Monday, 12 March 2007

Patch It Up - Part One

As I took some time this weekend for me and watched the Leafs come back to beat the Senators in overtime, the Lightning beat the Flames, and the Bruins hammer the Red Wings, it dawned on me that the NHL has a growing epidemic. No, I’m not talking about headshots like the one that Chris Simon delivered to Ryan Hollweg, although that might be a topic again on here since it is a very serious issue. What grabbed my attention is the exponentially-growing number of jersey patches found at the NHL level. The NHL is the premier professional hockey league in the world, and yet every team has worn a variety of different patches. Some have been worn for memorials, some for all-star games, some for anniversaries, but there seems to be at least two patches for every player since 1990.

Today’s entry is all about the patches worn in the NHL. What do they mean? Why were they worn? When were they worn? Let’s take a closer look.

League-Wide Patches

2000 Patch: The 2000 patch was worn during the 1999-2000 season to usher in the new millennium. These patches came in a variety of colours except white. This meant that all teams wearing white jerseys would have a coloured patch on them. There were the Senators in red, the Coyotes in black, the Predators in navy blue, the Ducks in black, and the Avalanche in burgandy. Basically, the NHL tried to match the patch background colour with their coloured jerseys as silver on white would be harder to see.

NHL 75th Anniversary: The NHL celebrated its 75th birthday during the 1991-92 season, and had the teams wear a 75th anniversary patch. This patch had a white background, making it suitable for both home and road jerseys, as seen on Mike Liut's jersey and Wade Flaherty's jersey. However, the New York Rangers had a slight problem with the size of this patch as it would have overlapped with the “R” in their diagonally-lettered Rangers jerseys. The Rangers solved the problem by moving the patch to the left shoulder. The Rangers' captains ended up with the patch on top of the right shoulder to allow for the "C" and the "A" to still be worn in their proper locations. The Flyers also wanted some jersey balance, and wore the patch on their shoulder as well.

Stanley Cup 100th Anniversary: The NHL celebrated the 100th birthday of the Stanley Cup by introducing another patch in 1992-93. The 100th Anniversary patch had a white background colour, making it suitable for both home and road jerseys. It was quite noticeable on all the jerseys. Again, the Rangers ran into a small patch location problem, and the captain and assistant captains ended up with the patch on top of the right shoulder.

Teammates For Kids: The Garth Brooks' Teammates For Kids Foundation teamed up with the NHL in November 2005 to become the official children’s charity of the NHL and NHLPA. In 2006-07, the NHL became the first league to achieve 100% athlete participation by having a patch on every NHL team’s jerseys for one game during the season. Since partnering together, the Garth Brooks’ Teammates For Kids Foundation has received more than $1.5 million from NHL players. The patch, as shown here on the Minnesota Wild, were available on jerseys up for auction on the website.

Hurricane Katrina: The NHL responded to the people and city of New Orleans by wearing the Katrina Relief Fund patch. The jerseys were worn by the players in the first period of their opening night home game of the 2005-2006 NHL season. The jerseys were donated by Reebok, and all were put up for auction to help raise funds for the city of New Orleans.

Hockey Fights Cancer: These patches were worn by the captain of each team during the 2003 season and the 2004 season for three days. All jerseys were then put up for auction, and the NHL raised over $2 million for cancer initiatives and research.

Now that doesn't seem like many patches, but wait until tomorrow. I am currently working on all the team patches, and it is tedious. Lots of patches, lots of examples. Until tomorrow, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Ryan said...

There's no link in this post to parts two and three.

And now there are.