a patch. The Jets also wore a special patch during their last regular season in Winnipeg. After they moved to Phoenix, they started the same Goals For Kids program. The Coyotes celebrated their 10th anniversary of moving to Phoenix this season with the “Decade in the Desert” patch. The Coyotes celebrated Wayne Gretzky’s career, although he never suited up for the Coyotes nor the Jets, by wearing his number on their jerseys. They also have worn a Phoenix patch on their shoulder. I have no clue what that patch is supposed to mean.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins have worn a number of patches. The Penguins went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1991 and 1992. The Penguins hosted the 1990 All-Star Game. The Penguins played in the Japan Game One promotional tour in 2000. They wore a memorial patch for former head coach “Badger” Bob Johnson who passed away from a brain tumor during the 1991-92 season. The Penguins celebrated their 25th anniversary with a patch, and their 35th anniversary with a patch, but this patch was not worn during the 2000-01 season. The Penguins are sporting a Pittsburgh 250 patch in 2007-08 in celebration of the city of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary.
San Jose Sharks: The San Jose Sharks were supposed to host the 1995 All-Star Game, but missed out due to the strike. However, the NHL awarded San Jose the 1997 All-Star Game in place of the 1995 game. The Sharks have also worn their 10th anniversary patch. The Sharks have also worn a WAS patch in memory of goaltending coach Warren Strelow who passed away this season.
St. Louis Blues: The Blues have worn four patches. They celebrated their 25th anniversary with a patch. They honoured two men with memorial patches: Dan Kelly and Barclay Plager. Dan Kelly was a broadcaster for the Blues who passed away from cancer in 1989. He was the voice of the Blues from 1968 until that day. Barclay Plager was a life-long Blue, serving 11 seasons as a defenseman and then as coach. He passed away from cancer in 1989 as well. The Blues also honoured Al MacInnes in a ceremony last season, and wore a patch to commemorate the event. Thanks to Matthew who pointed me in one patch's direction, I actually found another that I was missing. Matthew pointed out that I missed Brett Hull's retirement game patch. In looking for this one, I found the 1988 All-Star Game patch as well.
Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning have worn several patches. They played in the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals (seen here on the Flames’ jersey). The Lightning hosted the 1999 All-Star Game. They celebrated their 10th anniversary with a patch. They also wore a patch in honour of former assistant captain John Cullen who was battling cancer in 1998.
Toronto Maple Leafs: The Maple Leafs have a patch for almost everything they have ever done. They hosted the 2000 All-Star Game. The celebrated the 65th anniversary of Maple Leaf Gardens with a patch, the club’s 75th anniversary with a patch in 2001, and the city of Toronto’s 150th anniversary with a patch in 1984. In 1986, the Maple Leafs wore a Heart & Stroke Foundation patch on their sleeve to help the Foundation get their message out about heart diseases and strokes. In 1986-87, the Maple Leaf franchise lost a long-time employee King Clancy. They wore a patch in his honour of serving the team in some capacity since 1931. In 1990-91, the team honoured long-time owner Harold Ballard with a patch after he passed away. The honoured former Maple Leaf captain Ted “Teeder” Kennedy with a patch in 1993-94. They also honoured Turk Broda and Johnny Bower with patches in 1994-95. They remembered Maple Leaf Gardens after it was closed with the Memories and Dreams patch. November 22, 2008 saw the Maple Leafs honour long-time captain Wendel Clark by adding him to the honoured numbers, and wore a patch for the game. The Leafs donned an "Ace" patch in honour of Ace Bailey on January 21, 2009 - the last game before the All-Star Game in Montreal. The very first All-Star Game unofficially took place to help Bailey after his career was cut short due to an on-ice injury. More info about the Ace Bailey Benefit Game can be found here. The Leafs honoured another one of their great players on January 31, 2009 when Doug Gilmour's number was raised to the rafters. The Leafs have also been involved in all the Hockey Hall of Fame games, but I’ll explore those below the team-specific patches.
Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks have worn a number of patches to date. They played in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. The Canucks hosted the 1998 All-Star Game. They celebrated their 20th anniversary in 1990, and their 25th anniversary in 1995. They celebrated Expo ’86 in Vancouver with a patch. The honoured Scouts Canada with Scouts Night in 2000. They honoured long-time owner Frank Griffiths with a patch in 1994 after he passed away. Thanks to Nuk, I was pointed in the direction of two more memorial patches, and reminded me of a patch I forgot. The Canucks wore a Babe patch in honour of Walter "Babe" Pratt who passed away in 1989. The Canucks alumni wore an LA patch to honour Larry Ashley, their long-time trainer, who passed away. They played in the first Game One promotional game in Japan. The Canucks also wore a Canuck Place patch on their shoulder. Canuck Place Children's Hospice opened its doors in 1995, offering specialized care for children with progressive life-threatening illnesses and for their families. Thanks to funding support from individuals, organizations and corporations, hundreds of families from across B.C. have access to Canuck Place's services, at no cost to them.
Washington Capitals: The Capitals have worn a few patches in their time. They played in the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals. They honoured Jack Button, their late director of player personnel, with a patch after he passed away. They celebrated the Capitals Centre’s 10th anniversary with a patch in 1984, and celebrated the franchise’s 25th anniversary with a patch in 1999. They also wore a 9/11 patch as a memorial to the tragedy that occurred in Washington on that day.
Ok, so there are the teams. There are lots of patches on the three separate articles, and lots of reasons for wearing them. However, we’re not done.
Hockey Hall of Fame Game: Each year, since 1999, the NHL has held the Hockey Hall of Fame Game in Toronto to coincide with the announcement of the new inductees to the Hall of Fame. The Maple Leafs are always a representative in the game, but the team they play against changes from year to year. Here is the list of years, and who participated. The link is to the patch that both teams wore.
- 1999: New York Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.
- 2000: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.
- 2001: New Jersey Devils vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.
- 2002: Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.
- 2003: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.
- 2004: game cancelled due to lockout.
- 2005: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.
- 2006: Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.
- 2007: New York Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.
- 2008: Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs. As an aside, the Canadiens did not wear the HHOF Game patch. This is the first time a team has opted not to wear the HHOF Game patch. The Canadiens were already two patches, so I commend them for not cluttering up their jersey with a third patch.
Throwback Games: The NHL has also seen teams wear throwback jerseys as alternates. This jersey normally has a vintage jersey patch attached.
Ok, if you’re still with me, thanks for hanging in. As you can see, there have been a pile of patches worn, and some that may be worn next season. I don’t think this trend will end, so I’m sure, at some point, there will be a follow-up article to this one. If you find a patch that I may have missed, put it in the comment section, and I'll give you credit for the find. Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!