Saturday, 13 November 2010

Gene, Shannon, & Denim

It's not often you get to see hockey players in denim unless you're at your local outdoor rink and there's a game of shinny going on. It's even more rare to see an entire team dressed in it as part of their uniform, especially in a highly-organized league such as the Western Hockey League. However, the WHL's Saskatoon Blades had quite a night planned on Friday evening. They wore special uniforms for their Friday night game against the Portland Winterhawks, and they had some special guests drop by to participate in a few events during the game as a TV show rolled into town.

First, we were lucky enough to get a preview of the jerseys from Greg Wyshynski on Tuesday as Puck Daddy connected with the Blades for his lead photo. Very interesting design, but I really like the faux pockets on the sides to give the jersey a "jean jacket" look. Of course, there is a good reason for the Blades to be wearing a promotional jerseys such as this, and they chose the denim look in honour of the Professional Bull Riders' Canadian Finals at Credit Union Centre next weekend.

“Some people aren’t necessarily loving these things,” Michael Scissons, Manager Of Corporate Sales and Merchandise, said, “but we never went out to design the nicest jersey in the world. We went out to design an event-specific, fun jersey. We knew that it wasn’t going to rank in the top-10 nicest jerseys of all-time.”

So be it. I think it's a fun event. Promotional jerseys in minor-league hockey are supposed to be fun. It's not like they're wearing these as a full-time alternate jersey, and that's why they get a pass from me. I don't think there's anything wrong with these jerseys as a one-off event. It's fun, and that's all that matters.

Here are the highlights from Saskatoon's 4-3 victory over the Portland Winterhawks as the Blades skate to victory in denim.

Ok, so we've seen the jerseys in action. They look alright and are fun, but there were other highlights as Shannon Tweed and Gene Simmons came to town with A&E's Gene Simmons Family Jewels to film an episode. As you may be aware, Shannon Tweed grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where she attended Mount Royal Collegiate in the city. Tweed's parents still live in Saskatoon, and the idea of traveling back to Shannon's hometown with the TV show was Shannon's idea.

"It's a little different this time because usually I sneak in and out," she said, "and this time I had to convince my family to open up their lives as well as my own. It's not an easy task but some of them said yes and I wanted to share with the public more about myself."

Amongst the various activities she had planned on her own, both Shannon Tweed and Gene Simmons of rock band KISS attended the Blades game on Friday. Shannon dropped the puck in the ceremonial face-off, and Gene got to participate in a shootout during an intermission. Here are the highlights!

As you can see, Gene wisely chose not to play net in skates, instead wearing normal footwear on the ice. Gene stopped three of six shots taken on him, including the last shot taken by professional bull rider Aaron Roy! If you look closely in that video, Gene is wearing a KISS-themed mask on the ice!

All in all, a very fun night for all that were involved, and it appears that the fans had a great time at the game. Minor-league promotional games are supposed to be fun, and this one looked fantastic! Huge kudos go out to the Saskatoon Blades for the efforts in putting on one heckuva show!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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