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  1. The Carolina Hurricanes unveiled their new uniforms this morning. Voice your approval or displeasure. My own opinion, they're a major downgrade and I'm disappointed. UPDATE: June 5th 2013 1:21AM PST Poll on the message boards titled "Do you like the new uniforms?" is currently leading with 77.78% No I'm not the least bit surprised.
  2. Really simple contest I announced this week for our Basically a Sports Show podcast: WHAT TO DO: Predict the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Finals matchup, winner, and Conn Smythe recipient. The tiebreakers will be the number of games and Smythe winner. One submission per contestant, winner will be announced on the show. Email your submissions to! If you successfully guess, you'll win a $50 gift certificate to the official NHL online store. Example submission: Blackhawks over Rangers (CHI in 5) MVP: Patrick Kane If events merit a further tie, we'll narrow things down further. Submissions will not be taken after 11pm central tomorrow.
  3. Awhile back, I was working on a logo that, as I drew, began to look like several different things. As a result, when I began working on it in inkscape, I decided to make several different versions of the logo. Each logo I will present is a different animal/being, that is the same base logo as the others. Basically, the frame remains the same throughout, but the details of it change in order to make it a different logo. I liked the results, so I decided to make full team concepts based on each. The first being the New Jersey Devils. My logo takes primary status, moving an updated version of the NJ logo to secondary status. As you can obviously see, green is back in the color scheme as the tertiary color. The uniforms are completely updated. I don't like the current uniforms very much, so going in a different direction was my goal. I didn't want to veer too far off what is currently worn though. The devil head acts as the crest while the secondary is on the shoulders. Both the home and road uniforms have black-green-white-red-white-green-black stripes on the sleeves, hem, collar, and socks. Home numbers are white with green and black outlines, while the road numbers are red with white-green-black outlines. Each set has black pants and socks that match their respective uniforms. Just noticed that the road uniform still has the black helmet which is a mistake. I'll update that at a later time.
  4. ESPN recently made a 30 for 30 Shorts video about Clint Malarchuk and his life after hockey. For those who don't know, Malarchuk was a Buffalo Sabres goalie who had his neck sliced open by a skate blade. I found this short film to be very interesting to watch, and I learned a lot about Malarchuk.
  5. So the Dallas Stars thread got me inspired make a modernization of the Gretzky-Era logo. Any C&C?
  6. Touching and Untouchable....but really? This is my entry to contest for the Toronto Maple Leafs Untouchable Contest. Heres the thing, is Toronto's jerseys really an untouchable? I truly don't think so, but it was hard to come up with something for them that is original. So here it is. Tell me what you think.
  7. See Page Two for Updates. It took me a while to complete this series but I am finally ready to share. If anyone from the forums recognizes my name then you have been on here for a while now. I originally posted a topic called the Heritage Hockey Series were I matched up each NHL team and made a concept for each team to wear, somewhat like what the NHL does with the Winter Classic. This time around I just designed a new look for each team, only home sweaters though, the idea for this series is to focus on alternate/secondary designs. Some of my concepts I like enough I will most likely make a white sweater to go along with its color sweater and then share here. Enough intro bull, on to the concepts. Anaheim Ducks First up we have the Ducks concept. This one actually took me quite some time to design. There were about 5 different concepts I tried and none I really liked. I wanted to use a black and orange color scheme, I hate their colors now and their alternate jersey is the only one I like. I kept it simple with this one, because everything else I didn't like. Boston Bruins I really enjoyed working on this Bruins concept. I've always thought a yellow uniform for the Bruins would be a cool addition to their jerseys. Kept the same logo and a similar idea to what they have as their home and road jerseys. This is a bit of an update over my first concept I made for the Bruins back in the day. Edit: I added a white circle behind the spokes on the logo. Buffalo Sabres This Sabres concept might look unoriginal to some of you. With the word of Buffalo getting rid of their current alternate sweater I took a crack at it and came up with this. The stripes are a bit different compared to what they have no but the idea is still there. I didn't yello out the name plate like they have now, I think that looks bad. Edit: I changed the middle stripe from yellow to white. Calgary Flames This concept took quite some time to figure out what I wanted to do. I looked at everything they have now and couldn't settle on a design until I started to look at older hockey teams from Calgary and saw the Calgary Cowboys jersey. That is what I designed this concept off. Carolina Hurricanes For the Hurricanes I wanted to do a black jersey, but not completely black like what they have now so I added in a bunch of red to the design. Chicago Blackhawks I've always liked the Blackhawks alternate jersey they had back in the day, loved that black jersey and sad to see it gone. I wanted to make my own black jersey for the Blackhawks and looked at that jersey. I thought coping it was to easy and not creative, so I decided to make a black version of their home jersey. I also looked back at my heritage concept I made way back and used ideas from that. I originally had white instead of vintage white but I was not a fan of that. So with this concept I used the vintage white. Colorado Avalanche For my Colorado concept I looked at the Quebec Nordiques and really liked their jersey. I decided to make a more modern look for them and then slapped the Avalanche logo on top. I changed the color a bit to something I think would look nice on the ice. Edit: I changed the white pants to blue, made the socks white with blue stripes and changed the bottom of the sweater. There is now a white stripe at the bottom instead. Columbus Blue Jackets This is one of my favorite concepts I made, and one I will most likely design a white version for completing a set. I think their current uniforms are bad, and their logo is the only thing I actually like about their jerseys. I used more red and not the ugly dark red they have, a brighter more colorful red. Dallas Stars I don't know about anyone else but I really dislike the Stars using black uniforms, it looks so bad! I really like them in green. This is a near identical concept as my original Stars concept for my Heritage Hockey series I posted a few years back. The only difference is the size of the points of the huge star that lays over the jersey. Note you can't see the whole star. Edit: I added white stripes in-between the black and gold. Detroit Red Wings Detroit, what was I going to do to Detroit and not ruin it. That was difficult, you be the judge if I ruined it or not. Edmonton Oilers Edmonton was quite difficult to work with, I tried an orange jersey with blue and white stripes and that didn't work. I tried a full thick orange stripe from the left hand up the arm over the shoulder and down the right arm and I didn't think that looked good. I tried a bunch of things. I got this idea from a jersey they used from 2007/08 - 2009/10. Florida Panthers This is another revamp of a jersey I designed for my heritage series back in the day. I did change the color of the red making it more of a darker red than it was. I updated the stripes and added more color to it. This is another jersey I potentially will make a white version and complete he set. Los Angeles Kings I know there are quite a few of you who do not like the Kings in black and white, but I honestly like it better than the purple and yellow. I made this as simple as I could. This is again another revamp of my heritage jersey I created. Edit: I added some silver to the concept so the silver from the logo didn't look too out of place. Minnesota Wild This is a mix of the North Stars and the Wild. Personally I really like the green and red the Wild use, but I like the green and yellow even better. Yeah it might be similar to the Dallas Stars, but the Stars in my concepts have a more gold color than yellow so it works. Another design I may make a white version. I may also make a version with red instead of the yellow. That is up to you guys if you want to see it. Montreal Canadiens Just like the concept for Detroit, how could I not mess up a jersey for Montreal? I took a really simple approach to it, small stripes and lots of maroon. Plus the white pants, I think that's what makes me like this concept. Nashville Predators Since Nashville is already yellow, why not make a blue concept? That was my plan here. The idea for this concept took a while to form, but those lines you see across the chest and arms, those are supposed to be strings, probably from a Bass Guitar, since there are only 4 "strings". New Jersey Devils For New Jersey I took a look at combining the Devils and the Whales into one concept. If you can recall what the Whales green jerseys look like you might be able to see where I got my idea from. New York Islanders The Islanders were a bit difficult to create a jersey for. I looked at some of the crazy colors they used in previous jerseys. I wanted to use quite a few of them and also keep it looking neat. New York Rangers The idea for the Rangers concept came from the New York Americans jerseys. I dulled down the crazy that the Americans had and made it a bit simpler. This was another jersey that was in my Heritage Hockey series. Ottawa Senators Ottawa was fun, I wanted to do something neat and not too crazy. I drew ideas from the Ottawa 67's and the Ottawa Nationals for this concept. Philadelphia Flyers This concept was based off of the Philadelphia Quakers, lots of black stripes on an orange sweater. I got rid of the white in the logo and kept it a two color design. Phoenix Coyotes The Coyotes were somewhat of a pain to deal with, I originally had a concept that was like the original Winnipeg Jets but didn't really like it. I tried to use one of those Aztec looking patterns they had but couldn't create a design that I liked. This is my final version, I am done trying to make a Coyotes concept for a while. Pittsburgh Penguins This Penguins jersey was designed off the Pittsburgh Pirates hockey team, a team that was also named the Philadelphia Quakers. That is why you may see a resemblance between my Flyers and Penguins concept. San Jose Sharks For my San Jose concept I wanted to see more orange, I like the teal and orange in their jerseys. I decided to make a teal version of their black jersey and added the stripes across the lower portion of the jersey. St. Louis Blues The idea for this jersey was taken from the blue jersey the Blues used from 67-73, I did some adjustments and tried to make it different than the other jerseys I already created. This was originally yellow, and that started to burn my eyes so I changed it to blue. This is another jersey I may make a white version of. Tampa Bay Lightning I wanted to make a black jersey of the Lightning's jerseys, I had to add in blue to the design because it just looked weird all black and white. Toronto Maple Leafs This jersey isn't really unique for the Maple Leafs, I moved the stripes a bit and made them vintage white instead of white. Might be boring looking but I like it. It was a lot better than the jersey I first made. Not even going to talk about that one. Vancouver Canucks Why is there not more green in the Canucks jerseys? This is my solution to that issue. Edit: I moved the white stripes so they were up against the green stripes. Washington Capitals I would like to see a blue jersey to go along with the Capitals red and white jerseys. This is a completely different look than what they have now. Winnipeg Jets This is a throwback to the original jets, similar stripes and also more red. I was thinking about making a red version of what they have now but a throwback would look better in my opinion. And there they are, C&C welcomed. More may be to come too!
  8. IceCap

    San Jose Sharks

    The San Jose Sharks are, in my opinion, a bit of a historical oddity. The NHL officially recognizes them as a 1991 expansion team, but they were a bit more then that. Gordon Gund and his brother George Gund III became minority owners of the NHL's least successful "First Six" expansion team, the Oakland/California (Golden) Seals. Being from Cleveland, they were able to orchestrate the team's relocation to that city, and the Seals became the Cleveland Barons for two seasons. The team, however, was no longer financially salvageable on its own following the 1977-78 season, and the Gunds were able to negotiate a merger with the Minnesota North Stars. The Gunds would then turn around and buy the newly merged North Stars team. The NHL, however, was interested in returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1990s, and the Gunds had even considered moving the North Stars to the area at one point. So a deal was struck with the NHL that effectively undid the 1978 North Stars-Seals/Barons merger. George Gund III sold his shares in the North Stars to Howard Baldwin, and in turn the league would grant him a franchise in the Bay Area, and he'd be allowed to take a certain number of North Stars players with him. It's because of how this went down that I've always viewed the Sharks as a continuation of the Seals/Barons. They weren't so much an expansion team as much as the Seals opting out of the merger with the North Stars and adopting a new name. Which brings me to the concept. The Seals' last Bay Area uniform set has always stuck with me as something that I would like to see tried again. The uniforms worn from 1974-76 utilized over the shoulder UCLA/LSU/Colts style striping, something rarely seen on hockey sweaters. It's a simple enough design that it works as a classic look, yet it's most definitely unique. So I figured I would try it out on the continuation of the team that introduced it. I opted to go with the current primary. For all of its flaws, I feel it's just to much of an improvement over the original. That being said, I did go with the original 1991-1998 colour scheme of a lighter teal, black, and grey. The current Sharks colour scheme just never appealed to me. The teal's way to dark, and the bright orange always seemed off putting. The Bay Area isn't the sunny self-styled paradise of Los Angeles/Southern California. It can get pretty chilly. Also, sharks in the depths of the ocean hardly conjure up images of bright, sunny days. So I lightened the teal to the original shade and replaced orange with the original look's grey. For the alternate mark I used the original shark fin, recoloured to better match the current primary. I don't know why, I just find it superior to the updated diamond fin logo. Maybe the original just feels more self-contained. Anyway that's the concept. I wanted to tie the Sharks back in with their early history as the Seals somehow, and I thought the unorthodox striping last used by the Seals in California were the perfect means to do so. C&C, as always, is welcome.
  9. Jerseys in this thread: Colorado Avalanche Pittsburgh Penguins Calgary Flames Anaheim Ducks Boston Bruins Los Angeles Kings Nashville Predators Edmonton Oilers These next concepts I will be bringing you (first time posting on the site) is from a template I recently made, so there are still some bugs I'm working out as I go a long, and as I upload these keep in mine I love listening to constructive criticism. But I cannot change these jerseys anymore since they are long gone from their original .psd file! Hope you all enjoy! The first 3rd Jersey is Colorado Avalanche. Colorado Avalanche 3rd Jersey - With this jersey being my first one with this template, you could say I was a beginner with it. I actually didn't realize it until after I finished that it had a nice hint to the Nordiques, but that wasn't my plan going into it. Rather just create an icy feel to the jersey. - This recieved a Concept of the Week nomination on! - Tell me what you think, and hopefully I can upload a new one soon. Can't wait to hear your response!
  10. We are always so critical when it comes how one team looks like another team (justifiably so many times). Whether it be vintage white, lace up sweaters in the NHL, the gray-crowned hats of the 1990s in MLB, the teal invasion of the 1990s, BFBS in the 2000s, the retro movement of the 2010s, or other trends that group together identites instead of separating them, we can talk about them at will for hours. After all, isn't the point of a uniform or logo to be able to identify one team from the other? This is the thread to celebrate how your favorite team is unique from the rest of the league (NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, Division 1, Division 2, MLS, etc.). Still, as we are sure to see in this thread, your teams uniqueness might not exactly mean it's a good idea. Rules: 1) Any sport or league is fine. 2) Only include primary logos, alternate logos, and jerseys. Anniversary logos, stadium logos, and other miscellaneous things don't count. 3) It might be an identity trait that no other team in that league shares. Mistakes are fine and everyone is welcome to point them out when they happen, but that's the general rule for this thread. 4) Present and past uniqueness is welcome. However, keep present examples lined up in the same era. For example, the Baltimore Orioles are the only team wearing a white front-paneled cap from 2012 - Present. Obviously there have been white-paneled caps in the past, but for now, the Orioles are the only one. For past examples, keep in mind that the present counts with it. If something unique happened in the past but that characteristic is here in the present, you should not use that as an example. Theres the present, active characteristic, then there is the past. 5) Finally, you can include any characteristic, but please try not to include incredibly obvious example like "The Eagles are the only team in the NFL to have an eagle as a logo". Try to give it a little bit more effort than that. My Examples: Baltimore Orioles: Past: Team with the longest tenured run of not depicting a letter on their primary cap logo. (1964 - 2011) Present: Only team wearing a white front-paneled cap. (2012 - Present) Boston Red Sox: Past: Only team to have a certain color predominately appear on a home jersey, but be completely gone on a road jersey. (Red from 1979 - 1989) Present: Longest tenured active home script depicting the team name. I understand this is a little controversial, but I don't consider the small tweak made in the 1970s to be enough to make the earlier version a different script from the present-day, modern version.(1933 - Present) Chicago White Sox: Past: Only team to ever weart shorts in a major league game (1976) Present: Only team to not sport a color other than black, white, and the tones in-between. (1991 - Present) Cleveland Indians: Present: Only team to sport a cursive script at home and a block script (That's block, not a script with serifs on it) on the road. (2011 - Present) Detroit Tigers: Past: Only team to have a certain color predominately appear on a road jersey, but be completely gone on a home jersey. (Orange from 1972 - Present) Present: Longest tenured home chest script in MLB. (1934 - Present) Houston Astros: Past: Only team to depict a sports venue in their primary or alternate logos. (1965 - 1994) Present: Only team to have block scripts (no serifs) on both the home and road jerseys. (2013 - Present) Kansas City Royals: Past: Only team to wear a colored alternate uniform with a base color that does not appear in the hat at all. (Black, 2006) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Past: Longest tenure of depicting a state in their primary or alternate logos. (California, 1970 - 1992) Present: Only team where a logo appears on an entire uniform four or more times (2012 - Present) Minnesota Twins: Present: Only team with a logo depicting an actual baseball player. (2002 - Present) New York Yankees: Oldest active cap in MLB. (1913 - Present) Longest tenured active road script in MLB. (1973 - Present) Only team to have a primary color appear in their logo, but not appear anywhere on their jerseys. (1947 - Present) New York Mets: Present: Only team to sport a cursive script at home and a serifed script on the road. Miami Marlins: Past: Only team to have a completely teal cap. Present: Only team to have 5 or more colors on a wordmark. Colorado Rockies: Past: Most alternate uniforms for one year (4 in 2005) Oakland Athletics: Present: Only team in MLB to primarily sport the color green in their logos and jerseys. Atlanta Braves: Past & Present: Only team to not have some form of baseball equipment in any of their logos (alternate and primary). There's plenty of examples in every sport. Have fun. Be sure to point out any mistakes I've made. Pictures are encouraged if you want.
  11. I created these uniform concepts based on the recently leaked Dallas Stars logos. I don't have much experience in uniform design, in fact this is my first attempt at designing a hockey uniform. But when I saw the supposed new logos for my Stars, I had to give it a shot! Home Uniform: Away Uniform: Alternate Uniform: This alternate jersey works as a franchise heritage set. The jersey and socks are supposed to replicate a variation of the Minnesota North Stars uniforms, replacing the gold for silver. The pants are meant to be an homage to the 90's Stars breezers. I also updated the Stars old alternate logo to fit the scheme of the rebrand. What do you guys think of the designs?
  12. I saw a thread on here by Fox and it gave me the idea to give it a try for myself. The colors might be off because I did this on Microsoft Paint and the choice of color isn't the greatest. C&C will be appreciated! Here is the best in my opinion
  13. It's a concept for if the Phoenix Coyotes become the Quebec Nordiques.
  14. Hey guys, I posted this in my hockey series thread, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to start a thread for this to get some C&C. Let me know what you guys think, and what I should change/modify. It was inspired by the 2001 ASG logo when it was in Denver
  15. I created an Oilers alternate jersey which focuses primarily on the orange rather than the blue. Please let me know what you think and what I could improve on. *For updated jersey, please scroll down to 10th post* ↓
  16. One of my favorite GIS mapping companies, Esri, created this story map, NHL: Realignment 2013, regarding the current alignment, the forthcoming realignment for the 2013-14 season, and which teams save on travel distances. The article also referenced as their source for NHL logos. Enjoy!
  17. Deserves its own thread. Well it didn't take long for Brain Burke [hilariously sic] and Hazel Mae to hook up. In the summer of 2012, Sportsnet removed her from the glass desk because she wouldn't fit, insisting that she stand while on air. The reason she wouldn't fit is that she was pregnant. She became so dishevelled looking as the summer wore on that Sportsnet sent her home while they decided how to handle the impending scandal. Scandal, you say? Well yessirr......The father could have been any number of worthy candidates, but the lucky dad is, in fact, our very own Brian Burke. So splashdown was back in December. Hazel and Burkie have been at odds as to if, how and when to release the news. Sportsnet still doesn't know what to do with her. On the other hand, new owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs in Bell Canada have little, if any, tolerance for egotistical. belligerent, sex-addicted senior executives and decided to eliminate the problem by gassing Burke.” ----- And here is the motherlode: SCHEDULE “A” 1. “NoFixedAddress” on January 12, 2013, on 2. “CamBarkerFan” on January 12, 2013, on http://hockeybroads....level-demotion. 3. “Lavy16” on January 17, 2013, on http://forums.prospo...8-Burke-is-GONE 4. “mbskidmore” on January 17, 2013, on http://www.torontogo...d.php?t=108421. 5. “Tulowd” on January 12, 2013, on 6. “Loob” on January 12, 2013, on 7. “Naggah” on January 23, 2013, on http://hfboards.hock....php?p=58166689 8. “mowerman” on January 19, 2013, on http://www.hawthorne...1&view=previous 9. “Aaronp18” on January 28, 2013, on http://www.canucksco...=157243#p157224 10. “Steve” on January 13, 2013, on 11. “KaBoomin8” on January 21, 2013, on 12. “THEzbrad” on January 17, 2013, on http://trilltimes.wo...osexual-affair/ 13. “Slobberface” on January 18, 2013, on http://www.torontoju...hp/80763-Leafs/ 14. “Poonerman” on January 18, 2013, on!!!8 15. “isolatedcircuit” on January 13, 2013, on http://isolatedcircu...being-released/ 16. “Kanada Kev” on January 17, 2013, on http://www.jambands....bc48295aaa40bd/ 17. “Ncognito” on January 13, 2013 on http://www.hockeyins...-and-galchenyuk 18. “sir psycho sexy” on January 15, 2013, on http://www.forumice....l=1#post1929808 hahaha hfboards is mentioned in there and now they're deleting anything said about this. Now I hope Brian Burke wins and sues for the damages of shutting down hfboards forever.
  18. Via this reddit submission, a fan's girlfriend's grandfather (exhale) found a chest full of pretty awesome Hartford Whalers/classic NHL stuff. Figured this community would enjoy it. Imgur link to full album Sorry for not posting more images, most of them are sideways.
  19. Hockey logo designs, especially from NHL, have been my passion since childhood. I chose some franchises, which have great logo themes, but their current stylization could be more interesting. more here: http://www.behance.n...-part-1/8013305 I appreciate any constructive feedback, I want to hear some words from people, who have also passion in this stuff Feel free to share these concepts, you can also contact me, if you´re interested in my work.
  20. Hello everybody! With the recent rumors going around that Quebec City, either by relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes or by expansion, will have a hockey team next year, I decided to pull out and post a concept that I made for the Nordiques a while back (it was actually part of my "What If?: NHL Style" project, that was a train wreck). I attempted to take pieces from the old Nords logo, and make a logo that would be acceptable in todays NHL. Please leave some C&C! This is not just my thread, though. If you would like to post your Nordiques concepts, go ahead! I plan on making jerseys sooner or later with this logo, but if you would like to make jerseys with the logo, be my guest! I would love to see how some of you think this logo should look on a jersey! All and all, please leave some C&C on my logo, and I can't wait to see what some of you have come up with for the Nords! Thanks for reading!
  21. With the Islanders moving to Brooklyn soon, I decided to give them a slightly new look adding the Brooklyn bridge and bringing back the victory stripes. The third/winter classic jersey is based on the Brooklyn Americans. c/c?
  22. A few weeks ago I did a time-lapse of a Whalers concept. I had a really fun time doing it so I made another. This time, I made an alternate jersey for San Jose. I personally love sublimated patterns on hockey jerseys, so this jersey is right up my alley. I also think the sublimated pattern looks like shark teeth. Which was totally not intended! Tell me whatcha' think.
  23. Hi, this isn't much of a change, which Detroit obviously shouldn't change, but I simply cleaned up the logo. I know that the logo shouldn't be tampered with but this is a concept forum. So please let me know what you think. (I've posted the current Red Wings logo for you to compare the difference)
  24. I felt this should be a dedicated thread rather than losing it in the lockout megathread. I picked up The Instigator last week and enjoyed it thoroughly. I highly recommend it to anyone here who's been following our hockey threads. What's great about it is that a lot of it is stuff we already knew, or thought we already knew. This sounds like it would be useless at first glance, but there's a strange sort of joy that comes from seeing our various rumors and postulations more or less confirmed, printed on real, tangible paper. Here are a few quick hits I wanted to share, more will come to me. I should've written them all down on a notepad, but instead I just underlined them on the pages. Stupid. Onward: Bruce McNall may be even more of a villain than we give him credit for, and we've given him a very good deal of credit as it is. During the league's search to replace John Ziegler, McNall took it upon himself to make David Stern a huge job offer, which Stern declined (well duh), but not without pointing him in the direction of Gary Bettman. Thanks. The 1993 expansion arose from the fact that McNall had greatly lied about his finances and needed a cash infusion badly. We knew about the whole racket with selling Disney and Anaheim on the NHL only to turn around and demand indemnification for Los Angeles, but it turns out that he engineered the expansion to Miami as well, when he failed to sell Wayne Huizenga a private jet but succeeded in selling him an NHL franchise (as usual when it comes to the NHL, I cannot make this math add up). He did the old "play one against the other" trick to perfection, telling Disney that Blockbuster was gonna get in on hockey instead, and vice versa, and ended up collecting a finder's fee for the Panthers as well as half the expansion fee for the Ducks. As it happens, The Mighty Ducks grossed $50MM, the price Disney paid to buy in, so at least that ends up being some tidy math. Golden quote from Huizenga here: "It wasn't that I wanted a hockey team, but the opportunity was there to get one." When a book is written about sunbelt expansion, it will be entitled It Wasn't That I Wanted This. Oh and McNall never got all the money owed to him by Disney and he went to prison for fraud. Now, technically, we can't actually say that Bruce McNall was sentenced to federal prison for subjecting the world to Gary Bettman, so let's just think of it as how they got Capone for tax evasion. So for years, the NHL was basically run out of some guy's basement. Ziegler said the league had no monthly financial statements when he took over. Ziegler gets a bum rap from a lot of people, author included, for being kind of distant and not enough of a hardliner for his bosses (sounds a little like Fay Vincent), but to me, Ziegler sounds closer to what we as fans would want in an NHL commissioner: intelligent businessman with a background in the game and a desire for good stewardship of it. It's funny that the '92 strike was such a transgression that he was fired for it almost immediately. No one even remembers the '92 strike now. Meanwhile, we've lost a season and a half and counting under Bettman, and he just keeps getting raises. Gotta laugh. Also gotta laugh at the NHL's central office, which on Ziegler's watch was adorned with little more than "pictures of horses." I hope it had paneling and a davenport, too. The NHL got this office space, surely for a song, from a stockbroker who went to prison for insider trading and left his furniture behind because it was too heavy to move. The NHL, financial malfeasance, and general inertia: together always. Given the relative hole-in-the-wall nature of the office at the time, it is to be believed that erstwhile league executive Brian Burke has a disturbingly laissez-faire attitude toward spraying his piss on the floor. There's another anecdote about the re-envisioning of the league's then-quiet nerve center wherein Burke walks into the men's room to find our hero on his hands and knees, removing wet toilet paper from the floor (ew!). Burke says to just let the janitors take care of it, prompting Bettman to get up off the floor and deliver a stern lecture on the importance of maintaining a clean bathroom for co-workers and guests. As we sit here in this lockout discussing salary clawbacks, all we have to do is look at what the Leafs are paying guys to realize that twenty years later, Gary Bettman still has to clean up the messes Brian Burke makes with his waste. I'm loath to use a moisture metaphor after that, but I gotta say, no one gives Bettman more wet kisses in this book than ol' Burkie does. You know what those are? Those are the words of a man who knows he's soon going to be fired for his gross incompetence and will have nowhere left to go but the loving embrace of Bettman's office. For obvious reasons (the whole redemption angle and the author being Canadian), Winnipeg gets the most attention of the Southbound Four. There are a few interesting nuggets about the Nordiques' relocation (the deal was in the works way longer than anyone had been letting on, though the author biffs it by saying the team was sold to "Comcast" when the name of the Denver consortium was COMSAT), but there's only mere lip service toward the North Stars (who were at one point targeted for Anaheim as well as the Bay Area, the latter we knew, the former I sure didn't), and virtually nothing is said of the Whalers' ignominious move to Raleigh by way of Greensboro. This surprises me, as I have a lot of enmity for this maneuver, and feel it looked just as bad as Winnipeg-to-Phoenix, if not worse -- it sacrificed a small American market for another small American market where people are obsessed with a sport that runs at the same time as ours. There's a whole chapter on the Jets departure and re-arrival, plus another on the fate of those old Jets. The book should practically come with a Burton Cummings promotional single. Much of this is stuff we already know, like how Bettman scuttled the local sale by inventing extra conditions that they couldn't meet, or how the Jets were ten minutes away from coming home in 2010, but it's a good refresher if nothing else. So, turns out Atlanta got its team at the behest of bean-counting Fox Sports executives, and since these were also the people behind Glow Puck and Battling Seizure Hockey Robots, you'd kind of have to figure the whole thing was doomed from the outset, wouldn't you? The author is hard on the good old Unstable Octet, saying they set an international standard for dysfunction. They'd have flipped the team in a year if not for the lockout and the Joe Johnson trade causing the whole ownership group to eat itself. The Thrashers got dicked by revenue sharing, too, as failing to hit benchmarks knocked their payout down to 50% of what it could have been. (The Coyotes get special dispensation to miss benchmarks and still get full payouts, remember.) Mark Chipman gets a lot of love everywhere for everything, but here the adoration is conspicuously focused on his discipline in keeping his mouth shut through the Coyotes situation and eventual Thrashers sale. You almost have to wonder if the author, whose culture-war allegiances are veiled but obvious, is HINT-HINTing to the almost congenitally loudmouthed Quebecois as they try to swing a deal of their own. Over on the Phoenix side, there's really nothing we haven't done to death, but like I said, there's a certain thrill in reading it on paper, and I'm sure I'll feel the same when Glenfail becomes a tome unto itself. The real breakthrough to me is that the union has now gone on the record and said what we all figured out long ago: that the Coyotes exist solely as a hedge on escalating revenues to keep cash-flush teams from having to invest more of this new big money back in their teams. This from the same league that dropped the hammer on the Devils for...yes, that's right, manipulating an arithmetic mean. The book makes some efforts, however perfunctory, to humanize its subject, touching on what a devoted family man he is and how he goes incognito to Devs games with his grandson, which is kind of cute. He had a pretty crappy childhood, too. People, especially Brian Burke, swear up and down that he's not a bad guy when you get to know him. That may be so, but it's not insignificant (stewardess? I speak Bettman) that everyone who's "not a bad guy when you get to know him" is already being a monstrous dickhole in some significant capacity. It's also made quite clear that Bettman is a fast learner and a razor-sharp legal mind, something which some of his more ineloquent detractors could stand to grasp. They could also stand to grasp that no, Bill Simmons, he wasn't sent by the NBA to take down the NHL from within (though it is telling that Stern not only turned down the NHL gig himself but wouldn't let them poach his top lieutenant, Russ Granik, either). In fact, a lot of what Bettman did had to be done: the league needed to be ready to enter the 21st century when it most clearly was not. I'm not talking about ill-advised expansion/relocation, most of which was planned by Ziegler and executed by McNall, but just, I dunno, good god, being a functional professional sports league and not just some group of rich old white men running a hockey league in their spare time, or over five-martini lunches, or whatever. All that being said, who's to say that all these necessary developments couldn't have been made by someone who wasn't Gary Bettman? I mean, yes, like I said, it's clear that he's intelligent, but how many other detail-oriented, Type-A labor lawyers are out there who could have marshaled the owners into something resembling order and done all the things that did have to be done, without all the messes that Bettman distinctly made along the way? That's the real question. You couldn't have found that guy in the skyscrapers of Toronto? or Montreal? Someone with a big brain and the requisite understanding of the game so as to avoid so many of the misfires we had with Bettman? Buying this book should be the only hockey-related spending you do during the lockout.
  25. Thought this might be a bit of fun. What is your favourtie jersey belonging to each NHL team of their 3 (or 2) versions? (home road and 3rd). You have to pick one, so you can't sit on the fence. If you had a choice to wear one for free, which one would you pick? I'll start: Anaheim Ducks - 3rd Boston Bruins - Road Buffalo Sabres - Home Calgary Flames - Home Carolina Hurricanes - Home Chicago Blackhawks - Home Colorado Avalanche - Home Columbus Blue Jackets - Home Dallas Stars - Road Detroit Red Wings - Home Edmonton Oilers - Road Florida Panthers - Home LA Kings - Home Minnesota Wild - Home Montreal Canadiens - Road Nashville Predators - Home New Jersey Devils - Home New York Islanders - Home New York Rangers - Home Ottawa Senators - Home Philaldelphia Flyers - Home Phoenix Coyotes - Home Pittsburgh Penguins - Home San Jose Sharks - 3rd St.Louis Blues - Road Tampa Bay Lightning - Road Toronto Maple Leafs - Home Vancouver Canucks - Road Washington Capitals - Home Winnipeg Jets - Home