Monthly Archives: April 2008

You may not have noticed…

Marty Turco’s mask(s).

‘Tis the middle of the playoffs in the NHL, and the Devils are out. So now I can sit back and relax and watch and notice little things that a normal person should not. One thing that I have noticed these playoffs is Marty Turco. No, not that he finally won a playoff series, but his mask, or masks is more appropriate. It appears that he has a mask for his black sweater and one as well for his white. I noticed something different earlier in the season in regards to Turco, and I only recently put my finger on it. In doing research, I found that this is not the first time he has done this.

In the past two years Turco has used 4 masks. In 2006-07 he used this one with his white sweater and this one with the dark. The only other example I can think of when a goalie uses a completely different mask for different sweaters is Roberto Luongo and the Canuck’s throwback.

Marty kept up with trend of two different masks this year. He has one dark mask to go with the Stars all black ensemble, called Armor Gargoyles of Gold, and the white mask for the white get up is called White Sky Gargoyle. But the first appearance of the White Sky mask did not come until late January. Early in the season he only used the Armor Gargoyles of Gold when wearing white. The earliest photo I can find is from January 29th. I do not know why he decided to wear it that late. Maybe it wasn’t done yet? But next time you are watching the Stars, check out Marty and his mask(s).

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Lack of Posts

Sorry that I have been slacking on posting and the like.  Shit has hit the fan here at school, I have paper upon paper then exam upon exam for the next two weeks. I will resume posting some new stuff hopefully next week. Hold tight to your sweaters til then.

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Road to the Frozen Four

The NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship game is on tonight between #2 BC and #4 Notre Dame. BC reaches its third championship game in as many years, while this is Notre Dame’s first, and the first 4 seed to make it this far. But what if there was another way to determine the NCAA Champion? What if it wasn’t based on play, but looks? So the first ever Ice Hockey Sweater NCAA Championships. From each regional, I will pick the best looking team and move them on to the frozen four, then decide a national champion for this year.

Northeast Regional – Worcester, MA

No. 1 – Miami (Ohio)

No. 2 – Boston College

No. 3 – Minnesota

No. 4 – Air Force

This was the regional that I was at and the only one I saw in its entirety. We have two power houses of college hockey, BC and Minnesota, one new national power in the making, Miami, and one team from an upstart league, Air Force. It is close between Miami wearing their whites with the red shoulder yolk, and Minnesota wearing their maroon ties-up, but Miami wins this one, Minnesota’s yellow helmets lead to their demise.

East Regional – Albany, NY

No. 1 – Michigan

No. 2 – St. Cloud State

No. 3 – Clarkson

No. 4 – Niagara

This regional is ugly, evidence by Clarkson and Niagara. But in a final match up between St. Cloud and Michigan, the Wolverines walk away with an easy win.

West Regional – Colorado Springs, CO

No. 1 – New Hampshire

No. 2 – Colorado College

No. 3 – Michigan State

No. 4 – Notre Dame

How is Notre Dame a 4 seed?!?! Well based on some weird formula, ND ended up there, but they are better than that, as shown. In this regional they will also pull the upset and make the finals against Colorado College. I like CC’s away set up, but the whites are not as good, so ND will win. Gotta love that gold dome!

Midwest Regional – Madison, WI

No. 1 – North Dakota

No. 2 – Denver

No. 3 – Wisconsin

No. 4 – Princeton

This is a tough one. Wisconsin is playing at home and definitely has a home ice advantage and moves on. And in perhaps the biggest upset, Princeton takes down power house North Dakota. I just love the shield on front and the stripe that goes around the chest a la Montreal Canadians, which is why in a stunner they move onto the final.

Frozen Four – Denver, Co

No. 1 – Michigan

No. 1 – Miami (Ohio)

No. 4 – Notre Dame

No. 4 – Princeton

If we were to play semifinals, barring the bracket layout and based upon my reseeding, Michigan would take on Princeton in the first. This is the game where the Tigers miracle run comes to an end when they match up against Michigan and their winged helmets. Oddly the idea for the Michigan football helmets were modeled after the Princeton football helmets. Ironic. In the other semi, Notre Dame is still running on those sweet golden helmets and passes Miami into the final. In the final, well see for yourself:

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A Sweater Look: World Championships – Division III

As many of you know, the World Championships – Div. III just wrapped up in Luxembourg. After some research I have found some pictures of the teams participating this year. Mind you, not all of these pictures are of the jerseys the teams might currently be wearing (do you know how hard it is to find a picture of a Div. III World Championship game?). So I present to you, my first Sweater Look into the World Championships – Division III.

We shall start with the winners, North Korea, ranked 44th by the IIHF, with a 5-0-0 record for 15 points. The sweaters are simple, which is a plus. Plus they don’t have any corporate logos visible on the sweater, not even a single Nike Swoosh. I would usually champion this kind of logo free sweater, but I am weary in this case. I don’t think it has anything to do with purifying the game, but with the communist way.

The Republic of South Africa, ranked 41st by the IIHF, is next, finishing 4-1-1 for 12 points. Of course we all know the most famous South African ice hockey player, plays for Germany, which I still can’t figure out. But I have found this picture of a couple of players sucking oxygen in Mexico City, which would be from 2005. I would imagine the sweaters look the same as those used in 2005. But along my travels I also found this and this.

The hosts, Luxembourg, ranked 42nd in the world, came in a respectable third at 3-2-0, with 2 wins coming in overtime for only 2 points instead of 3 for a win in regulation, for 7 points. You’d think it would be easy to find a sweater of a team hosting a IIHF event. Not so. This was the only picture I could find showing the sweater alone. I am not sure what year it is from, but based on blurry pictures that I have found from their games last year and one this year, I am pretty confident they were a version like that one. I think its pretty cool, especially the flames. But what do flames have to do with Luxembourg?

Turkey, ranked 40th by the IIHF, tied Luxembourg for 3rd place in points with 7 at 2-3-1, that is 2 wins, 3 points each, and one over time loss, 1 point. Here is an action shot of the Turkish team in action. I like how the flag has been adopted to the sweater and it seems to make a good transition. But will the crescent moon and star cause the same controversy the Milan Cross did? I don’t think so.

Greece, not ranked in 2007, came in 5th with a 1-3-1 record for 4 points. After starting up in the mid-80s, Greek Ice took a hit when the last of the few ice rinks in the country closed in the late 90’s early 2000s. Because of the rink closure, Greece could no longer take part in IIHF sanctioned events, meaning the World Championships. But in 2005 the new political regime offered some hope and finally agreed to build a rink. And now here are the Greeks in their first international tournament since 1999. I like their sweaters the best out of them all. The shade of blue and white go together perfectly with the simple template.

Finally Mongolia, ranked last at 46th in the world, finished in last with a 0-0-5 record, no points and a goal differential of -48. It was a task to find a Mongolian sweater, since they are relatively new to competition, but I found this one. Nothing special, the Mongolian Ice Hockey Federation logo is used as the crest. One odd thing is that “Mongolia” is written in English instead of Mongolian. And wouldn’t it be sweet if they wrote it out as MonGOALia instead?

Look out for other Sweater Looks when other international or league competitions come up.

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Diagonally Challenged: NHL Edition

I received a suggestion about a possible project/subject to look into and to research for some content on the blog. One of the first comments on the blog concerned sweaters with diagonal lettering. Upon some initial research I found many instances of sweaters with diagonal letter on the front instead of a logo or crest. There are so many instances, in fact, that one could probably devote a whole blog to the type of jersey. To make it easier, on myself mostly, I have broken down the pictures and teams I found into different categories, mostly by league and/or level. I will start with the NHL and have installments every so often about other leagues.

First I had to decide, on my own terms, what to consider diagonal lettering on a hockey sweater. As you will read, there can be some gray area. I will only consider spelled out words, and not words contained in a logo or crest that is diagonal. Anaheim Might Ducks need not apply. I only impose restrictions because this thing can consume my life looking at every team that has a slanted logo on their chest. I have some semblance of a life, so I need to limit myself.

Now on to my favorite subject, history, and in this case, the history of diagonal lettering on the front of hockey sweaters. Many people think of the New York Rangers when diagonal type face on a hockey sweater is mentioned. But what team was the first to have diagonal lettering? I could not find any definitive answers, but I could offer an educated guess or two. The earliest jersey, or rendering in some cases, of a team with a diagonal type face on their jersey, that I could find, were the Victoria Aristocrats of the PCHL in 1915. But as you see in the pictures, this claim can be debated. Is the lettering really diagonal in the sense that we think of diagonal lettering today? Since it was so early I think we can consider the sweaters kind of like a precursor to diagonal lettered jerseys. In 1921-22 there were two teams who had diagonal type on their jerseys, the Edmonton Eskimos (hard to make out, I know, but it was the only actual shot I could find where the front of the jersey could be made out some what) of the WCHL and the Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHL. It was tough to find pictures from the time period that pre-dates the NHL, but I was able to find what I needed from http://westernhockeylegends.my100megs.com. I suggest you check it out, not just for the sweaters, but for some cool history as well.

Now the earliest picture I could find of the Rangers was from 1928, (yes that is Lester Patrick) but the jerseys did not change too drastically from 1926 to 1928. There was not much changed in the Rangers sweaters of mention in the lettering department, except for the occasional change of the color of the letters from white to red and vice versa a couple of times, until 1976-77 when the team changed to the New York Ranger crest on the front of their sweater. Then in 1978 the original diagonal type returned but the Rangers decided to wear “New York” on their blues, and kept “Rangers” on their home whites. The “New York” on the darks lasted until 1987 and returned to “Rangers” as we know it today. The next team, after the Rangers originally used diagonal lettering, in the NHL to go diagonal were the Philadelphia Quakers. The team only played one season on the NHL due to a poor arena and poor showings on the ice, but many people forget that they were Philly’s first NHL team.

The next development came in 1934 at the first All-Star game, which was a benefit game for the great Maple Leaf Ace Bailey, who almost died on the ice earlier in the season when he hit the ice and fractured his skull after a hot from Eddie Shore. The NHL All-Stars wore white jerseys with a star on their left shoulder and “NHL” diagonally on the chest. The Maple Leafs wore blue with “Ace” in white on their chests. What is peculiar is that unlike the Rangers, “ACE” and “NHL” were just slanted to become diagonal. The use of diagonal lettering in All-Star games comes up again in 1983, ‘84, ’85, ’86, and 2004.

Back to specific teams, when the Pittsburgh Penguins broke into the league they wore these beauties, but only for that first season. They did bring back a version of that sweater in 1992 – 93 till 1996 – 97 in the familiar black and yellow. Not as good as the original in my opinion. The only other jersey that received somewhat regular use with diagonal lettering in the NHL was the Colorado Avalanche’s third jersey that they used from 2003 to 2007. One other instance of diagonal lettering used in an NHL game comes from the Buffalo Sabers when they played the Rangers on October 7, 2001 in New York City. The Sabers wanted to show their solidarity with the state of New York after September 11th, so they wore “New York” on their front, just like the Rangers. I could only find one actual photo of the jersey, which is not optimal, and the example on NHLUniforms.com. While these may not be all of the jerseys used with diagonal lettering in the NHL in the history of the league, I think it is a good summary of the major instances. I leave it to you guys to find any instances I may have missed. Keep an eye out for my look at college and minor league sweaters with diagonal lettering in the future.

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