Sunday, August 2, 2009
Born on this date in 1970, former Chicago Blackhawks captain Tony Amonte played for Boston University before beginning his 16 year NHL career. Over time he would suit up for the New York Rangers, the Chicago Blackhawks, where he would play for nine seasons, the Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers and Calgary Flames.
His most productive season would come in the 1999-00 campaign when he would score 84 points from 43 goals and 41 assists while a member of the Blackhawks. His highest single season goal total was the year prior, when he would net 44 goals, one of three times he would score over 40 goals in his career. He would finish his NHL career with exactly 900 points and 416 goals in 1,174 games and make five NHL All-Star Game appearances from 1997 to 2001.
Between 1995 and 2002, Amonte would appear in 620 out of a possible 622 games, including a stretch from 1997 to 2002 when he would not miss a single game over five consecutive seasons.
In addition to his NHL career, the Massachusetts native would also play internationally for the United States in the World Junior Championships three times (1988, 1989 & 1990), the World Championships in 1991 & 1993, the Olympics twice, in 1998 and 2002, when he would earn a silver medal, and the World Cup of Hockey in 1996, helping the US capture the championship by scoring the game winning goal in the deciding game, which he has been quoted as saying is his top career highlight.
Today's featured jersey is a CCM 2000-01 Chicago Blackhawks alternate Tony Amonte jersey. It features the simple Chicago Blackhawks 75th anniversary arrowhead patch worn to commemorate their founding in 1926. Perhaps the team should have considered a re-colored version of this patch, as the Senators did for the Roger Nielson memorial patch, for this black alternate to allow it to stand out a bit more, as the mainly black patch does not stand out as well as it could on the alternate style.
While other teams have experimented with wild and outlandish alternate jersey designs, the Blackhawks kept it simple and simply promoted their black trim color used on both their home and road jerseys to the primary color on this alternate to great effect. I believe it's one of the most successful alternate styles in the NHL. First introduced in 1996, it remained unchanged until 2007 when all teams went without alternate jerseys for 2007-08 and was revived in 2008-09.
Aside from the Blackhawks 75th Anniversary patch the only other patch worn on this style jersey was the black version of the NHL 2000 patch.
While Amonte says his game winning goal in the 1996 World Cup is a career highlight, his four goal performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs must rank a close second.