Saturday, 20 May 2017

Windsor Looks Sharp

With the CHL's Memorial Cup kicking off this weekend, the tournament features the three champions from the respective CHL leagues - the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL - along with the host city's team. The responsibility and tradition of the host team wearing a special Memorial Day jersey is a tradition that I think is one of the coolest traditions in all of hockey. I haven't actually looked into which team started the tradition, but it did start after 1983 when the Canadian Hockey League brought in a fourth "host team" to compete alongside the three league champions for the trophy.

Captain James T. Sutherland reportedly proposed the idea of a trophy being awarded to the best junior-aged hockey team during World War I as a memorial to remember the Ontario Hockey Association players who passed away during the war. Sutherland was an OHA player at the time, and the trophy was originally created in honour of those who passed away in World War I only. In 2010, however, the CHL rededicated the trophy to represent all Canadians who passed away in all battles.

This year, Windsor, Ontario is playing host to the tournament, and the Spitfires donned these uniforms last night for their opening game against the Saint John Sea Dogs in keeping with tradition.

Regarding the design, the Spitfires worked in conjunction with the CHL to come up with the gorgeous jerseys above. As per the release,
"... the jersey pays tribute to the Victoria class long range patrol submarine HMCS Windsor which is named after the City of Windsor. The HMCS Windsor was originally built for the Royal Navy before being purchased by Canada when the United Kingdom decided to move to an all-nuclear power fleet in 1998. Last fall, the HMCS Windsor was among the Canadian warships deployed to the NATO naval training exercise 'Cutlass Fury' off the east coast of North America."
All are available right now via auction if you're interested in acquiring one of these amazing uniforms.

After 44 days off, the Spitfires came out wearing these jerseys tonight and knocked off the QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs by a 3-2 score. Despite losing to the London Knights in the opening round, the Spitfires showed no rust as they played well. They represented the HMCS Windsor extremely well as they moved to 1-0 in the tournament. Could Windsor be the tenth host team in Memorial Cup history to win the trophy? We'll know on May 28 when the Memorial Cup is hoisted!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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