Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hockey Thanksgiving

With today being the American Thanksgiving, we decided to forego the usual format and list The Top Ten Things We Are Thankful For - Third String Goalie style.

#10 - College and juniors jerseys - Simple, no frills jerseys with classic styling. You've got your team colors and your logo. What more do you need?

Minnesota Duluth 00-01 FaMinnesota Duluth 00-01 B
North Dakota Sioux 86-87 FaNorth Dakota Sioux 86-87 B
Chicoutimi Sags 01-02 FaChicoutimi Sags 01-02 B

#9 - Kathryn Tappen. She actually makes sitting through Columbus Blue Jackets "highlights" on the NHL Network something to look forward to.

Kathryn Tappen, Kathryn Tappen

She absolutely knows her sports without question while nearly balancing out us having to look at Jamie McLennan.


#8 - Minor league jerseys. Freed of the constraints of tradition and the fear of failure that limits NHL clubs who can't afford to guess wrong due to the huge amounts of retail sales their jerseys generate, at times minor league jerseys are allowed to experiment and stretch the limits of creativity, which can pay off with some terrific sweaters and even better number fonts.

Manitoba Moose 00-01 FaManitoba Moose 00-01 B
Houston Aeros 98-99 FaHouston Aeros 98-99 B
Denver Grizzlies 94-95 FaDenver Grizzlies 94-95 B

#7 - Awesome alternate jerseys. As wrong as the bad ones are, the best ones are just so right. This is a prime example of the best of the best NHL alternates, a classy, unique new logo and great use of colors. Perfection on ice.

New York Rangers Alt96-98 FaNew York Rangers Alt96-98 B

#6 - Throwback jerseys. Nothing gets us going like a throwback. It's one of the main reasons our collection centers around the 1991-92 season, that was the year that the Original 6 teams wore the first throwback jerseys in NHL history.

Chicago Blackhawks 91-92 TBTC 7 Fa Boston Bruins 91-92 TBTC F
Detroit Red Wings 91-92 TBTC F
New York Rangers O6 91-92 F aToronto Maple Leafs TBTC F

The recent addition of the Winter Classic, and the re-emergence of the Heritage Classic, has assured us of at least a couple of beauties every season, be they straight throwbacks or faux-backs, such as the Boston Bruins Winter Classic jerseys, which borrowed elements from various Bruins jerseys of the past.

Pittsburgh Penguins 08 WClassic F aChicago Blackhawks 08-09 WC F

#5 - Awful alternate jerseys. The jerseys we love to hate, courtesy of The Class of '96. What would this blog be without The Burger King and the Wild Wing?

Los Angeles Kings 95-96 Alt FaAnaheim Mighty Ducks 95-96 Alt #9 F

#4 - National team jerseys. Herb Brooks said it best, "You're looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back." Nothing like suiting up for your home country in a short tournament where every game counts.

Austria 2005 FaAustria 2005 B
Germany 2004WC FaGermany 2004WC B
Russia 2005 WJC FaRussia 2005 WJC B

#3 - Patches. Nothing sets a jersey apart like a tournament, anniversary, memorial, event, Stanley Cup Finals or even sponsorship patch. That kind of attention to detail always scores points with us.

1996 World Cup of Hockey Team Canada jerseyaNew York Islanders 91-92 P2
Los Angeles Kings Alt 01-02 P2a1995-96 NHL Boston Bruins Cam Neely jersey
1992-93 NHL Montreal Canadiens Patrick Roy jerseyaRussia CCCP 1991 WC P

#2 - YouTube. Where to begin with this one? Incredible goals, comic moments, of course all the brawls plus the obscure, hilarious and unexpected. You just never know what YouTube has in store from one day to the next. The only thing that we dislike about it is when we embed a video from YouTube and it's taken down for whatever reason later on.


#1 - The Buffalo Sabres. Time and again, most of our favorite stories always seem to involve the Buffalo Sabres. Their first draft pick in history was awarded to them by a spin of a wheel, they once drafted an imaginary Japanese player, the city was paralyzed by a snowstorm for a week, causing 300 people to seek refuge in their arena and limiting the club to just 15 players for a road game in Montreal where the plucky warriors tied the defending Stanley Cup champions 3-3. They hosted the first Winter Classic, signed the first Russian to defect to the NHL and once played a playoff game in a thick fog in an arena haunted by bats. They haven't won the Stanley Cup, but they've won our hearts with their quirky and unique tales. God bless Punch Imlach.

Then there is the club's jersey history, which stretches from the sublime to the ridiculous having featured logos which depict a buffalo, a goat and a banana slug...

Buffalo Sabres 89-90 FaBuffalo Sabres Goat Head, Buffalo Sabres Goat Head
Buffalo Sabres 06-07 F

...with a few unexpected twists along the way.

Buffalo Sabres 05-06 alt, Buffalo Sabres 05-06 altaBuffalo Sabres 01-02 TT 911 F

We'd love to hear your favorites in the comments section below after you are done taking your post-turkey dinner nap today, and with tomorrow being "Black Friday", please consider visiting our advertisers in the column to the right when shopping for yourself or the hockey fan on your gift list.

Have a happy Thanksgiving a drive safely!

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