Friday, 7 October 2011

Things I've Noticed

I've been holding on to a few images that I've seen from the preseason, but last night's Boston Bruins-Philadelphia Flyers game is causing me to post these recent photos. It seems as though some teams are taking greater liberties with their uniforms, and I'm not sure if this is a trend I'd like to see continue. Patches for special events and occurrences are fine, but there were definitely two examples in last night's Bruins-Flyers tilt that should have been caught by the Bruins' equipment manager. In any case, let's take a look at some of those images I've been holding on to over the last few weeks.

There's always some fun when it comes to players' last names, especially when they are incredibly long. Last season, the Rangers had Mats Zuccarello-Aasen in camp, and his long last name nearly went from elbow to elbow. Well, the Rangers continued their new-found tradition by inviting Jonathan Audy-Marchessault to camp! Including the hyphen, that's a 17-letter last name. Highly impressive effort by Acacio Marques and his team to get that name on the jersey properly!

Because the Rangers started their season in Europe, the team had a little fun with Stockholm's hometown hero. Rangers' goaltender Henrik Lundqvist got to wear the alternate captain's "A" for a game, following in the footsteps of Roberto Luongo. Wisely, however, the Rangers only allowed this for one game.

And thanks to today's games being on early, we get to see the 2011 Compuware Premiere game patch worn by the Kings, Ducks, Sabres, and Rangers. If you're looking for authenticity, make sure your Rangers jersey has the Premiere patch on the shoulder like Ryan Callahan does. Or you could move the captaincy designation if you have a Sabres jersey. Can someone remind me why those numbers on the front are necessary?

The Bruins raised their championship banner to the rafters last night, and they celebrated the event with a new patch. The patch itself looks identical to the championship banner, and will only be worn for the opening game. Note that info in case you see someone wandering around with one on his or her jersey.

Where I really caught myself appreciating high-definition television, though, was in my search for the Reebok vector. I wrote back in July that Reebok had decided to replace the vector with the Reebok wordmark on the rear neckline of the jerseys. According to a few sources, NHL equipment managers were to ensure that all jerseys being worn had the wordmark on them in place of the vector, and Reebok supplied wordmark patches to be sewn over the vectors if a team wanted to continue using their supply of uniforms from last year. After all, why buy more when a simple patch will fix them, right?

I found myself fixated first on Andrew Ference's collar during the Stanley Cup celebration last night because he was wearing a vectored jersey! How does that happen when an equipment manager has to apply the new championship patch to each uniform? How does he miss something like that? However, as the game progressed, I noticed that Brad Marchand also was wearing the vector!

I can't imagine that Reebok was very happy knowing that the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins can apply patches to the front of the jerseys, but completely miss out on two players who are wearing vectors. I'm going to assume a memo came from Reebok today to all thirty NHL teams to gently remind equipment managers to properly fix old uniforms since the wordmark is how Reebok wants to be identified.

Lastly, the North American hockey world is honouring the men we lost this summer through various means, and the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins are joining in by wearing a patch to honour the three men who played for them who were lost in the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv airplane crash. #38 was Pavol Demitra, #29 was Karel Rachunek, and #1 was goaltender Stefan Liv. The Griffins will wear the patch for all 38 home games this season in memory of these three men.

Lots of patches and little things to be noticed, and there will be more to come. Tomorrow, HBIC will look at another publication of hockey tragedies as we work to cope with the losses experienced this summer. To all the grieving families, friends, and teammates, HBIC honestly wishes you nothing but the best in this tough time.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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