Tonight is one of those rare nights during the NHL season when there are no games scheduled. I know - how does this happen? Of course, with the NHL All-Star Game on-tap for this weekend, players are getting themselves ready for the game by either attending the event in Raleigh, North Carolina or readying themselves a spot in front of their big screen TVs. No matter which of the options the players are in, it's a good place to be as a fan too. There is lots of stuff to catch this weekend, and HBIC will have some All-Star Game goodies queued up for the weekend as we approach it. Tonight, however, I need to get myself a fix of hockey, and this article will be nothing more than a repository of cool things you should check out with your free time today. I know you have free time because there's no hockey on. So what else are you doing?
- In your mandatory reading piece for the day, you MUST check out The Royal Half's article on the LA Kings' Burger King alternate jersey and how it came to be. Today is, of course, the 15th anniversary of that jersey's unveiling. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch Blog also points out that the unveiling coincided with the unveiling of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' Wild Wing jersey, marking this day fifteen years ago that the NHL went insane. Thankfully, the league has recovered slightly since then. Huge congrats over to The Royal Half for their work on this extremely interesting article!
- Speaking of uniforms that are hated by mostly everyone, there's nothing better than seeing a Fisherman in action. Here's Zigmund Palffy from his New York Islanders days trying to slide a backhander in on the Philadelphia Flyers!
- The Detroit Red Wings are known for the octopus during the playoffs, so I thought this picture of Detroit's Paul Coffey hoisting an octopus on his stick was interesting. Paul Coffey's time in Detroit is probably the last time he could be considered an all-star as well.
- I like hockey history, and I love old color photos of NHL players. When this picture of Gary Simmons in a California Seals jersey was sent to me by a reader, I was blown away by how crystal-clear the colors and details are. I love this photo!
- Speaking of historical photos, check out this photo of the St. Louis Flyers! Do you recognize who #3 is? He's not one of the Flyers as seen by his mismatched socks from the rest of the players. In fact, he's not even a hockey player, but he is fondly remembered as a sports icon and a legendary baseball player. That's Yogi Berra! From left to right in that picture are George Milligan, Donald MacDonald, Joe Lund, Yogi Berra, Don Grosso and Hec Pozzo. What a great photograph taken by Buzz Taylor!
- Remember in last year's playoffs when Jonathan Toews grabbed Patrick Sharp's helmet while repairs were being made to his helmet? Or when Alexander Ovechkin was wearing Matt Bradley's helmet last season? Earlier this season, the Penguins' captain pulled off the same trick when Sidney Crosby grabbed Chris Connor's helmet while his was being fixed! It seems this helmet-swapping phenomenon happens often in the NHL for the stars!
- In sticking with the Penguins, how awkward does Mario Lemieux look in this picture with Eddie Johnston? Who knew the man who would be the most important figure in Pittsburgh's hockey history would look like an awkward teenager in his early days with the Penguins?
- Another hockey legend is caught in an unfortunate jersey mishap. Wayne Gretzky, who spent time in the Burger King jersey and the St. Louis diagonal jersey, found himself promoting Fox's hockey broadcasts. Remember the FoxTrax puck? Yeah, me neither. It was definitely a low point for both Gretzky and the NHL.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!