Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Accoutrements, Accolades, And Oops

We got to see some more additions to a team's uniform this week. We got to see a camouflage uniform to honour the brave veterans of the Armed Forces worn by another team. One team honoured two legends. And we got to see one of these teams make a serious error on their website. Needless to say, it's been an interesting week on the uniform front as we walk down another path full of uniform goodness.

We'll start with the good. As you're aware, the Lokomotiv plane crash affected many teams, and the St. Louis Blues were one of those teams. The Blues had two former players in the crash in Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev. The Blues honoured the memory of these two men with a patch showing their names and number on November 8.

I had forgotten that Korolev wore #38 while playing in St. Louis. He had worn #22 as a member of the Leafs and Blackhawks, and wore #23 as a member of the Jets. Demitra wore #38 for the vast majority of his professional and international career. As coincidental as it is to have these two players wear the same number with the Blues, we should not forget their families and friends during this difficult time. This patch is a great way to remember these two sensational hockey players.

On November 4, the Blues welcomed three members of the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals to Scottrade Center in honour of their championship. Ryan Freese, Chris Carpenter, and Tony LaRussa appeared at center ice for a ceremonial puck drop, and the three men got received a huge ovation from the St. Louis crowd as all three wore Blues uniforms with their respective names on them.

Personally, there's nothing wrong with this idea at all. In checking their website however, the Blues made a pretty serious error with respect to one of baseball's legends. Apparently, the Cardinals were managed this season by Toy LaRussa! That's a pretty big "oops" considering that LaRussa was one of the guests of honour at the November 4 game.

From the bad, let's move to another team honouring greats. November 5 saw the San Jose Sharks take to the ice in warm-up in camouflage uniforms in honour of the brave men and women of the Armed Forces. With Remembrance Day and Veterans Day tomorrow in Canada and the USA respectively, these uniforms will become very prevalent over the next few days as teams take to the ice in camouflage uniforms to honour the men and women who keep us safe and free. If the same teams take part this year, expect Anaheim, Buffalo, Chicago, and St. Louis to be front and center in this camouflage setup.

Last night was a big night for the Buffalo Sabres as they admitted two new members to the Sabres' Hall of Fame. Long-time play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret was honoured by the Sabres for his work in the booth calling Sabres games, and Dale Hawerchuk was honoured by the Sabres for his play on the ice. Both men received some impressive accoutrements - sabres!

Hawerchuk became a Sabre when he and Brad May were traded at the 1990 NHL Entry Draft for Phil Housley, Jeff Parker, Scott Arniel and Buffalo’s first round draft pick. Both teams were pretty happy with the deal, and that first-round pick turned out to be Keith Tkachuk. While it seems that Winnipeg won the deal in terms of talent acquired, the Sabres made the playoffs in each of Hawerchuk's five seasons there. Included in that era was the first time the Sabres advanced past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

1993 saw the Sabres meeting the Bruins once again in the Adams Division semi-final. Both men traded from Winnipeg would play a huge part in eliminating the Bruins in a four-game sweep. Hawerchuk assisted on Yuri Khmylev’s overtime goal in Game Three. Brad May, however, may have had the most memorable goal in Sabres history thanks to Rick Jeanneret's iconic call.

It is great to see these two men honoured. Hawerchuk was 10th in NHL scoring when he retired in 1997 - he's still 18th all-time in 2011. Jeanneret is a legend in NHL media circles, and a favorite of HBIC for his calls. Both men are truly deserving of their admission into the Sabres' Hall of Fame.

That's all for today, kids. If you get a chance to catch Rick Jeanneret on TV, I'd highly suggest that you tune in. You won't be disappointed.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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