Saturday, 10 November 2012

Do Clothes Make The Man?

If you wanted to know where I was last night, it was not at a hockey game of any sort. I confess to you today that I am a James Bond fan, and I think that Daniel Craig might be the best of the bunch. Sean Connery was good, Roger Moore was suavé, Pierce Brosnan was arrogant, Timothy Dalton was awkward, but all of the men listed had one thing in common as Bond: they dressed to the nines. Skyfall, the new Bond film, was excellent and Daniel Craig was dressed very well once again, and that leads me into today's article where one hockey team looks idiotic, one team looks heroic, and there's a rumor that another team will be dressing better.

We'll start in the NCAA with the Western Michigan University Broncos. Last night, the Broncos hosted the Bowling Green State University Falcons, and they decided to hold a military tribute night as it is Veteran's Day weekend in the United States. The problem? These uniforms. Wow. Those simply hurt the eyes when looking at them. Yowza.

Western Michigan University actually has a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and an Office of Military Affairs, so it's not like they're just off making camouflage uniforms for the sake of doing it. What I don't get is the blending of all of the "patriotic" symbols - camouflage, stars, stripes, red, white, and blue. I mean, is it too much to ask to just honour the troops? Last year's jerseys weren't half as bad, so why are they cramming so much patriotism onto this season's jersey?

KISS principle, WMU - keep it simple, (or it looks) stupid.

Of course, if we're looking for teams that fall into the "slightly better, but still horrific" category next to Western Michigan, the NAHL's Topeka Roadrunners will honour the military with this uniform combination last night and tonight against the Amarillo Bulls - a jersey that features barbed wire, the US flag in various forms, jets, a military silhouette, and a Super 8 Hotels logo all on a camouflage background.

From the Roadrunners' website, "The specialty jerseys were designed with a military theme, utilizing a desert camouflage design bordered with the American flag and overlaid with soldier silhouettes. They will be worn for both games of the series against Amarillo (Nov. 9 and 10) and will be auctioned off following the game on Saturday night."

Much like Western Michigan, the cramming of as much patriotic and military images onto one uniform makes this attempt seem almost comical. I know it's meant to honour the military, but less is more. Seriously.

One team that got the "less = more" message? The AHL's Houston Aeros. The Aeros played last night against the Lake Erie Monsters in this uniform, and it's not garish or extravagant whatsoever. While I'm not entirely sold on camouflage jerseys, the Aeros have a nice hem stripe with the stars, and haven't added EVERY SINGLE IMAGE of patriotism they can to their uniforms. Well done, Houston. The best of the bunch from these three examples.

One team actually added a military-themed alternate uniform this past week! The WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes held a "design the alternate" contest where a fan's entry would be selected as the alternate. Thanks to Josh Schroeder, the new alternate jersey is based on the "Hawker Hurricane", a plane used by the Royal Canadian Air Force in the 1930s. Being that this weekend is Remembrance Day in Canada, it seemed very appropriate that the Hurricanes wore this on Wednesday while beating the Victoria Royals 4-2. I like it - great colors, an excellent logo, and a very traditional hockey look! Good job on the design, Josh, and well done to the Hurricanes!

From there, we jump to the ECHL where the Toledo Walleye are welcoming a guest to the Huntington Center! Captain America, possibly in town for Veteran's Day events, will be available for photos and autographs tonight on Superhero Night, and that, of course, means a minor-league promotional jersey!

The Walleye will take on the Wheeling Nailers in their Captain America-themed jerseys, and I have to say that these are growing on me. They announced this jersey a week or so back, and I first thought it was a dumb idea. However, the more I see the jersey, the more I want one! I'm not so enamored with the lace-up collar because, honestly, what superhero would wear something like that? But the colors and design do work well, I find, and it's really growing on me.

Lastly, we come to an interesting bit of news out of the heart of Texas. New owner Tom Gaglardi has gone on record as saying that the Dallas Stars may have new uniforms whenever the NHL comes back! Presumably, it will be for the start of the 2013-14 season, but the Stars may actually be ditching the collegiate look!

In an interview on TheTicket with Norm Hitzges on 1310AM in Dallas, this exchange took place between Hitzges and Gaglardi, and it brings me hope that the Stars will actually give themselves a look that fans can embrace.
Hitzges: There are rumors that the Stars might be designing a new uniform. True?

Gaglardi: That's true, yes.

NH: Any tips?

TG: It's been speculated that we're doing that. I think our jerseys have taken an interesting…(laughs) it's been an interesting team, because we've had a history of changing our jerseys quite often. We end up in a place now with our current jerseys — which I quite like, I think they're very simple and attractive and modern — but a couple of things bother me. One is that we're the only one of 30 teams that don't wear their primary logo on their chest. I don't like that, I'm a bit of a hockey purist and that would be the one criticism I have of our current jersey. And I think a bit of a lack of color with our current kit. So we're looking at all those things, up to and including if we want to modify our current logo as well.
PLEASE make this happen. Apparently, if you listened to the interview, the review started "a year or two before" Gaglardi arrived on the scene. He even tossed out that the Stars may change their logo! If all of this is true, the Dallas Stars may have hope in terms of being a well-dressed team once again!

MO' BRO: We'll run down the roster again here today: Mike Gartner, Wendel Clark, Dirk Graham, Grant Fuhr, Dennis Maruk, Larry Robinson, Mike Ramsey, Derek Sanderson, and Lanny McDonald. So whose name goes up in light today for their moustachioed ways? Another fantastic centerman in Bryan Trottier!

Bryan Trottier's moustache has seen a lot of accolades come his way. He won the 1976 Calder Trophy, the 1979 Art Ross and Hart Trophies, the 1980 Conn Smythe Trophy, and the 1989 King Clancy Trophy. He won six Stanley Cups - four with the New York Islanders and another two with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's an eight-time NHL All-Star, and he still holds the NHL record for points in one period with six (four goals, two assists). "Trots" scored 524 goals and added 901 helpers for 1425 points in just 1279 NHL games. Those are pretty impressive stats! The one curiosity? Trottier chose to play for Team USA at the 1984 Canada Cup due to his dual citizenship. While that might be the only questionable move he made, that moustache still lives on today as the Islanders' Executive Director of Player Development!

Wow, check out that baby face and that 'stache on a young Trottier! And that captain's "C" - was it craft day for the Islanders? Did they cut that out of fabric and paste it on in a rush? All I know is that Trottier's 'stache holds its own on the Mo' Bro All-Star squad! If you want to get in on the action, head over to the Movember page and get registered so your 'stache can stand amongst these great 'staches!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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