Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Born on this day in 1941, Lou Nanne is synonymous with Minnesota hockey. While born in Sault St. Marie, Canada, Nanne played college hockey for the University of Minnesota in the early 1960's, captaining the team in the 1962-63 season.
"Sweet Lou from the Soo" became an American citizen in 1967, which allowed him to play for the United States Olympic Hockey Team at the 1968 Grenoble games, where he was also team captain. Following the Olympics, Nanne became a member of the Minnesota North Stars, playing 635 games over 11 seasons and was best known for his defensive abilities and penalty killing.
Nanne also was a member of the 1976 and 1977 United States National Teams in the World Championships and the inaugural Canada Cup in 1976, serving as team captain or assistant captain on all three occasions.
After his playing career was over, Nanne moved into management, becoming general manager and also head coach of the North Stars and general manager of the Team USA Canada Cup teams in 1981 and 1984.
He has been awarded the Lester Patrick Award in 1989 for his contribution to ice hockey in the United States and is a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame.
He is currently a popular weekly guest on a Twin Cities sports radio station, discussing what is happening in the NHL and college hockey, with an obvious emphasis during the regular season on the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Gophers. These appearances are recommended and can be listened to via podcast here.
He has also authored the popular book "Minnesota North Stars: History and Memories with Lou Nanne", which can be purchased here.
Today's featured jersey is a 1976 Team USA Lou Nanne jersey as worn in the 1976 Canada Cup. We have not seen very many of these come up for sale or worn at various Team USA games that we have attended.
The original set of Team USA jerseys in 1976 had elaborate embroidered crests and sewn on stars, numbers and names, which had a serif font. In addition, the pre-tournament set of jerseys also had sleeve numbers. The players complained that this heavyweight set of jerseys were too hot to play in, so the team was given a new, lightweight set of jerseys which had screened on cresting, back numbers and names, which used a non-serif font for use in the actual tournament. They did not have sleeve numbers. This is the style we have replicated with this jersey, although the name and numbers are sewn on.
We were fortunate to have the opportunity to show this jersey to Mr. Nanne in person at one of his many public apperances. He was very pleased to see it and told us that it was one of the few styles of jerseys that he wore that is not in his collection.
Dasherboard: Back on May 25th, we went on a rant about how the Mike Modano North Stars jersey was "The Most Often Screwed Up Jersey of All Time™," primarily due to the drop shadow on the "9" going the wrong direction on the back of the jersey when it was customized by CCM.
As further proof of our claim, we present to you the McFarlane's Sports Picks NHL Series 10 Mike Modano Minnesota North Stars figurine.
Even on the front of the packaging you can once more see that the "drop shadow" on the "N" logo goes down and to the right, while on the "9" it once more goes up and to the left. Of course, the "9" on the back of the figurine follows the mistaken CCM placement of the white number within the yellow trim as well.
In a real bit of synergy, here's today's birthday celebrant, Lou Nanne drafting Mike Modano in 1988 - and presenting him with a properly customized North Stars jersey. Good on ya Louie.