There's a lot that goes into uniforms in this world. There are a lot of institutions and places of business that use uniforms for a variety of reasons. The one thing that stands out with those uniforms is that they all look the same, and they are expected to be the same. Hockey's only canvas for personal expression is the goalie mask, and we've seen a number of those new paint jobs over the last couple of weeks. However, there is one team who seems to be missing this "uniform" idea when it comes to their uniform, and it was strikingly apparent in today's game. We'll also look at a few others things, among them some of those new paint jobs as well that have caught my attention.
- The Chicago Blackhawks have fairly recognizable colours and stripes on their jerseys and socks. As I watched them in their game today against HC Davos of the Swiss Elite League, it dawned on me that there was a serious stripe height problem. In their media photo, you can see the stripe is slightly below the knee while wrapping around the shin. It started with Brent Sopel, who is #5 in the following picture, wearing his stripes around his skates last season, and now it appears to have spread to Andrew Ladd. I also caught Brian Campbell wearing his stripes low. What is going on in Chicago? Somebody needs to get this corrected so that the uniform starts looking, y'know, uniform. Those low stripes look ridiculous.
- Another issue with the Blackhawks came up today in that the Blackhawks were wearing their Premiere patch against HC Davos in Zurich, Switzerland. While I understand that the equipment manager most likely didn't want to bring the sewing machine along with the team to Europe, this seems a little amateurish. Can they not bring a second set of jerseys if they aren't interested in doing a little sewing? The Finland patch didn't fit the game whatsoever.
- The AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins unveiled a new alternate jersey for this season, and I like it. It goes back to their original colour scheme of black, yellow, and red. Ok, so there isn't a ton of yellow in it outside of the logo, but it does look good. Traditional, simple, and very hockey-esque. Thumbs-up from me.
- We got to see Dwayne Roloson's new Islanders-inspired paint job a few days ago. Tonight, we bring the other free agent goalie paint job that the Islanders signed in Martin Biron. Biron's mask is a tribute to the man who many feel is still the greatest goaltender in Islanders' history: Billy Smith. I like this tribute, and Smith's old mask is well-represented.
- Tampa Bay's newest goaltender in camp is former Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki. Niittymaki had a fairly unique design while in Philly with gangster Frank Nitti shown on the side. "Nitty" is, of course, Niittymaki's nickname. Well, he didn't stray far in Tampa Bay. He simply changed the colours to reflect Tampa Bay's colours, and stuck with the Nitti theme on his helmet. His nickname fits so perfectly that it's hard to bring down this effort, so I won't. Nitty is now Tampa Bay's gangster.
- Brent Johnson moved from Washington to Pittsburgh this offseason, and he's gone to the paint store as well. Johnson's new mask has a very distinct Led Zeppelin feel to it as Diogenes makes an appearance off the rock band's Stairway to Heaven album. It even has the symbols in the middle! A cool mask, and another one to add to the numerous rock bands and icons that have appeared on goalie masks.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!