Wednesday, November 25, 2015

1929-30 New York Americans Moe Roberts Jersey

After playing junior hockey for the Boston Unicorns of the United States Amateur Hockey Association in 1924-25, goaltender Moe Roberts made his NHL debut on December 8, 1925 substituting for the injured Doc Stewart in a 3-2 Bruins win against the Montreal Maroons while he was the Bruins practice goalie and stick boy! Roberts was a mere 19 years old at the time, making him the youngest goaltender to ever play in the NHL, a record which would stand for nearly twenty years until the 17 year old Harry Lumley made his debut for the New York Rangers in 1943-44.

Roberts would play one additional game for the Bruins on December 11th, a 5-3 loss to the short-lived Pittsburgh Pirates before Stewart was fit to return.

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Moe Roberts set an NHL record for being the league's
youngest player which stood for 18 years

Roberts then spent the seven seasons in the Canadian-American Hockey League, beginning with the New Haven Eagles in 1926-27 with a 18-14-0 record and a 2.00 goals against average. After one more season with New Haven, Roberts joined the Philadelphia Arrows beginning with the 1928-29 season. Oddly, he had a losing 12-21-7 record that season despite a 1.76 goals against.

For the 1929-30 season, his goals against average rose more than a goal per game to 2.94, but his record improved to 20-18-2 as the Arrows found their offensive game, doubling their season total from 60 to 120.

Roberts would spend one more season with the Arrows in 1930-31 before returning to New Haven for the 1931-32 season. He also returned to the NHL for one game with the New York Americans on March 10, 1932 to replace an injured Roy Worters, a 5-1 win over the rival New York Rangers.

After playing the 1932-33 season for New Haven, Roberts joined the Cleveland Indians of the IHL for the 1933-34 season. He was limited to 35 games as he was recalled by the Americans of the NHL for another 6 games.

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This photo is signed with Roberts' given name "Maurice", but we question, based on the hairline and shape of the players face, if this really is Roberts during his time with the Cleveland Indians in 1933-34

He would play the entire 1934-35 season with the newly renamed Cleveland Falcons before an unsettled 1935-36 season where Roberts played 13 games for the Falcons, 1 game for the Syracuse Stars and 15 for the Rochester Cardinals, all of the IHL.

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Roberts during his brief spell with Rochester

The Falcons were renamed the Cleveland Barons for the 1937-38 season and Roberts would play for the Barons for the next six seasons, where Roberts enjoyed a run of success with four winning and one .500 record during the six, which included Calder Cup championships in both 1939 and 1941.

Roberts played the majority of the 1941-42 season with the Barons as well as 3 games with the Pittsburgh Hornets after 16 seasons before his military obligations with the United States Navy due to World War II took him away from the game.

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Roberts won two Calder Cups with the Barons

Five years after his last game, Roberts suited up for 24 games for the Washington Lions of the Eastern Amateur Hockey League before retiring from active play.

He returned to the game as the arena manager of the Milwaukee Gulls of the USHL in 1950-51 and then became the assistant team trainer for the Chicago Black Hawks the following season, which included putting on the pads during practice.

It was while on the Black Hawks staff on this date in 1951 that their goaltender Lumley, the same player who broke Roberts record as the youngest goaltender in NHL history, was injured in a game against the Detroit Red Wings. Roberts was pressed into service on an emergency basis 18 years after his last NHL appearance, setting a record as the oldest player in NHL history, which stood until Gordie Howe surpassed him in 1979. Roberts remains the oldest goaltender in league history.

Roberts final NHL totals were 10 games played with a 3-5 record and records at one time for being both the youngest and oldest players in the NHL. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.

Today's featured jersey is a 1929-30 New York Americans Moe Roberts jersey. We will admit, this photo gives us some trouble. Roberts only played for the Americans in 1931-32 and 1933-34, but during those seasons, according to our favorite source, the Americans wore jerseys with "AMERICANS" across the front with less sleeve stripes beginning in 1930-32.

Roberts is pictured here with a jersey featuring "NEW YORK" as the main cresting, which was used by the franchise from 1925-26 through 1929-30, all of which had more sleeve stripes, including several thin ones as pictured below.

Based on the pattern of striping on the body below the "NEW YORK", one stripe of one color with all the stripes below being a different color, we believe this was the style worn by the Americans from 1927-28 to 1929-30 and photographed with a blue filter, which would render the red areas darker and the blue areas lighter. We then colorized the photo to reflect this belief.

Now, why would Roberts be wearing a two year old 1929-30 jersey in 1931-32? Were teams not quite so fussy back then? Would a one game call up be given whatever spare jersey was around? Would a one game call up even be photographed in the first place? Perhaps this picture is from 1933-34 when Roberts was with the team for six games, making this 1929-30 jersey even more of an anomaly. We have our favorite opinion, but no way of knowing the real story behind this discrepancy.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Turd Burger - 2013-14 Buffalo Sabres Tyler Ennis Jersey

On this date in 2013, the Buffalo Sabres debuted their newest alternate jersey, a yellow on the front blue on the back affair. The jersey was originally revealed on Twitter by team captain Steve Ott on September 4th to a harsh reaction. It was immediately trashed by hockey fans everywhere as one of the worst jerseys in NHL history.

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Steve Ott's Twitter Reveal

Following it's on ice debut, sample comments on Twitter were:
  • "The Sabres third jersey should come with the 'May cause seizures' warning"
  • "Someone thought this was a good idea. More than one person. I can't get over that."
  • "It's really unfair to try and single out a 'worst part' with the Sabres new jersey."
  • "They're relevant because they look like practice jerseys and they play like a practice squad"
The team released facts about the jersey
  • The Sabres creative team worked in collaboration with Reebok. Team ownership "challenged" the design team, which studied jerseys from across professional sports for "inspiration," to use gold as a primary color.
  • The design concept - gold as the primary front color and navy on the back - is believed to be a first for the NHL
  • The Sabres designed a new word mark for the pant leg, just below the neckline and right above the crest on the front.
  • Reebok designed a "unique font" for the jersey numbers and names inspired by "tips of actual sabers"
  • Captain and alternate captain insignia use crossed swords as design elements. The patches have been moved from the chest to the shoulder.
Of note, there have been a few gold jerseys in the NHL prior to Buffalo's entry, dating back to the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1925 to 1928, the Boston Bruins from 1940-44 and again from 1955 to 1967 as well as their third jersey worn from 1995 to 2006. The Penguins had a gold jersey from 1981 to 1984 and Nashville wore a dark mustard alternate from 2001 to 2007 and a bright gold home jersey in 2011, but none of those had a different color on the back like the Sabres new alternate.

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Is it gold, or is it blue?

The best feature of the jersey, the Sabre-specific Captain and Alternate Captains' patches, also proved to be one of the worst, as the sharp looking designs were placed on the player's right shoulders rather than their chest, making them all but impossible to see.

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The Sabres unique Captain and Alternate patches

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The unique placement of the Sabres captain's designations

That first season Buffalo wore the new alternates ten times for Sunday home games, unfortunately for the Sabres, half of those games were versus Original Six clubs Detroit, Montreal and New York while three more were against New Jersey and Philadelphia, whose timeless, classic jerseys only served to illustrate the absurdity of the Sabres jerseys in comparison.

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The Sabres new alternates suffered in comparison
to Detroit's classic jerseys on their debut

Sabres president Ted Black initially declined comment when first asked about the reaction. It got so big and spread so far that Black finally did address it on his weekly appearance on WGR Radio the morning after the season opener. And he did it with remarkable candor:
“It’s received a ton of criticism and a lot of attention. I think it had over 4 million mentions on Twitter. I’ve seen it. It’s something that doesn’t offend me. I think people have had a lot of fun with the criticisms of it. Judge for yourself whenever you see it. If you come into the store and you look at it and say I don’t want to buy it or you do buy it, in terms of moving the needles on revenues, it won’t do anything.
“If it doesn’t sell, it won’t really mean anything to our bottom line. It’s a third jersey. If it’s a turd burger I’ll have to put it on a bun and eat it. It’s the way it is.
“We kept the logo the same. We wanted to do something that was a little bit more non-traditional, so it’s two-toned; it’s gold in the front and blue in the back; it has different colors for numbering; it has the Buffalo font in the front. Like I said, no one’s gonna twist your arm, put a gun to your head if you don’t wanna buy it you don’t have to.”
For those of you who would like to hear the entire 25 minute interview with Black when he first used the phrase "Turd Burger", click the link below. The discussion of the new jersey begins at the 17:12 mark and runs for four minutes.

And with that, the jersey had it's nickname, which historically have been reserved for the worst of the worst jerseys, such as the "Wild Wing", the "Burger King", the "Mooterus" and the "Fishsticks" jerseys.

The team even skipped one of their scheduled games to wear the Turd Burger. After going 1-4-1 in
the jersey's first six games, the team wore their regular blue home jerseys against Pittsburgh on February 5, 2014, causing some to speculate that maybe the jersey was on the way out after just one season. The team did wear the jersey for its final three scheduled appearances, finishing the season with a 2-6-1 record while wearing the controversial alternate.

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A rare happy moment as the Sabres went 2-6-1 in their new alternate

The jersey was worn ten times throughout the 2014-15 season with somewhat improved results on the ice, going 4-4-2, but apparently without improved results in the sales or aesthetics departments, as the Sabres announced on March 13, 2015 that the Turd Burger Jerseys would not return for the 2015-16 season. From the Buffalo News:
Ted Black admitted the team did a poor job running the design past focus groups and also said, "We didn't anticipate the amount of 'third-jersey fatigue' " in the market in the wake of the team's 40th anniversary throwbacks.
One would think that with the importance of retail sales ability to improve a modern sports team's bottom line that the Sabres would have been much more careful about the introduction of any new jersey coming not long after the debacle that was the "Buffaslug", the long hoped for return to the Sabres traditional blue and gold colors in 2006-07 after spending the previous nine seasons wearing black and red, which was completely undone by the legless slug-like logo, which was dropped after four seasons of derision.

To make matters worse for the Buffaslug, the team at the same time brought back the classic Gilbert Perreault-era Sabres jersey as an alternate, making the 'slug look even worse by comparison. That throwback alternate design lasted just one season, falling victim to the introduction of the Reebok Edge jerseys in 2007-08, which dictated teams could not have a third jersey that season.

They created a modern update to the classic Sabres jersey as an alternate in 2008-09 in a darker shade of blue and with additional trim on the stripes. Two seasons later that third jersey was promoted to the primary home jersey and a white version introduced for wear on the road.

That same season, the Sabres' 40th Anniversary season, yet another third jersey debuted, this one in the Sabres original blue and gold colors, which featured a retro "Buffalo" cresting in the style of the old Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League.

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The 2010-11 Buffalo Sabres 40th Anniversary alternate jersey

It was these three alternate styles in the space of six seasons, none lasting more than two, which caused Black to theorize about the "third-jersey fatigue" factor.

Not to be overlooked as part of the problem greeting the Turd Burger was the Sabres performance on the ice. Terry Pegula purchased the Sabres in February of 2011, bring a feeling of great optimism to the Sabres fanbase, as the team was coming off a 100 point season and their first playoff appearance in tree seasons in 2009-10 and duplicated that effort in 2010-11 with 96 points and another playoff appearance.

The team slipped slightly in 2011-12 to 89 points but missed out on the postseason. In 2012-13 they parted with long time head coach Lindy Ruff and missed the playoffs again. The Turd Burger arrived for the 2013-14 season as the team plummeted to the bottom of the NHL with a 21-51-5-5 record for 52 points, last in the NHL. They then lost out on the first overall pick in the 2014 draft when the Florida Panthers won the draft lottery.

For the 2014-15 season, a 23-51-3-5 record and 54 points excited the fans with another last place finish and hopes of drafting the much-touted Connor McDavid, only to have the Edmonton Oilers swoop in and steal the first pick from the last place Sabres for a second year in a row. Both Ruff's replacement, the popular Ted Nolan, and team president Black were dismissed in the aftermath of the two last place finishes.

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Sabres President Ted Black, author of the name "Turd Burger"

Perhaps similar to the New York Islanders "Fishsticks" jerseys of 1995-97, a jersey can become a symbol for a losing team, and the Sabres dismal performance over the two seasons the yellow and blue alternate was worn did nothing to endear the fans to the decidedly unconventional jersey.

Today's featured jersey is a 2013-14 Buffalo Sabres Tyler Ennis jersey, a very poorly received Sabres alternate, which was unintentionally nicknamed the Turd Burger by the Sabres President Ted Black in an interview discussing the less than supportive response to the new third jersey.

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Buffalo Sabres 2012-13 jersey photo Buffalo Sabres 2012-13 B jersey C.jpg

Today's video section is the Sabres alternate jersey's debut against the Detroit Red Wings on this date in 2013.

Monday, November 23, 2015

1929-30 Boston Bruins Eddie Shore Jersey

An NHL record was set on this day in 1929 following an incident when the rugged Buck Boucher of the Montreal Maroons got into a fight with defenseman and legendary tough customer Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins.

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Eddie Shore

At the conclusion of the fight, Shore picked up his stick and proceeded to butt end rookie Dave Trottier of the Maroons, which set off round two for Shore. Trottier, however suffered a collapsed lung, most likely as a result of an injury from the butt ending.

Shore, already public enemy #1 in hockey during his day, was now a wanted man as far as the Maroons were concerned, and they wanted revenge. The first to attempt to extract a pound of flesh was the undersized Hooley Smith, who Shore outweighed by forty pounds! Smith could hold his own however, as his 83 penalty minutes in the 44 game season were third on the club.

Red Dutton, who led the Maroons in penalty minutes that season, sought out Shore to accomplish what Smith couldn't, and the two went at it for Shore's fourth round of the night.

Despite the damage inflicted on Shore up to this point, he had one more bout on his fight card still to go, this one with renowned fighter Babe Siebert, whose 94 penalty minutes came just behind Dutton's 98 that year. Shore, still full of vinegar nailed Siebert with a hard hit as Siebert was flying down the ice. As Siebert rose, Shore clobbered him. This enraged Siebert, who stared at Shore with his stick raised. Siebert and Shore went at it so violently, that the game had to be delayed while the resulting blood was cleaned off of the ice.

Trottier and Siebert from the Maroons both ended up in the hospital as did Shore, thanks to a litany of injuries, - a broken nose, four missing teeth, two black eyes to go with the cuts he had above each one, a gash on his cheek and a concussion! Still, Shore had done what he set out to accomplish, as the defenseman contributed a pair of assists as the Bruins won 4-3.

Barring any further rules changes, Shore's record five fighting majors will live on unchallenged forever, as NHL rules now dictate that any player receiving three fighting majors in one game be given a game misconduct, ending his night and keeping Shore's record intact.

By the end of the season, Shore would total 105 penalty minutes for third overall the league, one place ahead of Dutton's 98. Siebert and Smith would both land places in the top ten as well, making the Maroons game against Boston a true heavyweight card that would go down in the record books seemingly forever.

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Shore from the 1933 Sport Kings trading card set,
one of only three hockey players in the 48 card set

Shore would eventually have a 14 year NHL career during which he would receive 978 stitches, break his nose foureen times and his jaw five times as well as a hip, collar bone and his back. He would also win the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP four times, the most of any defenseman, and win a pair of Stanley Cups. He would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947. Of the five men Shore fought that night in 1929, Boucher (1960), Dutton (1958), Siebert (1964) and Smith (1972) would all be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well.

Today's featured jersey is a 1929-30 Boston Bruins Eddie Shore jersey. The Bruins were still using their original colors of brown and yellow, which came from the club's original owner Charles Adams' grocery store chain, First National Stores. The Bruins wore a different style in each of their first two seasons before adopting this style in 1926. They would continue to wear this sweater for six seasons, including a Stanley Cup championship in 1929.

Boston Bruins 1926-32 jersey, Boston Bruins 1926-32 jersey
Boston Bruins 1926-32 jersey, Boston Bruins 1926-32 jersey

Today's video is a fifteen minute film on the career of Shore, a rich topic worthy of much more than we can provide here.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Fastest Five Goals by One Team - 1972-73 Pittsburgh Penguins Ken Schinkel Jersey

On this date in 1972, the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the St. Louis Blues at The Igloo in Pittsburgh. Jim Rutherford got the start in goal for the home team, while Wayne Stephenson got the call for the Blues.

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Jim Rutheford

Syl Apps got the Penguins on the board first with his ninth goal of the season at 3:59 at even strength. Bryan Watson scored his first and only goal of the season at 11:40 to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead before Phil Roberto countered for St. Louis at 13:50. Less than a minute later Al McDonough banged in his 10th of the young season from Apps at 14:31 to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead after the first period.

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Syl Apps

The Blues rallied in the second period, with Roberto getting his second of the game at 1:58 followed by Danny O'Shea evening the score at 3-3 with a shorthanded goal at 7:36 while teammate Barclay Plager was in the box.

Striking quickly, Fran Huck stunned the home crowd as he netted his first goal if the season at 1:22 of the third period to give the Blues their first lead of the game at 4-3 after having trailed 3-1 at the end of the first period.

Losing the lead woke the Penguins up and McDonough tied the game once again with his second goal of the game at 1:56 from Apps again just 34 seconds after the Blues had gone ahead for the first time. Greg Polis then put Pittsburgh back on top 4-3 with his fifth goal at 9:05.

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Greg Polis

Bryan Hextall then extended the Penguins lead to two with his ninth goal from Jack Lynch and Polis for the game's only power play goal at 12:00 with Danny O'Shea off for a minor penalty. Just 18 seconds later, Jean Pronovost struck for his fifth of the season to stretch the Pittsburgh lead to 6-3 from Polis.

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Jean Pronovost

Just 1:22 later at 13:40, McDonough completed his hat trick when he beat Stephenson with the lone assist going to Apps for the third time. Before the fans could even sit back down from celebrating McDonough's hat trick, Ken Schinkel lit the lamp just nine seconds later for his tenth goal of the season from Dave Burrows to push the Penguins advantage to 9-4.

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Ken Schnikel

The Penguins then set the NHL record for the Fastest Five Goals by One Team when Ron Schock beat a shell-shocked Stephenson with his sixth goal from Schinkel at the 14:07 mark, just 18 seconds after Shinkel's goal. It was the third Pittsburgh goal in 27 seconds and their fifth in just 2:07, a record which still stands today.

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Ron Schock

Mercifully, that closed out the scoring as Pittsburgh won by a final score of 10-4, having scored 7 straight goals in the third period to negate the Blues comeback in the most emphatic way. Stephenson remained in to finish the game despite the record setting Pittsburgh onslaught, having given up 10 goals on 34 shots.

McDonough was the star of the night as he finished with 4 points from his hat trick and an assist, while Apps matched his 4 points from a goal and assists on all three of McDonough's goals while Polis (1 goal, 2 assists) had a 3 point game.

Two seasons later the Boston Bruins took a run at the Penguins record when Bobby Schmautz, Ken Hodge, Phil Esposito, Don Marcotte and Johnny Bucyk scored five goals in 2:55 on December 19, 1974. On January 26, 1982, the New York Islanders came the closest to breaking the Penguins now 43 year old record when Duane Sutter, John Tonelli, Bryan Trottier back-to-back and Sutter again, ironically against Pittsburgh, tallied 5 goals in 2:37.

The Penguins 3 goals in 27 seconds was not a record, as Bill Mosienko of the Chicago Black Hawks recorded the Fastest Hat Trick ever in 21 seconds in 1952. The record for Fastest Three Goals by One Team was lowered to 20 seconds by the 1971-72  Bruins trio of Bucyk, Ed Westfall and Ted Green.

Apps would go on to lead the team in scoring for the 1972-73 season with 29 goals and 56 assists for 85 points. McDonough led the team with 35 goals and was next w  ith 76 points, closely followed by Lowell MacDonald with 34 goals and 75 points. Rutherford was the Penguins number one goaltender, playing in 49 games and finishing with a 2.91 goals against, 3 shutouts and a 20-22-5 record.

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The record setting 1972-73 Pittsburgh Penguins

Today's featured jersey is a 1972-73 Pittsburgh Penguins Ken Schinkel jersey. The Penguins early jersey history was one of frequent change, as they began life in 1967-68 with diagonally lettered "Pittsburgh" jerseys in the same style of the New York Rangers, For 1968-69 they completely changed jerseys, abandoning their multiple striped jerseys from their inaugural season and going with a single wide stripe trimmed in navy blue with a circular crest which contained their skating penguin logo.

In 1971-72, the skating penguin became the crest all by itself in a full size, as it's surrounding circle was dropped. This jersey remained the same for two seasons until the lighter shade of blue was darkened considerably for the 1973-74 season. This new version lasted just one season until a complete modernization of their look for 1974-75.

Schinkel's NHL career began in 1959-60 with the New York Rangers. He was with New York for parts of six seasons, as well as the majority of four seasons with the Baltimore Clippers of the American Hockey League.

When the NHL doubled in size in 1967, it created another 120 openings for players and Schinkel joined the Penguins for their inaugural season. He played six seasons for Pittsburgh with a high of 52 points in 1969. He retired midway through the 1972-73 season at the age of 40 as the team leader in games and points to become the Penguins head coach for four seasons.

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Pittsburgh Pengins 1972-73 jersey photo Pittsburgh Pengins 1972-73 B jersey.jpg

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Antoine Roussel Changes His Jersey Number

Born in Roubaix, France on this date in 1989, left wing Antoine Roussel moved to Quebec at the age of 16. Having previously played hockey back in France, Roussel joined the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the 2006-07 season.

He debuted with 7 goals and 20 points in 56 games and built on that with 13 goals and 37 points in 70 games the following season. He was limited to just 58 games in 2008-09 but nearly managed to equal his point total from the previous season with 35. That same season he also impressed with 6 goals and 8 points in 5 games at the 2009 Division 1 World Junior Championships, having previously competed for France at the 2006 World Junior U18 Division 1 tournament.

His final season with the Saguenéens saw his game take a leap forward with 24 goals and 47 points as well as 9 points in 7 playoff games.

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Roussel went undrafted after playing for Chicoutimi

Still, Roussel went undrafted by the NHL and signed a free agent contract with the AHL's Providence Bruins for the 2010-11 season. He would play in 42 games for Providence and an additional 5 for the Reading Royals of the ECHL.

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Roussel played for Providence following his junior career

The following season he was invited to the Vancouver Canucks prospect camp, where he impressed and earned a contract with their top minor league affiliate the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. His rugged style of play led to his amassing of 177 penalty minutes as well as 9 points in 61 games with the Wolves.

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Roussel spent the 2011-12 season with the Chicago Wolves

Following the season he returned to the international stage when he made his World Championship debut for France, scoring 2 goals and an assist in 7 games.

Heading into the 2012-13 season, Roussel signed with the Dallas Stars organization. He spilt time that season between the AHL's Texas Stars, playing in 43 games with 19 points and 107 penalty minutes, and made his NHL debut with Dallas, where he played in 39 games, scoring 7 goals and 14 points with 85 penalty minutes while wearing the #60.

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Roussel made his NHL debut while wearing #60

After the Stars elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs, Roussel suited up for France for the second time at the 2013 World Championships.

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Roussel wearing his #60 for France in 2013

Heading into the 2013-14 season, a fan tweeted Roussel with the following:

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Roussel replied in March that he was going to keep his "strange" number, assuring him that he was safe to order one of the Stars new jerseys with the #60 when they were released in June.

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New management with Dallas decided they wanted to see lower numbers on most of their players, which included Roussel's unconventional #60. With Loui Eriksson having been traded during the offseason, the date of Roussel's birth #21 was available.

After the news came to light in August that Roussel was going to swap his #60 for #21, a seemingly perturbed Sean O'Connor called him out on twitter.

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Roussel then made headlines when he followed in the footsteps of the Toronto Maple Leafs Pavel Kubina and offered to pay for any fan who bought a #60 jersey to swap to a new #21 jersey.

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When asked about his offer, Roussel stated, "I saw a couple of people last year that bought my jersey with 60. I told hem I'm going to keep the number, so I kind of felt bad for them because they trusted me and I felt like I let them down. I felt like it's fair to do that."

"With the economy these days, it's tough to have some money, when they invest in a jersey like that, it's an investment for some people," Roussel said in sympathy. "I don't want to put those people in a bad spot. I felt that was a good thing to do."

For the 2013-14 campaign, the swap to #21 did not do his game any harm, as Roussel maintained his scoring pace from the previous season, scoring 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 81 games as well as an increase in his penalty minutes to a career high to date to 2009.

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Roussel wearing not only his new number 21, but also
the Stars new jersey for the 2013-14 season

Roussel then made his third consecutive World Championship appearance for France where he cut loose with 6 goals and 11 points in 8 games for the French while earning himself a tournament all-star selection.

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Roussel also changed his France National Team number to 21

After signing a four year contract over the summer, he again played a full season for Dallas in 2014-15, scoring 13 goals and 25 points and a team leading 148 penalty minutes, more than twice Jamie Benn's 64.

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Roussel, one of only two NHL players born in France,
wearing a French flag on the back of his helmet
following the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015

Today's featured jersey is a 2013-14 Dallas Stars Antoine Roussel jersey worn the first season he changed from #60 to #21, raising the ire of some fans who purchased his original #60 version.

The Stars greatly diminished their emphasis on the color green when their new Reebok Edge jerseys debuted in 2007-08, especially when their home dark jerseys changed from a predominately green jersey to now black. Additionally, they found themselves with some of the most unsatisfying, boring jerseys of the Reebok era. The addition of a white third jersey in 2008-09 did little to improve matters, as it was so similar to their road white jersey only a die hard Dallas fan would notice the change from the "Stars" logo to the arched "Dallas" wordmark which matched the black jersey's cresting.

That all changed in 2013-14 when the club performed a complete makeover of their look, which included a new main crest and a vibrant green home jersey. This reclaimed their ownership of the color, as the only other team to wear a green jersey was the Minnesota Wild, that being a third jersey which is several shades darker than the new look in Dallas. Worth mentioning is the single color numbers, making Dallas one of only five teams to use single color numbers on all their jerseys.

Of note, while Dallas had 12 players with numbers #36 or higher in 2012-13, they still had ten players wear high numbers in 2013-14, including Vernon Fidler (#38), Valeri Nichuskin (#43), Sergei Gonchar (#55), Erik Cole (#72) and the team's leading scorer Tyler Seguin (#91). The five others all played less than ten games that season.

Aside from Roussel, Stars players who did change numbers from 2012-13 to 2013-14 were Jamie Oleksiak from #43 to #5,  Ryan Garbutt from #40 to #16 and Jordie Benn from #58 to #24.

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Today's video section is from the Stars and chronicles Roussel's journey from France to the National Hockey League.

Friday, November 20, 2015

2006-07 Columbus Blue Jackets Dan Fritsche Jersey

Dan Fritsche was born in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, Ohio in 1985 and played junior hockey with the Cleveland Jr. Barons of the NAHL in 2000-01. From there he moved to the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League in Canadian Junior hockey.

Fritsche played 61 games with Sarnia in 2002-03, scoring 32 goals and 71 points in 61 games which led to the Ohioan being drafted 46th overall in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fritsche Sarnia
Fritsche with the Sarnia Sting

He generated quite a number of game worn jerseys in 2003-04 by first earning a roster spot in training camp with the Blue Jackets. He played in 19 games, which included scoring his first NHL goal on this date in 2003, making him the first Ohio native to score a goal for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

At Christmas time, Fritsche joined Team USA at the World Junior Championships in Helsinki, Finland where he score four points in six games as the United States captured the gold medal over Canada 4-3 in the final.

At the conclusion of the World Juniors, Fritsche was returned to Sarnia by the Blue Jackets, where he woudl score 29 points in 27 games. Once Sarnia's season concluded, Fritsche joined the Blue Jackets top minor league club, the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL for the final four regular season games plus four additional playoff games.

With the 2004-05 lockout taking away the NHL season, Fritsche returned to Sarnia once more, but was traded to the London Knights. He scored 35 points in 28 regular season games for the high powered Knights, who finished the regular season with a dominant 59-7-2 record. London blitzed the OHL in the playoffs and Fritsche contributed 22 points in 17 playoff games, fourth on the club, as they captured the 2005 Memorial Cup.

Drew Larman,Robbie Schremp,and Dan Fritsche
Drew Larman, Robbie Schremp, and Dan Fritsche celebrate the London Knights Memorial Cup championship in 2005

With the NHL back in business for 2005-06, Fritsche split time with Syracuse (19 games) and Columbus, where he played in 59 games and scored six goals and 13 points. He would stick with the Blue Jackets for the next two seasons, with his best being 2006-07 when he scored 12 goals and 27 points while seeing action in 59 games.

Following the 2007-08 season, Fritsche was included in a trade along with Nikolai Zherdev to the New York Rangers. He found little ice time waiting for him in New York and got into only 16 games with the Rangers by late January prior to being traded to the Minnesota Wild, where he played in 34 games and scored nine points.

He became a free agent at the conclusion of the season and signed with the Blue Jackets organization, once more returning to Syracuse where he played 67 games with the Crunch, scoring 42 points, good for second on the team.

Fritsche Crunch
Fritsche during his return to Syracuse in 2009-10

At the start of the 2010-11 season, Fritsche followed the footsteps of his uncle John Fritsche, and played in Switzerland for Geneve Servette in the Swiss National League A.

Fritsche Geneve Servette
Fritsche wearing the colors of Geneve Servette

Through the end of last season, Fritsche remains the highest scoring Ohio native in Blue Jackets history, with 63 points in 206 games, 22nd overall in the nine seasons of the club. Other Ohioans to have skated for the Blue Jackets are Brett Harkins (from North Ridgeville, 14 points in 25 games in 2001-02), Mike Rupp (Cleveland, 6 pts in 39 games in 2005-06), Brian Holzinger (Parma, 1 point in 13 games in 2003-04) and Ben Simon (Shaker Heights, no points in 13 games in 2005-06).

Today's featured jersey is a 2006-07 Columbus Blue Jackets Dan Fritsche jersey. The Blue Jackets original jerseys featured cartoonish secondary logo of the head of their team mascot "Stinger". Their jerseys were originally made by CCM/Koho and were adorned with the Blue Jackets Inaugural Season patch.

For 2003-04, an alternate jersey was introduced with a new main logo and Stinger was replaced on the shoulders of the home and road jerseys with the new alternate jersey logo on the left shoulder and a Civil War cap on the right.

Coming out of the lockout, the jerseys remained the same, but were now branded as Reebok for two seasons before the league-wide wholesale change to the Edge jerseys beginning in 2007.

Columbus Blue Jackets jersey
Columbus Blue Jackets jersey

Today's video segment is Fritsche scoring on a breakaway during a delayed penalty call while with the Minnesota Wild.


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