Tuesday, 16 December 2008

You're Wearing That? - With History!

Well, I've decided that I can't hold out any longer as I sit on some of these phenomenal jerseys. It takes a lot of effort to browse through the minor leagues, hoping to catch a glimpse of some promotional jersey that a team has put out on the ice. I have to admit that some of the previous jerseys seen have been unique, original, and pretty well-designed. Others have not been as fortunate. The point is that these promotional jerseys are what make watching hockey fun because you get a real sense of family with the organizations getting involved with their fans and communities. And that's precisely what minor-pro hockey should be about. Without further adieu, here is the eighth part of the You're Wearing That? articles.

Let's start with the charity jerseys. As you know, I'm a huge fan of hockey helping charities as it's both an excellent public relations opportunity as well as a way to help the fans in those communities.

We'll start with the AHL's Portland Pirates. On October 25, 2008, the Pirates donned jerseys to help support the fight against breast cancer. The jerseys are decent in terms of their look, and there's nothing wrong with wearing a little pink. Here's a closer look at the logos used on that Pirates jersey.

October 24, 2008 saw the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads promote the fight against breast cancer as well. Logan McMillan can be seen wearing the jersey that features the pink ribbon for breast cancer. The jersey itself is a little lacking in terms of the colour, but the cause is excellent so good on the Mooseheads for helping out.

The OHL's Erie Otters also helped out in promoting the fight against breast cancer on October 25, 2008. The Otters took to the ice in these jerseys, and generated money for the cause. These are quite bold, but I'm not big on the smock look that the pink portion creates. However, a good cause, and a decent jersey.

The ECHL's Columbia Inferno held their second annual Pink in the Rink game on February 14, 2008. The Pink in the Rink game benefits the Palmetto Health Foundation’s First Ladies’ Walk for Life. The Inferno raffled off their special pink jerseys after the February 15th game to help raise funds for the Walk for Life. Pretty solid jerseys for a very good cause.

The AHL's Hershey Bears also chipped in for the fight against breast cancer. October 26, 2008 saw them don their pinkish jerseys for their warmup. The ribbon is prominently displayed against the white background, and the fade on the arm from pink to white is subtle, yet noticeable. Pretty good jerseys from the Bears, following their tradition of solid promotional jerseys.

The Bears also followed up that breast cancer awareness jersey with a military tribute jersey on November 1, 2008. I'm a big fan of the shoulder patches, and the rear font is a good contrast to the light-coloured camouflage. A great-looking tribute jersey, and the Bears get full marks in this edition of You're Wearing That?

The NCAA's University of Nebraska-Omaha decided to hold a military tribute night as well. However, this one had a special meaning. Pictured in the photo is goaltender Jerad Kaufmann, who had a very good reason for wanting to be part of this event.

"The second annual UNO Military Appreciation Night improved on its fund-raising total from its inaugural year, bringing in more than $12,700 for two military charities. In the first two years of the event, the Mavericks have raised more than $24,000 to help service people and their families.

This year, the UNO hockey team wore special camouflage jerseys for its series against Alaska on Dec. 5 and 6. Fans bid on those jerseys in a silent auction and the winning bids were determined following the second game. The Mavericks also auctioned off military-themed, team-signed hockey sticks.
The proceeds benefited Nebraska Troop Support and the Bryan McDonough Military Heroes Foundation.

Military Appreciation Night was created by UNO senior goaltender Jerad Kaufmann as part of a class project and as a way to honor his friend Bryan McDonough, who was killed while serving in the military."

Great cause, fabulous work in raising a pile of money by UNO, and an excellent jersey.

I've been quite hard on teams introducing alternate jerseys in the NHL, but the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals came up with a great alternate jersey this season. I love the colour, the logo and shoulder patches are excellent, and the overall look is very good. Kudos to the Admirals for coming up with an excellent alternate jersey. And just because I like the Admirals' logo so much, I found a Christmas Admiral logo on their website that is perfect for a Christmas-themed jersey. Will we see one? Only time will tell.

The NCAA's Wisconsin Badgers introduced a new alternate jersey this season, and it's not as bad as I had originally heard. I like the paw prints on the hem, and while the Badger logo is slightly cartoony, it's still pretty good. I like the drop-shadow font on the back, and the Wisconsin "W" is still present on the shoulder. Solid looking jersey on campus there.

The 2006 ECHL All-Star Game jerseys for the National Team look pretty solid. I'm big on that striping pattern, and the red and blue stripes on the white background make them really jump out. I'm a fan of these.

The CHL's Oklahoma Blazers decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in 2000 with a black jersey. Not green, but black. However, they gain marks in changing their logo to reflect the promotion, and the shamrock patches on the shoulders are a nice touch as well.

The NHL's Phoenix Coyotes got in on the charity practice jerseys in the same fashion that Atlanta, San Jose, and Washington did. Shane Doan and the Coyotes donned the standard St. Patrick's Day jerseys to help raise funds for local charities in Phoenix. I'm not against these practice jerseys since the money goes to help kids, but I'd like to see a new design once in a while. And while you're at it, check out that person with the "Love Shane Doan" sign. I'm guessing that's a woman, but there's some definite doubt in my mind.

The DEL's ERC Ingolstadt Panthers, who play in the German Elite League, wore special Halloween jerseys in 2006 for the event. Aside from the eight sponsor logos, there's an image of Freddie Krueger on the back, a Scream-style face on the right sleeve, a flaming skull on the left side, and what appears to be an angry panther facing off against some sort of white, balloon-like face near the front hemline. Can we maybe tone down these European jerseys? Who's with me on this one?

The UHL's Muskegon Fury, now of the IHL, also played a Halloween game in 1999-00, and came out with these jerseys. I like the logo's Halloween touch, and the pumpkin patches on the shoulder are solid. Black, orange, and white makes for a decent home Halloween jersey, but I'm not convinced they should have been these huge diagonal stripes. This jersey is alright. Not great, but not bad.

The CHL's Rocky Mountain Rage appear here again. This time, they've worn jerseys for snowboarding. I get the winter tie-in and the snowboarding-mountains tie-in, but they aren't really promoting themselves whatsoever with this promotion. No idea who came up with this, but it's a bad idea in my opinion.

The AHL's San Antonio Rampage honoured the men and women of the police and fire departments in San Antonio on their Guns and Hoses night. Again, good work on altering their logo to reflect the promotion. While I'm not sold on the blue flames at the hem of the jersey, it's a fairly respectable uniform, and it's to honour the heroes who risk their lives daily, so it's alright with me.

The ECHL's Victoria Salmon Kings committed a major jersey offence this season as they broke out a fifth anniversary jersey. However, this one isn't as bad as it may seem. For starters, the crown remains so the "Kings" portion of their name is still applicable. The "V" for their five years can also stand to represent Victoria, so they get a bit of a break there. However, with the fish missing from their logo, the "Salmon" portion of their name seems to be missing in the logo. Overall, I still hate anniversary jerseys, but this one is somewhat palatable since Victoria does start with the letter "V".

I have to give a big shout-out to Jeff Obermeyer who runs a great Seattle-based website in the Seattle Hockey Homepage. Jeff's page has a ton of great Seattle hockey jerseys on it, and I want to show off a few of them from his collection of the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds. Head on over to his website for more great Seattle jerseys and his write-ups about each.

As the title of this article stated, I promised some history, and we'll take a look at some now. There have been lots of great old hockey sweaters worn through the ages, and some of these need to be seen to be appreciated.

The Pacific Coast Hockey League's Victoria Cubs wore this sweater in 1928. I love the look of this sweater, and it really makes me wonder where hockey went wrong. Look at how much colour is used in this sweater as compared to the amount of black seen in today's uniforms. Can't we go back to being in colour? We have high-definition TVs, yet we prefer black for uniform colours. I want colour like they had in 1928!

The 1939 NHL All-Star sweater worn by Ebbie Goodfellow is completely understated in its magnificence. The colours are solid, and the logo says exactly what it needs to say. I think the NHL All-Star Game jerseys need less flash and more substance. Honestly, the jerseys worn in Minnesota for the 2004 NHL All-Star Game have that simple elegance to them. Sometimes, NHL, less is more.

The 1940-41 Kansas City Americans of the American Hockey Association wore these patriotic sweaters before the outbreak of World War II. They only lasted as a franchise for two seasons before the war started, but did return to the league as the Pla-Mors after the war in the newly-formed USHL.

The Eastern Amateur Hockey League's Boston Olympics wore this jersey in the 1940s. The Olympics were one of the most dominant teams in the EAHL as they won four straight EAHL championships from 1943-44 to 1946-47. And, personally, they would have looked good doing it in those sweaters. In 1954, the EAHL would become the Eastern Hockey League.

In this new Eastern Hockey League, the most dominant team would turn out to be the Clinton Comets as they won five EHL championships. The Comets wore this sweater which looks a lot like the Dallas Stars' current home jersey. However, they are still very respectable sweaters for a minor-league team in the 1960s.

The WHA's Cleveland Crusaders wore this jersey in their brief time as Cleveland's first pro hockey team from 1972 to 1976. Can you imagine Garry Cheevers wearing this jersey after spending time in the black-and-yellow of the Bruins? Well, he did, playing in Cleveland for four years. I like the logo, but the colour is less than admirable.

So there is the eighth installment of You're Wearing That?, a look at some of the promotional and questionable jerseys seen in hockey. Again, I am always on the look for more of these jerseys, and encourage you to leave a comment or email me with a link of where I can find more strange jerseys as seen above.

Please check out Jeff's Seattle Hockey Homepage as well. He's got a ton of great material on there.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Tony said...

Trust me, that Otters jersey was much uglier in person. I was there, and yeah, its for a good cause, but it was ugly.

Their new alternate jersey has a New York Rangers home jersey vibe to it, and I think if they just took that jersey and replaced the red with the pink, it'd be a whole mess more enjoyable to watch. Plus the connection with current jerseys...

-Tony in Erie (UniWatch reader)

@lesholmlund said...

Just a quick FYI on that Crusaders jersey: Gerry Cheevers bolted back to the Bruins midway through the 75-76 season, so he only had to endure that weak jersey for a season and a half. For their first two years, the Crusaders sported these sweet units on the road: http://www.gameworn.org/cheevers/index.html.

Anonymous said...

IS that Comets jersey from the ECHL's Philadelphia Comets? If not they resemble. I only could find black and white photos of the jerseys, so that's why I'm curious to know.

Great blog. These "You're Wearing That?" Posts are neat, and prooe to us that...these minor-pros will do anything to promote their team, even if it means changing their jerseys 16 times in 8 years (Ice Cats).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, about the Cleveland Crusaders being Cleveland's "first" Pro hockey team. The Barons, and before them the Indians were also Pro teams. The AHL is a Pro league, and in the early 1950s the Barons were good enough to challenge any of the "original six" for the Stanley Cup.

The Crusaders jerseys were great, and I miss those great days of hockey in Cleveland, but we've got a very long history of hockey before the WHA came here.