With no hockey being played today, I figured it was a good time to start clearing out all of the random hockey photos I have been piling up. There are some photos of special uniforms, at least one gruesome one, and a few historic pictures. I'll also meander through the Interwebs to a few other sites that have been doing extraordinary work over the last few weeks, and highlight their efforts. All in all, this will be nothing more than a collection of randomness, but it's a perfect way to start fresh for the summer months now that hockey is nearly over. Of course, there's always that AHL Calder Cup Championship game on tomorrow night, so you can still get your hockey fix. Tonight, however, is all about pictures.
- Let's get the gruesome out of the way first. I had only heard bits and pieces about his injury, but Leafs' defenceman Borje Salming was the recipient of 250 stitches in 1986 after being stepped on by Red Wings' forward Gerard Gallant. As Salming was lying in the crease during a goalmouth scramble, Gallant was pushed backwards and stepped back to brace himself. The problem is that he stepped onto Salming's face. Steve Thomas, Salming's teammate, stated, "He looked like a softball after the game". Yikes.
- Andy Brown is famously known as the last goaltender to play in an NHL game without a mask protecting his face. Here are a couple of shots of Brown stopping pucks for the Detroit Red Wings in 1972. I'm always amazed at just how courageous these men had to be to stand in front of a frozen piece of rubber traveling at 100 mph.
- David Glazer, the engineering director at Google, decided to show support for the California team still in the playoffs on May 19 when they held their annual Google I/O show. Glazer sported a San Jose Sharks home jersey with "HMTL 5" on the back. As you may be aware, HTML 5 is reportedly the replacement for Flash, and this was Google's hyping of this new programming. I wonder if Glazer is actually a hockey fan?
- In 1995, the Buffalo Sabres decided to retire the numbers of the "French Connection" line, and the unit's respective numbers were raised to the rafters in the old Buffalo Auditorium. Gilbert Perreault, #11, actually had his number retired on October 17, 1990, but November 15, 1995 saw left-winger Rick Martin and right-winger Rene Robert join #11 in the rafters to honour the team's most productive line. I still think those jerseys are gorgeous. They could have stood the test of time if they hadn't been replaced.
- Speaking of the Buffalo Sabres, I found a serious error on the National Post's website during their opening round previews of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and forgot to post it. Somehow, Tyler Myers became a member of the Ottawa Senators! That's a pretty big "oops" on the National Post's part.
- Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final saw Jonathan Toews run into some problems with his helmet. Because the game can't be stopped, Toews did what any player would do: borrow a teammate's sweaty helmet. That's Patrick Sharp's lid he has on. I get that he was supposed to be on the ice, but don't these guys have extra lids when playing at home? Couldn't Joel Quenneville have pulled Toews off the ice for five seconds?
- Two things about this old-time hockey photo: note the headgear the player is wearing, and check out the St. Louis Eagles logo in the background! I have yet to see an Eagles logo that clearly ever in any photo. Someone should resurrect that logo. Maybe for the Winter Classic against Minnesota in 2012? One can only hope!
- In bringing the last few points together succinctly, we head back to the 1991-92 season where Pat Lafontaine sported a bulky protector for the broken jaw he suffered during the 1992 season. Incidentally, Michael Nylander wore an identical protector in 1993 after he returned from a broken jaw against the Chicago Blackhawks. I have yet to see a picture of this one, but Lafontaine's helmet looks like he could work for NASA.
- We also have a great look at the old Cooper SK 600 helmet with face protector. Normally, this setup would be used for a player with a broken nose or some other facial injury that wasn't too serious. Personally, the invention of the visor and full visor now seems like a really good idea, doesn't it?
- As you know, I am a firm believer and religious user of the Skate Fenders. This piece of equipment, designed by Mr. Frank McClelland, is an amazing revelation for defencemen, and I highly recommend everyone to get some. Barrett Jackman, on the other hand, is using his multimillion dollar contract to purchase the Kevlar-based guards. From bulky helmets, we move to Jackman's bulky guards. Would you wear those? I wouldn't. Wow.
- I never noticed this during the WHL playoffs, mainly because I don't get to see many Americans games, but check out the placement of the Memorial Cup patch on Tri-City's jerseys. Thanks to those awesome Reebok EDGE jerseys, the patch is basically on the players' ribs. Yet no one thinks there's a problem with Reebok's design, apparently.
- Next season, Bemidji State's hockey team will open a brand-new hockey rink for their NCAA team to play in. However, February 19 was the big day when the John S. Glas Fieldhouse would see its final hockey game. To commemorate the event, Bemidji State wore throwback jerseys to their 1967 team that first played in John S. Glas Fieldhouse. They also donned special patches for the game, and featured the name of the arena on the backs of their jerseys. That's a pretty classy way for a collegiate team to send off an arena.
- Bobby Hull has been in the spotlight a lot recently thanks to the Blackhawks, but there were other teams that he played for in his career. Of course, everyone knows the Golden Jet for his time in Winnipeg, but the Jets traded him to the Hartford Whalers in 1979-80 where he wore #16 because Gordie Howe was still wearing #9. He retired as a Whaler after the 1980 season, but he played five games for the New York Rangers in the preseason in the 1981-82 season as part of a comeback. He was cut, though, as both parties agreed his career was over at that point as he was seemingly ineffective in the DN Cup Tournament in Sweden and Finland. I have yet to see Hull in a Rangers uniform, however.
- I wrote an article in 2007 about underwater hockey that didn't attract much attention. It's not your normal version of hockey, so I get that not many people may have heard about it, let alone played it. It's still very much a fringe version of hockey in most major markets, but, like many fringe sports, it has its major tournaments and events. Here is a patch commemorating the 1996 World Underwater Hockey Team! How gorgeous is that patch? I have yet to see another one, but I'm impressed with that patch.
- Posted on Puck Daddy, big "oops" on the window of Macy's in Chicago where they are congratulating the "Blawkhawks" on their Stanley Cup victory. Does anyone proof-read anymore? Where is the pride in one's work? Simply brutal.
- Down Goes Brown comes up with a beauty of a letter from the desk of Brian Burke to the other 29 NHL GMs. It's hilariously realistic and highly factual. Well worth your time.
- Big props go out to former Manitoba Moose head coach Scott Arniel for accepting a job coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets. Make no mistake about this: Columbus fans will like Arniel as he doesn't mince words and he'll be accountable for his team. As sad as I am to see him leave the Moose, the Blue Jackets are getting a professional individual who demands results from both his team and himself. Mike MacLean of The Cannon endorses the hiring, so at least one Jackets fan is happy.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!