Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Look What I Found

For years, we've been seeing NHL players wear the patch for the Stanley Cup Final on their chests. The only team that doesn't, it seems, is the New York Rangers. Clearly, if they wear the patch opposite the captaincy designations, the patch would sit over the "R" in the diagonal "Rangers" that covers the front of their uniforms. The Rangers, therefore, move the patch to the shoulder where it can be prominently displayed. No other team wore the patch on the shoulder, we've been led to believe, until I made a startling discovery while away this past weekend.

I had plopped myself down in a Buffalo Wild Wings on Friday for some wings, and happened to glance around at the myriad of televisions they have on the walls. Golf was prominently displayed on several, but a couple of TVs had the NHL Network on. The NHL Network was showing Game Six of the 1989 Stanley Cup Final between the visiting Calgary Flames and the Montreal Canadiens. As I watched the action on the screen, I noticed something very unusual.
That's Al MacInnis with the Stanley Cup Final patch on his shoulder! As a side note, MacInnis won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1989 after becoming the first defenceman in NHL history to lead the playoffs in scoring! He had 31 points in that postseason in making history! The Flames also became the first relocated team to win the Stanley Cup after moving in 1980!

What's notable about the patch is that 1989 was the first season the NHL introduced a patch for the finalists, and BOTH TEAMS wore them on the shoulder of their uniforms! Every subsequent Stanley Cup Final has had the patch worn on the chest by the participants except the New York Rangers in 1994 and 2014! That means that officially the NHL has had three teams wear the patch on their shoulders: the 1989 Calgary Flames, the 1989 Montreal Canadiens, and the New York Rangers. The 1993 Montreal Canadiens wore the patch on the front of their uniforms, and the 2004 Calgary Flames had the patch on the front of their uniforms as well.

YouTube has a video of the game on their site, so watch closely in the following video to see the patches on the left arms of both the Flames' players and the Canadiens' players.

Hockey history is awesome!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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