A lot of stuff has been said about these the two teams still standing in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, but there is something I have yet to hear anyone say. That is, however, until we were chatting at work today. I wasn't aware of this, but the last time that current Blackhawks defenceman Brian Campbell played against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this was his lasting impression.
There's a bunch of "did you know..." stuff that I want to go over today. Some of this stuff is older pictures, but there are some pretty good stories amongst these images. Without further adieu, here we go.
- I wasn't aware of this - probably because of my dislike for the Hamilton Bulldogs - but the Bulldogs wore a 10th anniversary patch a few years ago. They didn't wear a 10th anniversary jersey like some teams. No, they went classy instead. The best part? The Bulldogs even kept the team theme by using two crossed bones to make the Roman numeral "X". High marks for commemorating the anniversary as a patch, and for keeping the patch in theme.
- Everyone knows that Peter Stastny was one of the better players in the history of the Quebec Nordiques, but the rest of his family wasn't bad either. Pictured here from left to right are Peter, Marian, and Anton Stastny of the Quebec Nordiques. Honestly, that uniform is absolutely gorgeous.
- It may just be coincidence, but the two remaining teams in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs have players wearing Skate Fenders. That's right - both the Flyers and Blackhawks have players wearing the foot protection. Niklas Hjalmarsson is wearing Skate Fenders, and, after breaking his foot earlier in the playoffs, Jeff Carter is now wearing Skate Fenders as well. Mr. McClelland is still working with the NHL to make them available to all teams, but you're literally watching a company grow by leaps and bounds here, readers. And all because of one man's passion for the game.
- There has always been chatter regarding the NHL expanding into Europe. This has been an idea floated around for as long as I can remember, but it never had any legs from as far as I can tell. With the KHL in charge of the best Russian teams, it's probably going nowhere today. However, the December 19, 1969 edition of The Hockey News states that former NHL president Clarence Campbell wanted this European Division to happen as the NHL expanded. Could you imagine what the NHL would be like today if this had happened? History would have been drastically changed.
- Sticking with THN, the September 1, 1968 edition showed off the brand-new Montreal Forum that was scheduled to open that season on November 2. Ok, not "brand-new" per se, but a Forum that received extensive renovations over the summer. Some of the "more notable additions" included "several escalators", "2,000 extra seats", "[a] new and modern press box", and "larger concession areas". The 1968 seating capacity would be 16,300 - the highest number of seats in the Montreal Forum up to that date.
- If the December 1969 edition was about possible expansion fever, it was an all-out epidemic in 1972. THN's February 11, 1972 edition stated that the NHL would expand from 14 teams to 24 teams by 1980. This was, in part, due to the WHA's rapid growth, but also due to recent mergers of minor leagues. Of course, the NHL added franchises on Long Island and in Atlanta the following year, but the NHL wouldn't hit 24 teams until 1992-93 when both Ottawa and Tampa Bay joined the league. Dreams are meant to be dreamed, right?
- The August 1967 edition of THN showed off the California Golden Seals' new jersey and logo. I was always a fan of the Seals' look, but I never recalled the sleeve numbers being up on the shoulder. However, looking back at Bert Marshall's sweater, it's pretty clear that the sleeve numbers were, in fact, shoulder numbers. They did eventually move down the arm to the correct area as the team changed names and locations.
- Sometimes, the worst jerseys were meant with the best intentions. Case in point? The Detroit Tigers had Nicklas Lidstrom throw out the first pitch, and gave him a Tigers jersey with the captain's "C" on the right shoulder, much in the same place that the Red Wings have their captaincy designations. It just looks awful on a baseball jersey, though. Fail.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!