Friday, 23 November 2012

In Oklahoma Lies Gotham City

A couple of weeks ago, we got our first look at what a Captain America-owned team might look like as the Toledo Walleye took to the ice in their Captain America-themed uniforms for a game. I said then that the look of their chosen jerseys for that evening was growing on, and I'm still a fan despite them sort of looking like a throwback version of the Rochester Americans. It appears that the superheroes are coming out in full force, though, as the CHL's Tulsa Oilers decided to honor Bruce Wayne by donning their Batman-inspired jerseys and renaming themselves the "Gotham City Crusaders" for one evening. That's right: Gotham City in Oklahoma. Are we in the Bizarro World?

The idea was actually a combination of a couple of things in that the Oilers were playing on Black Friday and wanted to do something special to bring people out to the game rather than having them at the mall. Personally, for a minor-league team, I actually think this is an incredible idea, and I'm not going to fault the Oilers for thinking outside the box to try and woo fans to the rink for their game. Well done, Oilers, and here's hoping it's a successful night at the box office.

The bigger matter, however, is how the uniforms would look on the ice. We can say that the idea is great in theory, but practical use determines the success of an idea like this. Well, ladies and gentlemen, here's your preview.
Not bad, if I do say so myself. While a photo of the back is not yet up on Tulsa's website, I think the idea up-close will work. If you're further away, the dark colors may not provide much in the way of defining those abs or giving the perception of rippling pectoral muscles. The Batman logo is pretty noticeable, though, so without seeing them in action, I'm going to give these a thumbs-up for now. If nothing else, the idea of attracting people to the rink to see Batman on skates is pretty unique.

MO' BRO: We have the completed roster for the Mo' Bro All-Stars, but we're missing a few vital pieces yet. Mike Gartner, Wendel Clark, Dirk Graham, Grant Fuhr, Dennis Maruk, Larry Robinson, Mike Ramsey, Derek Sanderson, Lanny McDonald, Bryan Trottier, Dave Babych, Dave Schultz, Rod Langway, Jamie Macoun, Harold Snepsts, Dave Tippett, Michel Goulet, Paul MacLean, Mike McPhee, Mike Bullard, Bob Murdoch, and Rejean Lemelin make up the squad, but we need a couple of bench bosses for this team. Today, we name the head coach of the Mo' Bro All-Stars!

I can think of no one more suited for coaching a squad like this other than the great Pat Burns. Burns was a fantastic bench boss, always getting more out of his team than the sum of its parts. He coached for 14 NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils. The former Gatineau police officer won a Stanley Cup with the Devils, and is a three-time Jack Adams Trophy winner - proof that he was one of the best in history as a coach. While his coaching prowess will never be forgotten, Burns' battles with cancer became a bigger story as his health took center-stage. While he defeated colon cancer in 2004 and liver cancer in 2005, lung cancer was the culprit that took Pat Burns from the world on November 19, 2010. We may never see another moustachioed coach that had as much success as Pat Burns.

Rest in peace, Mr. Burns. 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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