Sunday, 10 October 2010

A Game To Behold

For Vancouver Canucks fans, the sight of the man to the left represents a lot of things: hope, the NHL coming to Vancouver, and a long history of professional hockey in Vancouver. For others, the image of the jersey brings back fond memories when players still played with the passion for the game rather than the money it may bring. Either way, one thing is definitely notable about the image of Orland Kurtenbach - that uniform is a gorgeous picture. On Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings met to open the season for both teams, and both teams decided to throw back to the very first game the two teams played. Like the game on Saturday, the game took place in Vancouver, and the jerseys that both teams wore had to make even the casual fan smile as both the Kings and the Canucks looked gorgeous in their respective throwback jerseys.

We got to meet the newest captain of the Vancouver Canucks as well. Henrik Sedin, last season's Art Ross Trophy and Hart Trophy winner, was upgraded from an alternate captain to the captain, while Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler donned the alternate captain designations from the forwards. How good do those jerseys look? To me, they are nearly perfect - dark, contrasting colours against a white background, and they have perfect striping on both the sleeves and at the bottom of the jersey. Even the socks have that great striping! This is precisely what the Canucks should look like in their blue-green-and-white colour scheme!

The Kings, on the other hand, came out wearing their throwback purple jerseys, and they looked phenomenal as well. There was some speculation about the Kings wearing throwback yellow jerseys as we saw on Derek Forbort at the draft, but the Kings went purple, and I can't fault them for their decision.

The purple jerseys scream "Los Angeles Kings". For older hockey fans and historians, these jerseys are the ones worn by legends such as Marcel Dionne and Rogie Vachon. There are distinct, contrasting colours on the jerseys, making the colours vivid. The crown logo has always been in Los Angeles' logo, but they should have never gone away from the old logo.

What brought the entire game together, though, was Jonathan Quick in net. Quick wore the brown pads in the vintage style of the old days, and he designed his alternate mask to represent that of Rogie Vachon, the Kings' first iconic goaltender. As you can see from InGoalMagazine's picture, Quick styled his mask in a similar vein as Steve Shields when he honoured Gerry Cheevers.

Honestly, from the lack of names on the jerseys to the reproduction of the old fonts for numbering to the autheticity of the jerseys, images from this game is something that Reebok should have on the wall of their design team and factory when they are asked to produce throwback jerseys. This game was a sight to behold for the entire sixty minutes!

The one thing I did notice, however, was that the breezers being used by the Vancouver Canucks were actually made by someone other than Reebok. As you can see in this photo, the Kings are wearing the standard Reebok-issued breezers, but the Canucks wore breezers with Bauer on the thigh. I'm not sure how this happened considering that Reebok is supposed to have the contract for all on-ice equipment rights, but the Canucks clearly went somewhere other than Reebok to have their breezers made. Perhaps Reebok couldn't make them the way the Canucks used to wear them?

One other thing that I noticed from this weekend's games? Tim Thomas shut out the Phoenix Coyotes in a white mask. I know there was some trade talk in the off-season about Thomas potentially being moved due to salary cap reasons, but you would think he wouldn't change his mask until he was actually moved. My guess is that Thomas has a new design that he's planning, but he needed his mask for the games played in the Czech Republic. Interesting to see a legitimate NHL goalie wearing a white mask in the regular season without having been traded, though.

That's all for Sunday. I'm going to pass out after a great Thanksgiving dinner, so I'm checking out of here. I'll be back tomorrow on holiday Monday in Canada, though!

Until then, keep your sticks on the ice!


Jim BC said...

Hey Teebz - I agree that both teams looked great. A couple of comments:

- Not all Canucks wore the Bauer pants. I noticed "Reebok" on some of their pants.

- The only problem with the Canucks jerseys was the Reebok logo on the back. The Kings didn't have this and looked much better as a result.

Jim BC said...

Oops... OK, so the Kings actually had the vector logo. I didn't see the game but in some of the pictures I saw, it didn't look like the logo was there... sorry.

JTH said...

I'm pretty sure it's just Reebok jerseys (and socks?) that the players must wear. Pants are considered a "personal preference" thing like gloves, sticks, helmets, etc.

In this pic from that same game, you can see Jannik Hansen wearing Reebok.

I know other manufacturers besides Reebok and Bauer have on-ice rights as well -- Warrior and Easton for sure.

Here's a shot where you can see at least three different brands at once.

JTH said...

Oh, and happy belated birthday.

Anonymous said...

Anaheim's Hiller has been sporting a solid black mask that looks like its covered in tape.