Monday, 28 November 2011

The Other Half Of The Classic

The uniform to the left? Yeah, it's not a historical uniform that the Rangers have worn in the past. This is the 2012 Winter Classic uniform that will be worn by the New York Rangers when they meet the Philadelphia Flyers on January 2, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. I will say that there are a few things to like about this uniform, but I'm also starting to become hesitant to endorse uniforms that lack creativity and originality. I'll explain that below and I'll post a big picture for a better look at the uniforms, but I also want to talk about the rosters for the Alumni Game at the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

We'll start with those alumni rosters. The New York Rangers will have a pile of amazing talent on and off the ice. Of course, when you're talking about the Rangers, an Original Six team, there should be a pile of talent to choose from, and the Rangers certainly made good on that.

The Rangers will be coached by legends Mike Keenan, Emile Francis and Colin Campbell, and led by former captain Brian Leetch. Leetch will have Adam Graves, Glenn Anderson, Mike Gartner, Dave Maloney, Ron Greschner, Tom Laidlaw, Dale Purinton, Darius Kasparaitis, Mathieu Schneider, Darren Langdon, Stephane Matteau, Nick Kypreos, Darren Turcotte, Kris King, Brian Mullen, Paul Broten, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu and Pat Hickey. Goaltenders John Vanbiesbrouck and Dan Blackburn will handle the netminding duties, although it will be interesting to see if Dan Blackburn actually gets into the game.

If you recall, the last time Blackburn played net in a game, he was forced to wear two blockers due to nerve damage that prevented him from rotating his left hand. When asked if he would ever play hockey as a goaltender again, Blackburn replied in 2004, "Never. I doubt I will ever put goalie pads on again. I don’t have interest in playing net." Interesting.

There are a few notable names missing from the roster. Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier are the two most notable names missing from the ranks up front, while Sergei Zubov is an obvious omission from the blueline. Those three players saw a lot of success while with the Blueshirts, but none of the three will take part in the Alumni Game.

As for the home team, the Flyers will roll out a star-studded roster as well. Calling the shots behind the bench will be Pat Quinn, Mike Nykoluk and Keith Primeau. The Flyers will feature a talented forward group that includes Bob Clarke, Bill Barber, Reggie Leach, Jim Dowd, Orest Kindrachuk, Eric Lindros, John LeClair, Dave Poulin, Jeremy Roenick, Rick Tocchet, Al Hill, Bob Kelly, Shjon Podein, Brian Propp, Ken Linseman, and the ageless Mark Recchi. Defensively, the Flyers are loaded with Mark Howe, Brad Marsh, Eric Desjardins, Terry Carkner, Larry Goodenough, Kjell Samuelsson, Chris Therien, Joe Watson, and Derian Hatcher. Tending the net will be Mark LaForest and Neil Little.

Again, there are some notable players missing. Mikael Renberg can't get out of previous commitments, so the Legion of Doom line won't be re-united. Brent Fedyk, part of the Crazy 8's line, is also absent. Ron Hextall, Murray Craven, Tim Kerr, and Tony Amonte could also have been included.

From there, we get back to the featured game, and here is the large image of the New York Rangers' 2012 Winter Classic.
There are some things that I like, so we'll start with these first.

That modified logo? I like it. The shield logo has always been under-utilized as far as I've been concerned, so I like this idea. The white on the logo is actually white, and it feels very NYR-ish. GOOD. Although, it seems as though Ryan Callahan might want to walk the halls of Madison Square Garden a little more.

"They did a great job," Ryan Callahan, the Rangers' captain, said. "They've got the throwback look and the logo from the '26 team. It looks nice. They did a great job with it."

The problem? The Rangers didn't actually wear a logo on their sweaters in 1926. The logo may have been used as representation of the team itself, but a Rangers shield logo wasn't seen on a uniform until 1976 - 50 years later!

I also like the striping on this jersey, and I think that it would hold up in any era. There are no half-stripes that end on the inside of the forearm, and the hem stripes are fine, although I would have liked to see hem striping match the arm striping. However, the stripes are a positive. GOOD.

On the flip side, enough with the lace-up collars! I cannot stress that this trend has run its course. Go back to traditional necklines, and these uniforms would be outstanding. In 1926, they wore traditional necklines. In fact, the first lace-up collar seen on a Rangers jersey was in 1951 - 25 years later! While this jersey is not a true 1926-inspired jersey, let's stop mishmashing timelines, especially when it comes to lace-up collars. STUPID.

The cream-coloured jersey? Not at all Rangers-esque. I don't really need to say much more than the fact that the Rangers are red, white, and blue traditionally. Again, the first white uniforms seen in Madison Square Garden was in 1951, so why not just go colour on colour in this game? If anything, go pristine white instead of cream - you're the NEW YORK RANGERS! STUPID.

I'll weigh in that this Rangers uniform, like the Flyers' uniform, is nothing more than a PUSH at best. There's nothing overly inspiring that will make you fall in love with this look, but there's nothing to really hate either. For me, it's going to be more about the game than the uniforms this year, and that's not such a bad thing. But I am excited to take in that Alumni Game. It should be like watching an All-Star Game with all of the big names on those rosters.

And you? What's your take on the new Rangers jersey for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

WKRP in Canada said...

"Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier are the two most notable names missing from the ranks up front, while Sergei Zubov is an obvious omission from the blueline. Those three players saw a lot of success while with the Blueshirts, but none of the three will take part in the Alumni Game."

I realize this column was written some time ago so maybe things changed between now and then but Mess DID take part in game and Im glad he did! Good to see Moose out there again!